DISCIPLINARY POLICY. Page 1 of 14 Date: 11/2014. PE06 Revision: 1

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2 1.POLICY STATEMENT 1.1. FGH Security recognises disciplinary rules and procedures are necessary for the effective operation of the organisation by encouraging all staff to achieve and maintain satisfactory standards of conduct and behaviour. We also recognises that disciplinary rules and procedures are a necessary part of ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and consistently This procedure provides a formal process for resolving disciplinary matters. The need to take disciplinary action will arise where a staff member s behaviour and/or conduct falls below the standard required by FGH Security Managers should consult with the Human Resources Team before any disciplinary action is taken This Disciplinary Policy and Procedure meets the requirements of current employment law. It was developed using the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary Procedures as a guide. 2. AIMS 2.1. The aims of this policy are to: Encourage corrective rather than punitive behaviour Ensure the consistent and fair treatment of all staff Promote standards of conduct / behaviour which support the efficient and effective operation of the organisation The policy and procedure also provide: Managers with advice and support on handling disciplinary matters Employees with information about the organisation's approach to handling discipline in the work place Employees with information about expected standards of conduct and behaviour Where a staff member raises a grievance during a disciplinary process, the disciplinary process will continue and where the grievance and disciplinary cases are related it may be appropriate to deal with both issues concurrently. 3. SCOPE AND POLICY PRINCIPLES 3.1. This policy applies to all employees regardless of seniority or contractual status. Page 2 of 14

3 3.2. Employers and employees should always seek to resolve disciplinary and grievance issues in the workplace. Where this is not possible employers and employees should consider using an independent third party to help resolve the problem The third party need not come from outside the organization but could be an internal mediator, so long as they are not involved in the disciplinary or grievance issue. In some cases, an external mediator might be appropriate No disciplinary action will normally be taken against a staff member before the Human Resources Team has been consulted, the case has been fully investigated, including information gathered from the employee, and it has been determined that disciplinary action is the most appropriate course of action to be taken At every stage of the formal procedure the member of staff will be informed in writing of the nature of the allegation/s against them and will be given the opportunity to provide their explanation The member of staff has the right to be accompanied by a companion where the disciplinary meeting could result in: a formal warning being issued; or the taking of some other disciplinary action; or the confirmation of a warning or some other disciplinary action (appeal hearings) The chosen companion may be a fellow worker, a trade union representative, or an official employed by a trade union. A trade union representative who is not an employed official must have been certified by their union as being competent to accompany a worker In exceptional circumstances only advice from the HR Team may be sought with regard to allowing legal representation. There is no entitlement to legal representation or accompaniment by any other outside person, with the exception of a trade union official It is expected that one individual only will accompany the staff member The disciplinary procedure consists of a number of stages. The stage at which the disciplinary procedure will be instigated will depend upon the seriousness of the alleged offence Under all circumstances, meetings and investigations will be timely, and at all times conducted with impartiality and fairness In order to ensure disciplinary matters are resolved as quickly as possible, suggested time limits are proposed for stages in the procedure. Where it is not practicable to adhere to these time limits, relevant parties will normally be informed including the reason why The ACAS Code states that where an employee is persistently unable or unwilling to attend a Disciplinary meeting without good cause the employer should make a decision on the evidence available. The organisation defines persistently as an employee failing to attend two Page 3 of 14

