DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE AND RULES by pnx67864

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									                                                     APPENDIX A




DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE
       AND RULES
 (Incorporating the Statutory Dismissal Procedure)




                    March 2007
                                  INDEX


SECTION       ITEM    DESCRIPTION                                PAGE

DISCIPLINARY AND STATUTORY DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
              1.1    Introductions and Definitions                1
              1.2    Disciplinary Procedure                       1
              1.3    Statutory Dismissal Procedure                1
SCOPE
              2.1    Section A                                    2
              2.2    Section B                                    2
              2.3    Other Dismissals                             2

SECTION A     DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE AND RULES
1.0           Guiding Principles
              1.1     Introduction                                3
              1.2     Responsibility for Discipline               3
              1.3     Delegation of Power to Officers             3

2.0           Management Advice and Guidance                      3

3.0           Operating the Formal Procedure
              3.1     Invoking the Procedure                      4
              3.2     Principles that will apply                  4
              3.3     Suspension                                  5
              3.4     Principles of Natural Justice               5
              3.5     Investigation                               6
              3.6     The Disciplinary Hearing                    7
              3.7     Procedure at the Hearing                    8

4.0           Forms of Disciplinary Action following a Hearing
              4.1     Formal Verbal Warning                        9
              4.2     Written Warnings                             9
              4.3     Final Written Warning                       10
              4.4     Dismissal With Notice                       10
              4.5     Other Sanctions                             10
              4.6     Gross Misconduct                            11
              4.7     Action Against A Trade Union Official       11
              4.8     Criminal Proceedings                        11
              4.9     Time Limits of Warnings                     12

5.0           Appeals Procedure
              5.1     Appeal to the Statutory Appeals Board       12
              5.2     Appeal Procedure                            13
SECTION      ITEM    DESCRIPTION                                PAGE


6.0          Specific Considerations
             6.1      Powers of the Chief Executive/Executive    14
                      Directors

7.0          Rules
             7.1     Introduction                                14
             7.2     Ordinary Misconduct                         16
             7.3     Gross Misconduct                            16

SECTION B    STATUTORY DISMISSAL PROCEDURE
             1.1   Standard Three Step Dismissal Procedure       19
             1.2   General Requirements                          20

APPENDIX 1   Disciplinary Flow Chart                             21

APPENDIX 2   Disciplinary & Dismissal Procedures Flow Chart      22
                                                    Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures and Rules




        DISCIPLINARY AND STATUTORY DISMISSAL PROCEDURES

1.0   Introduction and Definitions

1.1   These procedures will be applied in accordance with the Council’s Equal
      Opportunities policy. The Council is committed to equality of opportunity so that
      no employee will be subject to unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of
      gender, age, marital status, colour, race, nationality or other ethnic or national
      origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, membership or non-membership of a
      trades union or political beliefs.

      Staff that are newly appointed to the Council will be provided with a hard copy of
      these procedures. Through the induction process, managers and supervisors will
      ensure that all staff have a clear understanding of the acceptable conduct
      applicable to them, both in their particular setting and in the wider context of the
      Council.

      Disciplinary and dismissal proceedings shall not be affected or interrupted by the
      employee who is subject to the Procedure invoking the Grievance Procedure. Any
      grievance raised during the course of these proceedings, that relates to disciplinary
      action or dismissal, will be dealt with as part of the disciplinary hearing, statutory
      dismissal meeting or appeal hearing/meeting as appropriate.

      These procedures may be made available in other formats and languages upon
      request.

1.2   Disciplinary Procedure

      In consultation with recognised Trade Unions, the Disciplinary Procedures and Rules
      have been designed to help and encourage all employees to achieve and maintain
      the required standards of conduct.

      These rules and procedures not only help to promote orderly employment relations
      but ensure fairness and consistency in the treatment of individuals.

      The Council expects all employees to conduct themselves in a way that ensures the
      standards of service and the reputation of the Council are maintained.

      Paragraph 7 of Section A sets out the Council’s rules about the behaviour expected
      of all employees. If an employee breaks specific rules about behaviour, this is
      referred to as misconduct. The Council will follow the procedures set out within
      Section A of this document to deal with situations where an employee allegedly
      breaks disciplinary rules.

1.3   Statutory Dismissal Procedure

      The Council is also required to follow a specific statutory minimum procedure when
      contemplating the dismissal of an employee (refer to Section B).




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      Paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2 below dictate the appropriate procedures to be followed in
      the event of misconduct and dismissal issues.

2.0   Scope

      The procedures outlined in either Section A or Section B apply to all employees with
      the exception of the Chief Executive, the Chief Finance Officer and Monitoring
      Officer, who are subject to a procedure under Regulation 7 of the Local
      Government Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) Regulations 2001.

