Concise Accountancy

Accountants and Registered Auditors

Payroll and staff

Disciplinary meeting notes

Employers conduct staff disciplinary meeting are advised to take notes of what has been said and discussed during the investigatory meeting, disciplinary hearing and appeal meeting.

For this purpose, you must give copies of the disciplinary meeting notes to your staff concerned within a reasonable time after each meeting. Subsequently, your staff can digest the notes and highlight any misunderstanding based on what was discussed and written in the notes.

Staff to comment on the disciplinary meeting notes

On one hand, It is important you give the staff concerned the opportunity to comment on the notes and evidence discussed. Particularly, where the case is serious enough to warrant dismissal of your staff.

Above all, the staff disciplinary procedure is to be used to resolve disputes between employers and employees fairly and reasonably. It is not meant to be used to abuse or to discriminate your staff you do not like.

ACAS code of practice

The ACAS Code of Practice 1 suggests that refused or failed to provide copies of the meeting notes to the staff concerned is a breach of statutory disciplinary procedures and constitutes an unfair disciplinary process.

For example, you disciplined staff for misconduct and you sack him/her immediately. In this case, you shall provide copies of the disciplinary meeting notes to the staff. At the same time, you must give the staff the opportunity to comment on the notes and evidence. So that your staff can decide accordingly whether or not to make an appeal against your decision.

On the other hand, you shall provide your staff with the disciplinary meeting notes before the staff disciplinary appeal hearing. However, if you gave the meeting notes after the appeal hearing, it is obvious that you have no intention to give your staff the opportunity to comment on the meeting notes. In other words, your outcome of the disciplinary process is probably pre-decided and matters are pre-judged. Hence, the process is just a formality.

Consequently, your staff can make a claim against you as the employers for unfairly treatment and discrimination at work. Thus, this may attract unwelcome publicity for your company. We believe you won’t want that kind of publicity about your business as an employer.

Staff handbook

Generally, it is a good idea to have in-house staff handbook. The staff handbook is a compilation of rules on how you would what your staff to conduct themselves while under your employment. In other words, your own rules book for your staff. You must provide a copy of this handbook to all your staff.

For example, staff cannot drink alcohol while at work. Accordingly, the consequence would be liable to staff disciplinary and immediate dismissal.

Another example is staff performance appraisal. Staff that need improvement. How would you help your staff to improve their performance? In what circumstance, you would dismiss your staff based on their performance.

Besides, you can also include rules on punctuality, salary deductions, maternity and paternity pay and so on.

While it is vital to handle your staff affairs correctly, remember to take care of your company legal filing requirements too. Ensure your confirmation statement, company accounts and corporation tax return are filed on time to avoid late filing penalty.

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