4 scheduled times for the same meeting (namely being unable or failing to attend a re-arranged meeting where reasonable endeavours have been made to set alternative dates and/or times A series of separate and different forms of disciplinary offences for which warnings have been given may collectively constitute grounds for further disciplinary action (including dismissal) following a written warning and a subsequent offence A staff member will not be dismissed for a first breach of discipline except in the case of gross misconduct, when the sanction will be summary dismissal without notice and without pay in lieu of notice A member of staff will have the right to appeal against any disciplinary sanction imposed under the formal disciplinary procedure At all stages of this procedure, a member of staff may be suspended on full pay while the allegation is investigated if it is considered that the circumstances warrant this action Where disciplinary action is being considered against an employee who is a trade union representative the normal disciplinary procedure should be followed. Depending on the circumstances, however, the HR Team may discuss the matter at an early stage with an official employed by the union, after obtaining the employee s agreement. 4. RECORDS MANAGEMENT 4.1. The records associated with this policy are controlled by the Human Resources Department and will be created, stored and disposed of in line with the company s records management procedures FGH Security is committed to complying with the requirements of Data Protection legislation and regulations and any personal data created as part of this policy will be processed in accordance with the company s Data Protection procedures. This includes ensuring that data is held securely, is not disclosed unlawfully and is destroyed when no longer needed FGH Security also aims to ensure that users of this policy are aware of Data Protection, Freedom of Information and Records Management issues associated with this policy. 5. RISK MANAGEMENT 5.1. Failure to comply with this policy could lead to breaches in employment legislation and may give rise to claims against FGH Security. Page 4 of 14

5 6. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 6.1. In order to support the implementation of this policy, it is the responsibility of Operational Managers to: Be aware of the organisation's expectations of its staff Inform staff in their team of the expected standards of conduct and behaviour Comply with the disciplinary policy and procedure Ensure staff understand the policy and procedure Ensure the fair and consistent application of the policy and procedure To assist, wherever possible, the staff member to correct unacceptable behaviour It is the responsibility of employees to: Be aware of the organisation's expectations of its staff Be aware of the disciplinary policy and procedure Maintain acceptable standards of conduct / behaviour Carry out their duties in accordance with their contract of employment and the organisation s rules and procedures It is the responsibility of the HR Manager to: Ensure that the disciplinary policy and procedure is readily available and understood such that staff are aware of the standards of conduct / behaviour expected of them Provide training, support (including administrative support) and guidance to managers on its application Review and monitor the operation and effectiveness of the policy and procedure Ensure compliance with legal obligations and the ACAS Code of Practice.. Page 5 of 14

6 B. PROCEDURAL GUIDELINES The normal expectation is that the following procedural guidelines will apply. However, on occasions, and for exceptional / other good reasons, there may be the need to vary the procedures to suit individual cases, and accordingly FGH Security reserves the right to amend the procedures. 1. INFORMAL PROCEDURE 1.1. FGH Security is committed to ensuring that differences and difficulties can be resolved amicably through open communication. Wherever possible, and where appropriate, given the nature of the apparent issue, disciplinary matters will be resolved informally As such, it is expected that minor instances of unacceptable behaviour and/or conduct will be dealt with informally by the manager of the staff member(s) concerned. Sometimes they will not be aware that their behaviour or actions are causing a problem. Often, issues can be resolved at this point through discussion and clarification. Therefore, the manager will discuss the issues with the member of staff with a view to coaching them towards improving and sustaining satisfactory behaviour and/or conduct. This is more likely to produce effective solutions, minimise conflict and allow staff to maintain positive working relationships An internal facilitator may be used to support the resolution of matters informally, as appropriate The manager will normally follow up any discussions outside of the formal procedure with a note to the member of staff confirming their discussion, and explaining that if the informal action does not bring about an improvement, then the formal disciplinary procedure may be instigated. The note will be held on Webroster and will be referred to should the matter progress to the formal disciplinary procedure and/or should other matters of behaviour and/or conduct arise If the informal action does not bring about an improvement or in situations where the matter is more serious the procedure below will apply. 2. INVESTIGATION 2.1. In all cases, the facts must be established via an investigation prior to the commencement of formal disciplinary action. All investigations should be carried out in a timely manner as possible and include comments from the employee involved in the matter. Witnesses may be called to provide information to the investigation and such information will normally be made available to all parties in advance of any meeting to discuss the findings Normally, an Investigating Officer will be appointed as detailed below to investigate the matter and produce a report of their findings. The Investigating Officer will not subsequently act as the Disciplinary Officer In certain minor cases (eg breaches of a minor nature and/or where the staff member accepts the alleged breach and it is considered that dismissal is unlikely), the line manager may investigate the matter to establish the facts and may also subsequently act as the Disciplinary Officer. Page 6 of 14

