As employers, when handling staff disciplinary appeal, you must avoid undue delay in staff disciplinary appeal hearing and decision. The ACAS codes recommend five working days as usually appropriate. ACAS stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.
First and foremost, the Employment Act 2002 also requires employers to ensure each step and action taken under your staff disciplinary Appeal procedure without unreasonable delay.
For example, a member of staff was being disciplined for alleged in direct competition with the employer. The staff was dismissed immediately. The staff wrote to the employer to appeal against their decisions on 21 November.
The appeal hearing was made to hear on 2 December. It was more than 5 working days. Subsequently, the decision of appeal was communicated to the staff on 08 December. Overall, the whole appeal process took 11 working days to finalize. This was an obvious undue delay in the staff disciplinary Appeal process.
Universally, the Employment Tribunals or the court take into account the undue delay in your staff disciplinary appeal process when assessing employers’ reasonableness.
Generally, If the employer considered the allegations were serious enough to dismiss the staff immediately. According to the evidences gathered then there should be no excuse to delay finalizing the appeal.
Unfair staff disciplinary appeal
Concurrently, the Employment Tribunals or the court wants to make sure employers do not use the disciplinary process to get rid of their staff. For the reason to avoid redundancy payout or compensation. This is unacceptable and against the law.
For this reason, a staff disciplinary procedure in your staff handbook is a must-have. If you do not have a staff handbook, it is the time to create one.
Important company filings
This aside, if you are a limited company, ensure your confirmation statement, company accounts and company tax return are filed on time with Companies House. Companies House will issue a late filing penalty if your accounts are late.