DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

  1. PURPOSE AND STATUS
    • The Disciplinary Procedure set out below is applicable to all employees who have completed their probationary period of service. It is designed to ensure that employees are dealt with fairly and consistently in disciplinary and other related matters affecting their work with the Company.
    • This Disciplinary Procedure is intended only as a statement of policy and management guidelines. It does not form part of individual contracts of employment or otherwise have contractual or other legal effect.  The Company reserves the right not to follow this Procedure where it considers it appropriate to do so.
  2. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
    • Where it is the employee’s performance that is in issue, this will usually be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s Performance Procedure (unless the unsatisfactory performance is such that the Company considers that it would be more appropriately dealt with under this Procedure).
    • No disciplinary action will be taken against an employee until the matter has been fully investigated. The investigation will be completed as soon as is practicable in the circumstances.
    • Employees will normally receive such advance written notice of a disciplinary meeting as is reasonably practicable in the circumstances. This will include, where appropriate, the receipt by an employee of documents, or information in any other form, which will be referred to by the Company at the disciplinary meeting.
    • In appropriate circumstances the Company reserves the right to suspend an employee while carrying out its investigation, in which case the employee will receive full pay and benefits for the duration of their suspension.
    • At each stage of the Procedure, the employee will be informed of the nature of the complaint against them and shall have an opportunity to state their case before a decision is taken.
    • Employees must take all reasonable steps to attend disciplinary meetings. However, the employee must notify the Company forthwith if they are unable to attend a meeting and a re-scheduled meeting will be arranged within (usually) 5 days of the date originally proposed for the meeting.
    • Employees may be accompanied at disciplinary meetings, and any appeal, if they wish, by a work colleague of their choice (provided that presence of such colleague does not prejudice the hearing or where such colleague may have a conflict of interest), or a suitably qualified trade union official. If the person proposed by the employee is unable to attend the meeting at the scheduled time, the employee will have the right to propose an alternative time provided that it is both reasonable and falls within 5 days of the date originally proposed for the meeting.  During the meeting, the person accompanying the employee may consult with the employee, and address the meeting, but may not answer questions on the employee’s behalf.
    • Where appropriate, help and guidance will be given to the employee to enable him/her to achieve the required standards of conduct and/or attendance.
    • Warnings will normally give details of the complaint(s), the improvement(s) required and timescale, as well as informing the employee of the consequences of failure to improve conduct to acceptable standards.
    • All warnings will remain upon an employee’s personal file indefinitely. However, subject to satisfactory conduct, verbal warnings will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after a period of [6] months and written warnings after a period of [12] months [(18 months in the case of a final written warning)] from the date of the letter/memorandum confirming the warning.  These periods will still apply where any time for improvement specified in the warning letter expires before the period set out in this paragraph.
    • At each stage of the Procedure, the Company will inform the employee of his/her rights to appeal against the disciplinary penalty imposed. Should any new evidence emerge during the appeal, the employee will be given an opportunity to comment on this before the final decision is taken.
  3. STAGES OF THE PROCEDURE

Minor faults or areas of concern will usually be dealt with initially on an informal basis by way of an informal verbal warning and/or counselling where necessary. After establishing the facts, the Company may consider that there is no need to resort to the formal Procedure, and that it is sufficient to talk the matter over with the employee. A note of the informal warning will be kept on the employee’s personal file. The purpose of an informal written warning is to provide an opportunity for improvement in the matter to be corrected without the necessity for the Procedure be instituted. However, where the matter is more serious, the stages of the Procedure set out below will normally be followed.

There are three stages to the Procedure.  The Company may, however, initiate the Procedure at any stage, or jump stages, depending on the circumstances of the case and the seriousness of the misconduct/poor performance.

  • Stage 1 ‑ Formal Verbal Warning

In cases of minor breaches of discipline or misconduct, or where the employee has failed to improve or remedy the problems identified within an informal verbal warning, an employee will be given a formal verbal warning which will refer to the misconduct and of the possible consequences of any repetition or failure to improve within a set time limit.  A note of the verbal warning will be entered on the employee’s personal file and a copy provided to the employee.

  • Stage 2 ‑ First Written Warning

In the event of more serious or further misconduct, the employee will normally be given a first written warning.  This will state the reason for the warning and will give a time limit for improvement, including any action required by the employee to remedy the situation.  The employee will be informed of the consequences of any failure to improve his or her conduct.  A copy of this written warning will also be kept on the employee’s personal file.