7 2.4. In all cases and prior to investigation, advice should be sought from the Human Resources Team in the first instance about who should undertake the investigation. 3. SUSPENSION 3.1. A staff member may, at any stage, be suspended from work on full basic pay for alleged misconduct or other good and urgent cause such as to enable an investigation or meeting to be undertaken or where there are grounds for doubting the suitability of the staff member to continue at work Suspension is not a disciplinary sanction. It is an action designed to enable the proper investigation of disciplinary issues and will only be used when it is deemed essential to do so Other than in exceptional circumstances (for example outside normal work hours), the Human Resources Team must be consulted prior to the suspension of a member of staff A decision to suspend a member of staff may only be taken by a Member of the Senior Management Team A supervisor or manager may require a member of staff to leave the premises pending a decision on suspension. In such cases a full report will be made at the earliest opportunity to the Senior Manager who will then deal with the matter Anyone who is suspended will be entitled to receive written notification of the suspension, setting out the grounds on which the decision to suspend has been taken Any suspension should not be unnecessarily protracted and normally no longer than 2 weeks in duration. The organisation therefore undertakes to ensure that investigations are carried out in a timely manner. However, it is recognised that in exceptional cases / complex cases, it may not be possible to adhere to this limit Any suspension should be kept under regular review and the employee kept informed of progress of the investigation Should a fitness to work note be received for a suspended employee that declares the employee unfit for work, the organisation will classify the employee as unfit for work and normal absence policies will apply. 4. FORMAL DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE 4.1. Following investigation, if the Investigating Officer in conjunction with the Human Resources Team, decides there is a case to answer, a disciplinary meeting will be arranged by the Human Resources Team Prior to the disciplinary meeting, the Investigating Officer will have prepared a written statement / report detailing the staff member s alleged conduct, characteristics or circumstances that have led to a disciplinary meeting involving the staff member being convened. The Human Resources Service will send a copy of the written statement / report (which may include witness Page 7 of 14

8 statements) to the staff member at least 48 hours before the meeting. At the same time, the staff member should be invited to the disciplinary meeting and be advised of the following: The date, time and venue of the meeting; The basis for including the statement / report and the nature of the allegations; That the purpose of the meeting is disciplinary and that a disciplinary sanction (including dismissal where appropriate) may result; The entitlement to be represented or accompanied by another of the organisation s staff or a trade union official; The right to call witnesses and/or present evidence The Disciplinary Officer who conducts the disciplinary meeting will not normally have been involved in the investigation relating to the specific case The staff member must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting. If, for any reason, which was not foreseeable at the time the meeting was arranged, it is not reasonably practicable for the staff member or his/her representative to attend the meeting, the organisation will invite the staff member to an alternative meeting The duty to invite the staff member to attend a meeting shall cease if the organisation has invited the staff member to attend two meetings and the paragraph above has applied in relation to each of them. In such circumstances, or if the staff member has simply failed to attend the disciplinary meetings, the person conducting the meeting shall be entitled to make a determination on the evidence otherwise available If either the staff member or the Investigating Officer wishes to refer to any documents during the disciplinary meeting, copies of the documents should be made available to Human Resources Team in advance of the meeting so they can be passed to the other party before the meeting If the member of staff or the Investigating Officer wishes to call witnesses, the Human Resources Team must be provided with details of the witnesses normally at least 2 working days before the meeting is due to take place so that any necessary arrangements, if not already in place, can be undertaken The meeting must not take place unless: The staff member has been sent a written statement / report in accordance with paragraph 4.2 of this procedure; The staff member has had a reasonable opportunity to consider his/her response to that information The meeting must be conducted in a manner that enables both the organisation and the staff member to explain their cases. Page 8 of 14

