The purpose of the Disciplinary Procedure is to outline a recognised and consistent system to deal with any issues of conduct, capability or other circumstances that may result in a disciplinary warning or dismissal.

Depending on your length of service with us, we reserve the right to vary this disciplinary procedure. In particular, for those employees who have a short amount of service with us (less than 24 months service), we reserve the right to follow alternative processes which will typically be shorter in nature.

The Disciplinary Procedure does not form part of your contract of employment and may be amended from time to time.

At any stage of the Disciplinary Procedure you may be suspended, on full pay, whilst investigations are carried out. This does not mean that you have been, or will be found guilty of any particular offence or act of misconduct. In the event that you become unfit for work or unable to attend any necessary meetings due to sickness, the Company will review the decision to keep you on suspension and, following this review, your suspension may be lifted. If your suspension is lifted, you may no longer be entitled to full pay but will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay in accordance with the Company's rules and procedures.

Before contemplating disciplinary action against any employee, the Company will generally undertake an investigation to ensure that there is a case which justifies progressing the matter to a formal disciplinary hearing. This may or may not involve speaking to you.

If it is necessary for the Organisation to take action under the Disciplinary Procedure you will be issued with a written statement setting out the nature of the conduct, capability or other circumstances that may result in a disciplinary warning or dismissal. You will only be issued with a disciplinary warning or dismissed following a formal disciplinary meeting, at which you will have been given the right to be accompanied by a fellow employee or an accredited trade union official.

You should take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting unless you have a valid reason preventing you from attending. It will always be deemed a reasonable management instruction that you attend the disciplinary hearing, and therefore if you fail to do so, without a reasonable excuse, your actions may amount to gross misconduct, and can warrant summary dismissal.
You will be given a minimum of 24 hours written notice of the disciplinary hearing.

Throughout the Disciplinary hearing you will be given the opportunity to respond to any complaint, put forward any representations that you wish to make and you will have the opportunity to put forward any evidence which you wish to use. Only then will any decision on a disciplinary warning or dismissal be taken.

It is not permissible to record, whether audio and/or visual, any meetings which take place as part of this procedure, without the express written authorisation of the Company.
The Organisation may commence the Disciplinary Procedure, depending on the circumstances, at any of the following levels:

Verbal warning

For cases of minor misconduct / underperformance or initial concerns with levels of absence, the first formal disciplinary sanction is a formal verbal warning which will be confirmed to you in writing following it being issued.
A record of the verbal warning will be placed in your personnel file for six months after which time it will be disregarded.

Written warning

If the matter of concern giving rise to disciplinary action is sufficiently serious, or if there is still an active verbal warning on your file when the disciplinary procedure is instigated, then the next level of sanction is a first written warning which will be confirmed to you in writing following it being issued.

A written warning will be issued and a copy placed in your personnel file for twelve months after which time it will be disregarded.

Final written warning

If the matter of concern giving rise to disciplinary action is sufficiently serious, or if there is still an active written warning on your file when the disciplinary procedure is instigated, then the next level of sanction is a final written warning which will be confirmed to you in writing following it being issued.

A final written warning will be issued and a copy placed in your personnel file for twelve months after which time it will be disregarded.

Dismissal

If the matter of concern giving rise to disciplinary action is sufficiently serious, or if there is still an active final written warning on your file when the disciplinary procedure is instigated, then the next level of sanction is dismissal.
Where the dismissal results through cumulating warnings, the dismissal will be with notice as outlined in your terms and conditions of employment. If the matter is sufficiently serious to bypass the issuing of previous warnings first, and the dismissal is as a result of gross misconduct, then you will not be entitled to notice or pay in lieu of notice.

You will be entitled to appeal against any disciplinary or dismissal decision taken, such appeal being held in accordance with the Appeal Procedure, which is outlined below.

Alternative Disciplinary Sanctions

As an alternative to dismissal, in addition to the issuing of a Final Written Warning, we may impose either or both of the following on you as an action short of dismissal:

- Demotion to a lesser role, with a reduction in terms and conditions accordingly.

- Suspension without pay, up to a maximum of 5 days as a result of any particular disciplinary process which is undertaken.

CATEGORIES OF GROSS MISCONDUCT

The following acts are examples of Gross Misconduct offences and as such will render you liable to Summary Dismissal (i.e. Dismissal without notice and without previous warnings). This list is not exhaustive.