  • Stage 3 ‑ Final Written Warning

If, after previous warning(s), there is further misconduct or failure to improve standards, or if the misconduct is sufficiently serious to warrant only one written warning, (but would not justify dismissal), a final written warning will be given to the employee.  This will state the reason for the warning and will give a time limit for improvement, including any action required by the employee to remedy the situation.  It will also include a statement to the effect that dismissal may result in the event of failure to improve conduct.  A copy of the final written warning will be kept on the employee’s personal file.

  • Stage 4 ‑ Dismissal

If conduct remains unsatisfactory, and the employee still fails to reach the prescribed standards, or where conduct is sufficiently serious to warrant it, dismissal will normally result. The employee will be provided, as soon as reasonably practicable, with written confirmation of the dismissal and the date on which employment terminated or will terminate.

  1. SUMMARY DISMISSAL

The Company will only dismiss an employee summarily in the event of gross misconduct, or some other serious breach of Company rules or of the contract of employment.  Summary dismissal is dismissal without notice; before deciding upon this course of action, the Company will usually undertake an investigation and hold a disciplinary hearing with the employee.

  1. EXAMPLES OF CONDUCT WHICH WILL TRIGGER THE DISCIPLINARY PROCESS
    • Misconduct

The following are examples of the type of misconduct that may lead to verbal or written warnings.  These examples are provided for guidance only and should not be seen as exhaustive.

Examples of minor misconduct may include occasional lateness, minor work errors, minor breaches of health & safety obligations, time wasting, lack of diligence, failure to comply with reasonable instructions and general unsatisfactory conduct, including inappropriate behaviour towards colleagues.  Repeated minor misconduct of this sort may be treated as more serious misconduct.

Examples of more serious misconduct may include persistent lateness and extended periods of unauthorised absence, persistent or serious work errors, persistent lack of diligence, persistent failure to carry out reasonable instructions, repeated or more serious breaches of health & safety obligations, discrimination on grounds of sex, race, etc., harassment of another employee, using offensive language, breach of the Company’s email and internet use policy and failure to respond adequately to a verbal warning.

  • Gross Misconduct

Examples of gross misconduct may include fraud, theft or dishonesty, contravening health and safety obligations so as to put others at risk, breach of confidentiality, unauthorised disclosure of client information [(including, but not limited to, [list any particular concerns])], being under the influence of drink or drugs during working hours, violent or abusive behaviour, deliberate damage to Company property (or that of employees, clients or visitors), tampering with any of the Company’s systems or loading or using on Company systems software that has not been specifically authorised for such use.

  1. APPEALS
    • At any stage of the Procedure (including dismissal), an employee has a right to appeal against the disciplinary decision. The employee should inform the [Human Resources Manager] in writing within 7 working days of notification of the disciplinary decision setting out the reasons for the appeal. All appeals will be dealt with as soon as is practicable in the circumstances.  As with the hearings at earlier stages the employee may be accompanied by a colleague (or trade union official).
    • Wherever practicable, the appeal will be heard a more senior manager than whoever decided to take the disciplinary action. Their decision shall be final within the Company.
    • The Company will confirm to the employee in writing the results of the appeal, and will outline the reasons for the decision reached, as soon as is practicable after the appeal has been heard.
    • Where the Company has taken the decision to dismiss an employee, dismissal will still take effect where the employee wishes to appeal. Where an appeal against dismissal fails, the effective date of termination will be taken as the date on which the employee was originally dismissed.  If the appeal is successful, the employee will be reinstated, with salary and benefits backdated to the date of dismissal.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

POLICY

It is the policy of the Company that all employees should:

  1. Be permitted to have any grievances in relation to their employment dealt with promptly and fairly by an appropriate manager.
  2. Have the right to appeal to a more senior manager against a decision made in respect of their grievance.
  3. Have the right to be accompanied by a work colleague of their own choice (provided that the presence of such colleague does not prejudice the hearing or where such colleague may have a conflict of interest), or a suitably qualified trade union official. If the person proposed by the employee is unable to attend the meeting at the scheduled time, the employee will have the right to propose an alternative time provided that it is both reasonable and falls within 5 days of the date originally proposed for the meeting.