9 4.9. In exceptional circumstances, the member of staff may delay the meeting for up to 5 calendar days and notice (preferably written) of this must be received within 24 hours prior to the meeting. Failure to give sufficient notice of unavailability, unless the circumstances are outside of the staff member s control, may lead to the meeting taking place and a decision being reached without the attendance of the member of staff At the disciplinary meeting, a representative of the Human Resources Team will normally attend to advise on procedure and points of law. A note taker will also attend. Notes of the meeting will be provided to the Disciplinary Officer and the staff member to consider and sign as an accurate record If the staff member raises new evidence and the Disciplinary Officer decides it should be investigated further, the meeting will be adjourned and will be reconvened once the new evidence has been investigated and considered. Any further investigations will normally be undertaken within 7 calendar days by the Investigating Officer Where the Disciplinary Officer considers that the case has been substantiated s/he will determine the appropriate disciplinary action. In doing so, they will consider the seriousness of the offence, any mitigating factors and the previous record of the staff member s conduct If a warning is issued, an action plan will be determined which will normally include: The period over which the improvement is to be achieved Appropriate action to eliminate any identified underlying causes of any misconduct and/or behaviour When, how and by whom improvement will be reviewed, potentially including one or more interim review For the avoidance of doubt a meeting held without a representative of the Human Resources Team present shall not be regarded as improperly conducted for the purpose of the Disciplinary Procedure The Disciplinary Officer or a member of the HR Team will write to the member of staff, normally within 7 calendar days of the disciplinary meeting, informing him/her of the outcome of the disciplinary meeting and of his/her right of appeal. The member of staff will also be informed of the reason for any disciplinary sanction being imposed, the improvement required and the period over which the improvement is to be achieved, the potential consequences of not achieving the improvement required, and the right to appeal. In cases of dismissal the member of staff will also be notified of when their employment will end A note of the disciplinary meeting and any other paperwork and/or correspondence will be kept on the staff member s personal file and will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes normally after a period of 12 months (or exceptionally longer). 5. APPEALS PROCEDURE 5.1. A staff member has a right of appeal following the outcome of a disciplinary meeting. Page 9 of 14

10 5.2. A member of staff who wishes to make an appeal should submit their request in writing normally within 7 calendar days of issue of the disciplinary decision to the Managing Director. The grounds for appeal should be stated and, if applicable, full details of any new evidence provided Upon receipt of an appeal, a member of the Human Resources Team will convene an appeal meeting. In accordance with the principles governing the arrangement of the first disciplinary meeting, the staff member must take all reasonable steps to attend and they will have the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a trade union official. The provisions relating to postponement, and the staff member s continued duty to attend will apply equally to any appeal meeting (refer section 4.5) A more senior manager (or exceptionally a manager at the same level) not previously involved with the case will be the Appeal Officer Any appeal meeting will be heard as soon as possible and without unreasonable delay. If the appeal is against dismissal, the staff member shall be entitled to 5 calendar days notice of the date, time and venue of the appeal meeting, unless an earlier date has been mutually agreed. For other appeals, the staff member will normally be given 7 calendar days notice of the date, time and venue of the appeal meeting (again unless an earlier date has been mutually agreed) The decision of the Appeal Officer conducting the appeal meeting is final. 6. DISCIPLINARY OUTCOMES 6.1. In considering whether and what sanction/s should be imposed following a disciplinary meeting the following will be considered: The nature of the allegations The action/s of the member of staff Any mitigating factors The general employment and conduct record of the member of staff. 7. DISCIPLINARY WARNINGS 7.1. The following disciplinary warnings may be given: 7.2. Stage 1: Written Warning Following a disciplinary meeting, a written warning may be given Stage 2: Final Written Warning Where there is a failure to improve or change behaviour in the timescale set at Stage 1, or for a further offence of the same or different nature, or where the offence is sufficiently serious, a final written warning may be given Stage 3: Dismissal If the staff member s conduct and/or behaviour still fails to improve, or for a further offence of the same or different nature following a final written warning, or in cases of gross misconduct, dismissal will normally result. A member of staff who commits an act of gross Page 10 of 14