      These procedures do not apply to those staff employed to work in Schools, although
      the principles of these procedures remain the same.

      In the case of disciplinary action being taken against a Director or Head of Business
      Unit, this procedure will be managed by the Chief Executive or Elected Members.

      If there is anything in this document that employees do not understand, they should
      seek the advice of their manager or HR Operations.

2.1   Section A sets out the Council’s contractual disciplinary procedures and rules which
      will be followed in all cases of misconduct except where this is covered by one of
      the statutory grounds set out in Section B.

2.2   Section B sets out the 3 step statutory dismissal procedure which will be followed
      where one of the following applies:

      1.   Dismissal as a result of failure to satisfactorily complete a probationary period.

      2.   Expiry and non-renewal of a fixed-term contract, unless it amounts to a
           redundancy in which case refer to paragraph 2.3 below.

      3.   An imposed change to vary a contract of employment.

2.3   Other Dismissals

      Specific procedures relating to dismissal on the grounds of Capability, Redundancy,
      Medical Incapability and Ill Health Retirement have been incorporated into the
      following Council policies, which can be found in the Personnel Handbook:

      •    Capability
      •    Redundancy
      •    Attendance at Work

      Where dismissal is on the grounds of retirement by mutual consent, these
      procedures will not apply. This includes early retirement in the interests of the
      efficiency of the service.




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                                   SECTION A
                     DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE AND RULES

1.0   GUIDING PRINCIPLES

1.1   Introduction

      This procedure was written to be consistent with the spirit of intent of the ACAS
      Code on Disciplinary Practice and Procedure and of natural justice and the
      provisions relating to rights of representation contained in the Employment
      Relations Act 1999 as amended by the Employment Act 2002 and the Employment
      Relations Act 2004.

1.2   Responsibility for Discipline

      The Head of Business Units, through their trained managerial and supervisory
      employees, shall be responsible for the management and discipline of employees.
      They shall be required to notify HR Operations, at the earliest opportunity, of any
      intention to formally discipline an employee so that an HR Officer can examine the
      matter and advise.

      Normally, proper standards of conduct are effectively maintained through
      supervision, appropriate job training, management advice and guidance and through
      employees observing the proper standards of conduct and the rules and regulations
      of the Council. However, there may be circumstances where it will be necessary to
      invoke the Council’s Disciplinary Procedure (see Disciplinary Flowchart at Appendix
      1).

1.3   Delegation of Power to Officers

1.3.1 The Chief Executive, Directors and the Heads of Business Unit or other designated
      managers have authority up to and including the dismissal of any employee.


2.0   MANAGEMENT ADVICE AND GUIDANCE

2.1   Where a minor breach of discipline occurs, the appropriate manager/supervisor will
      advise the employee how their conduct is not acceptable and the conduct expected
      in the future.

2.2   The employee will be offered guidance, counselling, training where appropriate and
      supervision to help achieve the necessary standards. This will be confirmed in
      writing promptly, detailing standards expected and timescales for improvement,
      where applicable.

2.3   Management advice and guidance is not a form of formal disciplinary warning,
      however, the employee should be informed that if the required standards are not
      reached/ maintained the Disciplinary Procedure may be invoked.




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2.4    A copy of the written confirmation should be sent to HR Operations and placed on
       the employee’s personnel file.

3.0    OPERATING THE FORMAL PROCEDURE

3.1    Invoking the Procedure

3.1.1 In general, the procedure will not be invoked unless:

       (i)     previous management advice and guidance has been ineffective; or

       (ii)    the complaint is of a serious nature; or

       (iii)   a number of minor complaints are made which, taken together, constitute a
               serious breach of discipline.

3.2    Principles that will apply

3.2.1 The following principles will apply to this procedure:

       (i)     Any disciplinary action taken will depend on the seriousness of the offence,
               currency of any past recorded behaviour of the employee, the consequence
               to the Council of the offence and any mitigating circumstances presented by
               the employee.

       (ii)    Any disciplinary action taken against the employee will be appropriate to
               the circumstances of the case having regard to the need for reasonableness
               and fairness on the part of the Council.

       (iii)   The opportunity exists where disciplinary action is taken for the employee to
               appeal against the action of the Council (see Section 5).

       (iv)    The employee has a right to be accompanied only by a trade union
               representative or by a fellow employee of their choice at all stages of the
               formal disciplinary procedure (hereafter referred to as the
               ‘representative’). It is the responsibility of the employee to make these
               arrangements. Assistance may be provided in cases where the employee is
               unable to represent themselves, e.g. due to learning difficulties.

       (v)     Any disciplinary issues will be handled promptly and in a fair and consistent
               manner and once embarked upon, the procedures will be followed properly
               and thoroughly by all parties. All issues will be investigated prior to a
               decision being reached.

