Expert Corner

How to carry out a fair disciplinary process

As an employer do you know what policy, procedures and process you should follow during a Disciplinary investigation?

In this video interview with Louise McGeady, we discuss the work of her HR consultancy in Northern Ireland, the rights employees have during a disciplinary process, the need to have sufficient evidence and how a disciplinary arises and what to do when it does.

Louise also explains how to deal with the formal nature of this process and how to cope with the disciplinary issues that can be highly stressful as well as a legal minefield.

Louise begins by stating; “The first thing I always do is consult the disciplinary procedure, the reason I do that is that a tribunal will automatically find a dismissal to be unfair if you haven’t followed a basic process. You should consider if you can achieve the desired outcome through informal means, you don’t always have to go down a formal disciplinary route which has a sanction at the end of it typically. If you have achieved the desirable outcome of behavioural change through an informal route then that is obviously the best way to proceed.”

Throughout the video Louise highlights the importance of evidence when dealing with discipline, she stated “You must ensure you have sufficient evidence when going down a disciplinary route as we are dealing with employees and there’s trust issues if you proceed with a disciplinary process without having enough evidence to have taken that course of action.”

In this video Louise covers how Opal People Solutions support clients through a disciplinary process:

✅ Guidance on how to address a particular disciplinary problem from our professional HR Experts
✅The LRA Code of Practice or your own Disciplinary Procedure should always be the starting point.
✅ Provision of a template Disciplinary Policy & Procedure
✅ Provision of template letters at each point of a disciplinary process
✅ Independent review of disciplinary issues such as interviewing witnesses
✅ Examining evidence and providing a bespoke disciplinary procedure by creating bespoke letters to every individual scenario.

Given the complex nature of many disciplinary investigations, as well as the costly risks to your business if you get it wrong, it is highly advisable that you seek guidance before commencing any formal process.

Opal People Solutions will ensure that best practice procedures are in place, that you are supported throughout the process and we resolve issues effectively, whilst minimising risk to the business.

For more information:

Jennifer McWilliams
Written By
Louise McGeady
Opal People Solutions

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