PROCEDURE

The aim of this Procedure is to settle any grievances raised in a fair and timely manner.  The main stages are:

  1. It is envisaged that the majority of routine grievances can be resolved on an informal basis. Therefore, the grievance should first be discussed with the employee’s immediate manager who will investigate the matter in an attempt to resolve the issue on an informal basis.
  2. If it is not appropriate to raise the matter informally, or if the employee does not receive a satisfactory outcome, the grievance should be made in writing to the [Human Resources Manager] setting out full details.
  3. The [Human Resources Manager] will arrange for the grievance to be investigated and will arrange for a hearing to be conducted by an appropriate manager. The hearing will normally be held within [ten] working days of receipt of the written grievance, although this may need to be extended depending on the length of the investigation and the availability of the appropriate manager.
  4. Employees must take all reasonable steps to attend disciplinary meetings. However, the employee must notify the Company forthwith if they are unable to attend a meeting and a re-scheduled meeting will be arranged within (usually) 5 days of the date originally proposed for the meeting.
  5. During the hearing, the person accompanying the employee may consult with the employee, and address the hearing, but may not answer question on the employee’s behalf.
  6. Following the hearing, a written response will be given to the employee, normally within [five] working days.
  7. If the employee is unsatisfied with the response, he or she may appeal in writing to the [Human Resources Manager] setting out full details. The [Human Resources Manager] will arrange for a further hearing to be conducted by a more senior manager than the manager responsible for the original decision.  Their decision will be final and there is no further appeal from this decision.
  8. Following the hearing, a written response will be given to the employee, normally within [five] working days.
  9. If the employee wishes to lodge a grievance after their employment has ended, the Company and the employee may either go through the hearing and appeals part of the Procedure, or the parties can agree to deal with matters on the basis of a written grievance and response (without a hearing). The parties will discuss whichever option is easiest at the time.

GENERAL

  1. At all times the Procedure will be carried out in confidence and any documents produced in connection with the implementation of the Procedure will remain confidential.
  2. In the event that it is not possible to deal with the matter in accordance with the timescales set out above, the employee will be informed of this at the earliest opportunity.
  3. This Grievance Procedure is intended only as a statement of policy and management guidelines. It does not form part of individual contracts of employment or otherwise have contractual or other legal effect.  The Company reserves the right not to follow this Procedure where it considers it appropriate to do so.

IAPPR is committed to equal opportunities in employment, service delivery and use of property. It is recognised that in our society groups and individuals have been, and continue to be, discriminated against on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

IAPPR is committed to providing a working environment in which employees are able to realise their full potential and to contribute to its business success irrespective of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. This is a key employment value to which all employees are expected to give their support.

In order to create conditions in which this goal can be realised, IAPPR is committed to promoting genuine equality of opportunities throughout the organisation. IAPPR expects employees to support this commitment and to assist in its realisation in all possible ways.

Specifically, IAPPR aims to ensure that no employee or candidate is subject to unlawful discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. This commitment applies to all aspects of employment, including:

  • recruitment and selection, including advertisements, job descriptions, interview and selection procedures;
  • training;
  • promotion and career development opportunities;
  • terms and conditions of employment, and access to employment related benefits and facilities;
  • grievance handling and the application of disciplinary procedures; and
  • selection for redundancy.

Equal opportunities practice is developing constantly as social attitudes and legislation change. IAPPR will keep its policies under review and will implement changes where these could improve equality of opportunity. This commitment applies to all of IAPPR’s employment policies and procedures, not just those specifically connected with equal opportunities.

IAPPR’s commitment to equal opportunities reflects its charitable objectives and its historic and present mission to those who are in need.

The aim of this Equal Opportunities Policy is to ensure that no job applicant, employee, volunteer or service user receives less favourable treatment than any other on the grounds stated above.

IAPPR is committed to taking positive steps to provide genuine equality of opportunity to enable the organisation to make full and effective use of its workforce and to provide a high quality service for users.

The policy and its implementation will be regularly reviewed to ensure its effectiveness.

Employment Procedure

IAPPR will actively promote equal opportunities through the provision of employment policies (full copies of which are available as part of the ‘Employee Handbook’) which will ensure all individuals are treated fairly and consistently with due regard to their abilities, potential, skill and ability.

IAPPR will recruit staff through an open and transparent process:

  • All posts will be publicly displayed to ensure they reach a wide audience.
  • All posts will have a job description and person specification accurately reflecting the duties, levels of responsibility, necessary and desirable skills, experience, knowledge and aptitude required.
  • The interview panel will independently short-list applicants and agree a preset list of questions to ensure each candidate is interviewed and scored consistently.

