While most of us hope to work in an environment that supports and encourages us, it’s not always the case that things run so smoothly. If you are being subjected to disciplinary action at work, it helps to get the right legal advice as soon as possible.
What is Disciplinary Action?
If your employer has concerns about you and these are not addressed, you may be the subject of disciplinary action. This could, for example, be because of your behaviour at work, that you are taking too much time off or your standard of work simply isn’t good enough. Most employers will handle this by talking to the person involved informally at first in the hope that things get better.
If this doesn’t happen, they can then decide implement more formal procedures such as a written warning. Once things are formalised, the employer will have the right to dismiss you if they feel you have not improved your behaviour or performance.
Most businesses will use something like the Acas Code of Practice when handling disputes of this kind. It sets out the standards of behaviour expected on both sides and failure to comply with it can have ramifications with respect to any potential future tribunal for unfair dismissal.
What To Do If You Are Subject to Disciplinary Action
While most disciplinary actions are resolved reasonably amicably there can be a variety of reasons why they are not. The employer might not follow the right protocol and give you enough opportunity to change, for example, by giving you additional training so you can do your job better. The employer might also have an ulterior motive for getting rid of you which actually has nothing to do with your behaviour at all.
Whether the employer’s claim is valid or not, as soon as you realise there is a problem, it’s a good idea to make a recording of all interaction relating to the disciplinary action itself. You should try to do this from the moment your employer makes an informal approach to highlight the issue that concerns them.
If you feel that the disciplinary action is unfair, the next step is to get some legal advice about where you stand. A qualified solicitor will be able to sit down with you and work through the legal aspects of what has happened. Unresolved disciplinary action can often lead to dismissal but if your employer has not followed the proper procedure you may be able to make a claim that their action was unfair. While this could mean going an employment tribunal, it’s not always the case and mediation may help resolve the situation.
At Forster Dean, we have a lot of experience in all aspects of employment law including that relating to disciplinary action at work. We appreciate that this can be a difficult and demanding time, especially if you feel the action is unwarranted and you are being unfairly treated for one reason or another. It helps to get an impartial, legal perspective so you know what your options are.
If you are currently the subject of disciplinary action at work and need legal support, contact our friendly, expert team today.