- Fighting, physical assault or dangerous horseplay.

- Deliberate refusal or wilful failure to carry out a reasonable and lawful direct instruction given by management during working hours.

- Serious insubordination.

- Any acts of bullying, offensive, aggressive, threatening or intimidating behaviour or use of foul language.

- Theft, or misappropriation of property belonging to the Organisation, suppliers, residents, service users, visitors or other employees.

- Wilful damage or negligence involving damage to property belonging to the Organisation, suppliers, residents, visitors, service users, other employees or the general public.

- Misuse of the Organisation’s property.

- Performing, arranging or carrying out any work or activity which could be considered to be in competition with, or which adversely affects in any way, the Organisation’s interests.

- Fraud or any illegal offence committed against the Organisation, its residents, employees or contractors.

- Bringing the Organisation into disrepute, including but not limited to, making negative or disparaging comments on social media sites or similar.

- Drinking alcohol during working hours, being under the influence of alcohol/drugs and/or drug abuse.

- Being in possession of or dealing in illegal drugs whilst at work.

- Breach of health and safety rules and/or any action, which seriously endangers the health or safety of an employee, resident or any other person whilst at work.

- Deliberately making a false entry in the written records of the Organisation.

- Knowingly giving false information or deliberately omitting relevant information on the job application form, curriculum vitae or at any time during the recruitment process for example, at interview or during discussions prior to the offer of employment.

- A disclosure made in bad faith, or concerning information which you do not substantially believe is true or is made for personal gain.

- Victimisation of a fellow worker or subjecting a fellow worker to detriments because of a public disclosure claim.

- Smoking or vaping in breach of the Organisation’s No Smoking Policy.

- Any acts of discrimination, harassment and/or bullying.

- Receipt of bribes to effect the placing of business with a supplier of goods or services.

- Offering or accepting bribes.

- Inaccurate or fraudulent recording of financial transactions.

- Unauthorised access to or disclosure to any third party of any confidential information from whatever source including any personal data under Data Protection legislation.

- Falsification of working hours.

- Criminal offence causing harm to the reputation of the Organisation or relations with the Organisation's employees.

- Unauthorised access to or disclosure of any part of the Organisation's computer data.

- Acts of gross negligence or misconduct involving careless or reckless driving, including the use of a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving.

- Indecent or lewd behaviour of a serious nature.

- Loss of driving licence or conviction when driving is all or an essential part of the job requirements.

- The act of copying computer software without authorisation.

- The use of unauthorised software on Organisation computer equipment.

- The unauthorised disabling of anti virus software.

- Failure to carry out necessary virus checks.

- Use of pirate software on Organisation computer equipment.

- Serious misuse of the Organisation’s e-mail/internet or other computing resources.

- Maltreatment or abuse of residents.

- Leaving your place of work or abandoning duty without authority.

- Sleeping on duty.

Appeal Procedure

The Appeal Procedure does not form part of your contract of employment and may be amended from time to time.
If an employee wishes to make an appeal following action under the disciplinary process they should write to the designated person (who will be identified in the disciplinary outcome letter), ensuring that their letter is received within 7 calendar days of receiving the outcome of the disciplinary hearing letter.

The employee should state the grounds on which the appeal is made and indicate the outcome they are seeking.
Once an appeal is received, you will be invited to attend an appeal hearing where you can further expand on your grounds and reasons for appealing. You will receive at least 24 hours’ notice of the appeal hearing. Employees should take all reasonable steps to attend.

Employees have the right to be accompanied to the hearing by an accredited trade union representative or a fellow colleague.

The appeal hearing will be chaired by an appropriate person or panel of persons not previously involved in the matter.

The appeal chair/panel will consider the grounds that the employee has put forward and must decide whether or not the conclusion reached in the original disciplinary hearing was appropriate. The appeal is not a rehearing of the original disciplinary hearing but a consideration of the specific areas with which the employee is dissatisfied in relation to the original disciplinary hearing.

The appeal chair/panel may:

 Uphold the disciplinary action taken
 Reduce or increase the disciplinary action taken
 Withdraw the disciplinary action taken
 Recommend additional training, supervision, etc.

The outcome of the appeal is final and there is no further right of appeal.

It is not permissible to record, whether audio and/or visual, any meetings which take place as part of this procedure, without the express written authorisation of the Company.