11 misconduct will be liable to summary dismissal (ie dismissal without notice and without payment in lieu of notice) 8. OTHER POSSIBLE OUTCOMES SHORT OF DISMISSAL 8.1. Depending on the circumstances of the case, consideration may be given to substituting dismissal with a final written warning and could include one or more of the following sanctions: Demotion to a lower graded post Transfer to another role or location Loss of title or status Retraining 9. EXAMPLES OF GROSS MISCONDUCT 9.1. The following are examples of breaches of discipline considered by FGH Security to be gross misconduct that may lead to summary dismissal. This list is not exclusive or exhaustive: Unauthorised removal of company's property Theft from a customer site, members of the public, or other offences of dishonesty Serious negligence which causes unacceptable loss, damage or injury Threatening or abusive language or similar conduct of a serious nature Serious acts of harassment, bullying or sexual misconduct including at social gatherings outside the workplace which are connected with work Assault on any person or indecent behaviour by a member of staff The consumption of alcoholic drinks, or drugs not prescribed by a medical practitioner, which reduces the ability of the member of staff to work with proper effectiveness and with due regard for his/her safety and welfare, and/or the safety and welfare of others, while at work / during working hours The commission of a criminal offence which renders the member of staff unsuitable or unable to carry out the duties for which he/she is employed Deliberate falsification of documentation such as timesheets, expense claims or reports Breaches of the organisation's, or customer's, regulations for the use of computing facilities eg: Downloading (accessing) or circulating pornographic or other offensive material from the Internet; Use of unlicensed software on IT systems; Illegal downloading and file sharing copyright material at work Serious breaches of safety regulations endangering other people, including deliberate damage to, neglect of, or misappropriation of safety equipment. q) Page 11 of 14

12 Statutory bars such as the removal or expiry of SIA Licences Use of for personal benefit or gain, or divulgence of, confidential information Serious acts of insubordination Failure to reveal full information or lie about criminal background / convictions at the recruitment stage and/or failure to bring to the attention of the organisation any additions to criminal record gained Serious breaches of confidence and trust Discrimination, including on the grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief and age. 10. EXAMPLES OF MISCONDUCT OFFENCES The following are examples of breaches of discipline which are considered as sufficiently serious to render the staff member liable to disciplinary action. This list is not exclusive or exhaustive: Persistent failure to be in attendance at the place of work at the required time Absence from work without permission Failure (in particular deliberate) to report absence correctly Failure to conform to laid down working practices or procedures required by the organisation and/or refusal to accept agreed changes in working practices Refusal to carry out a reasonable instruction Actions in dealing with members of the public, suppliers, customers or other outside contractors, which are in any way prejudicial to the organisation's interests Unauthorised use and/or failure to take reasonable care of company property. 11. REFERENCES Where a member of staff is dismissed (subject to the outcome of an appeal), or leaves with unexpired disciplinary action against them, any reference provided will be factual and will normally refer to the fact that the member of staff was dismissed/had unexpired disciplinary action against them In such situations, references should not be given without first consulting with the Human Resources Team. 12. CONFIDENTIALITY Page 12 of 14

13 12.1. To respect the individual s privacy and to promote fair procedures all information associated with disciplinary proceedings will be treated as strictly confidential and must not be discussed with any party that is not directly involved The outcome of a disciplinary meeting or appeal will remain strictly confidential other than on a genuine need to know basis. Witnesses and/or persons raising allegations have no right to know the outcome of a disciplinary meeting. However, where appropriate, they may be informed that the organisation has dealt with the matter. 13. ADVICE The Human Resources Team is available to give advice and guidance on the implementation of the disciplinary procedure to all members of staff. Page 13 of 14

14 APPENDIX A - AUTHORITY TO ADMINSITER DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS Policy / Process Delegated Powers Delegated Right of Appeal Disciplinary Policy and Procedure To issue first warning - line manager To issue final warning SMT member To dismiss SMT member not previously involved To suspend SMT Member Appeal against first or final warning Any higher level manager not previously involved Appeal against Dismissal - Any SMT member not previously involved Appeal against Suspension - Any SMT member not previously involved Page 14 of 14

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