Job offers will be made accordingly.

Successful candidates may be asked to provide details of race, gender, religion and disability which allows IAPPR to monitor equal opportunities in the recruitment process. Any information received will be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

Employment conditions will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that no member of staff or volunteer is discriminated against.

IAPPR operates a system for grievance and disciplinary issues in order to guarantee the fairness and consistency in the treatment of individuals. (The full procedures are set out in the ‘Employee Handbook’).

Volunteers

IAPPR is committed to equal opportunities in its policies for volunteers as for paid employees.

Harassment

Harassment is physical, verbal or non verbal behaviour which is unwanted and personally offensive to the recipient, and which causes the recipient to feel threatened, humiliated, intimidated, patronised, denigrated, bullied, distressed or harassed.

The way in which complaints of Unlawful Discrimination and Harassment will be handled

Discrimination and harassment are often complex matters, and there is no single way of dealing with every suspected or alleged instance. In some cases employees may be able to deal satisfactorily with an issue informally by raising it with their immediate manager.

Should an employee feel that they have been harassed by a third party they should initially speak to their line manager, providing full details of their complaint, to see if the matter can be resolved informally.

If an employee wishes to make a formal complaint he or she should use IAPPRs Grievance Procedure which is set out in the Employee Handbook.

IAPPR will treat seriously all allegations of unlawful discrimination or harassment.

If an employee is accused of Unlawful Discrimination or Harassment

If an employee is accused of unlawful discrimination or harassment, IAPPR will investigate the matter fully.

In the course of the investigation the employee will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegation and provide an explanation of his or her actions.

If IAPPR concludes that no unlawful discrimination or harassment has occurred, this will be the end of the matter.

If IAPPR concludes that the claim is false or malicious the complainant may be subject to disciplinary action.

If on the other hand IAPPR concludes that the employee’s actions amount to unlawful discrimination or harassment he or she may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including summary dismissal for gross misconduct.

Monitoring

IAPPR will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment of any kind in the working environment and will take positive action to prevent its occurrence.

In this connection IAPPR will monitor its policies and will implement changes in order to improve them as social attitudes and legislation change. This commitment applies to all of IAPPR’s employment policies and procedures, not just those specifically concerned with equal opportunities.

Service Delivery

IAPPR will endeavour to ensure that all its service users receive service of the highest quality which is accessible to as wide a group of service users as possible.

IAPPR recognises the fact that different groups of people have different needs and may require specific services (for example, a service for pensioners or women only) but will continue to implement its equal opportunities policies so individual users are treated consistently and fairly within any specified group.

IAPPR will seek the views of users through a variety of routes and ensure their views are represented.

IAPPR will not accept discriminatory behaviour within its services. Where a service user behaves in a discriminatory way it will be explained to them why this is not acceptable and they will be asked not to repeat the offending behaviour. Where they persist with their behaviour they will be asked to leave and in extreme cases IAPPR will consider withdrawing its services from that service user. The service user will have the right to appeal.

If a service user feels that IAPPR has not followed the equal opportunities policy they should make a complaint through the complaints procedure.

 

IAPPR Member Companies and their staff must:

  1. Behave with integrity and sensitivity when dealing with members of the public.
  2. Ensure charges and fee structures are clear to the client or consumer from the outset.
  3. Take special care when dealing with potentially vulnerable clients, in particular with regard to their mental capacity and properly assess whether a client has capacity, seeking 3rd party advice and/or referring to any relevant law in each jurisdiction.
  4. Ensure all logos or testimonials used on the company website or within its advertising are genuine and used only with the permission of those concerned.
  5. Ensure all beneficiaries, clients or their representatives and members of the public are always treated fairly, courteously and with respect, regardless of race, gender, colour, creed, age or sexual orientation.
  6. Present all reports in a clear and concise manner.
  7. Identify and report any other members who breach this Code.
  8. Staff of member companies must not use any information for personal gain. Where there is a conflict of interest, they must disclose this.

Process Overview

The following key steps must be followed for all customer complaints received by IAPPR staff:

  • All complaints should be reviewed monthly as part of the SLA/CSAT review meetings.
  • Any complaints where action can be taken to avoid recurrence must be acted upon and raised with the appropriate managers/teams across the organisation.