       (vi)    In all instances of alleged misconduct, however serious, the employee must
               be given the opportunity at reasonable notice (no less than ten working days
               unless by agreement) to attend a disciplinary hearing to explain their actions
               or omissions. Should the employee fail to attend the hearing without an
               acceptable reason, then management may proceed with the hearing in their




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               absence, with or without the employee’s representative whom may still
               attend on their behalf.

       (vii)   The employee has a statutory right to propose an alternative date, if his/her
               chosen representative would not be available for a proposed hearing date,
               provided that the alternative is reasonable and no more than five working
               days after the date proposed by management. In such cases, management
               will postpone the hearing to such a later date if so requested.

3.3    Suspension

3.3.1 Suspension, with full pay, subject to paragraph 3.3.5, is not a disciplinary penalty
      but is intended to allow for a proper investigation. The employee must make
      themselves available during this time to attend meetings, as necessary,

3.3.2 If the designated manager believes:-

       (a) there are reasonable grounds for believing that an alleged breach of discipline
           constitutes an act of gross misconduct; or

       (b) there is prima facie evidence of gross misconduct;

       (c) there are grounds, at any stage of the investigation that there is some
           substantial reason which casts doubt on the suitability of the employee to
           continue at work, e.g. criminal proceedings, health and safety issues;

       they will seek advice from HR Operations and then, in most cases, interview the
       employee putting the allegations to them and asking for an explanation of their
       actions, informing them beforehand of their right to have a representative in
       attendance. If, in line with the advice of an HR Officer, the designated manager
       does not accept the explanation, they will immediately suspend the employee
       pending an investigation. In exceptional circumstances, suspension may take place
       prior to interviewing the employee.

3.3.3 In this context, full pay shall be the employee’s normal pay, calculated in
      accordance with National Conditions of Service as modified by local agreement.

3.3.4 If the nature of the allegation(s) requires a lengthy investigation and the period of
      suspension on full pay continues beyond four weeks, then the employee and
      representative will be informed in writing. This letter will include proposed review
      dates and an offer to meet with the employee and representative to discuss time
      scales.

3.3.5 Where an employee is unable to attend work due to circumstances beyond the
      Council’s control. i.e. imprisonment or bail condition, suspension will normally be
      without pay, however, payment for this period may be reimbursed where the
      employee is found ‘not guilty’ by a court of law and employment has continued.

3.3.6 Where an employee is suspended from work, the manager must send a confirmation
      letter to the employee within five working days of the suspension. The suspension



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       letter should give the reasons for the suspension and nature of the allegation(s) and
       set out any special terms and conditions relating to the suspension.

3.3.7 A copy of the suspension letter must be sent to HR Operations.

3.4    Principles of Natural Justice

3.4.1 All stages of the formal procedure should be effected as speedily as possible in the
      interests both of management and staff, and particularly in respect of cases of
      alleged gross misconduct. However, this shall not be to the detriment of fair
      investigation or the principles of natural justice.

       It must be ensured that the same manager is not responsible for investigating the
       complaint, chairing the hearing and the appeal in respect of any one case.

3.5    Investigation

3.5.1 Where in a particular case or after previous management advice and guidance, an
      employee’s conduct is considered unsatisfactory and appears to warrant disciplinary
      action, an investigation will be undertaken.

3.5.2 The purpose of the investigation is to establish the facts promptly and before
      memories fade. Advice should be sought from HR Operations about the sequence
      and content of each investigation interview with an employee or witness. Each
      employee has the right to be accompanied by a representative at all stages of the
      formal disciplinary procedure (see 3.2.1 (iv)).

3.5.3 In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to redeploy the employee to a
      temporary alternative location whilst the initial investigation is undertaken.
      Alternatively, it may be necessary to place an employee on a period of leave to
      allow for an initial investigation of the facts to be undertaken. Such leave is
      determined by management and is a neutral position. During this period, the
      employee will continue to receive full pay and pension entitlements. The leave will
      be regularly reviewed and the employee will be notified of any changes.

3.5.4 The investigation interview will be arranged as soon as possible in order to establish
      the facts and give the employee the opportunity to state their case in response to
      the allegation. Written details of the allegation(s) will be made available to the
      employee in advance of the investigation interview. The investigating officer
      should be accompanied in the case of more serious allegations. Notes should be
      taken of the interview and made available to the employee prior to a hearing. In
      some circumstances, it may be necessary to re-interview the employee and/or
      witnesses.

3.5.5 Having gathered all the facts, the designated manager will decide whether to:

       (i)    take no further action and inform the employee accordingly; or

       (ii)   arrange for example, training, extra supervision, written advice and
              guidance, etc. without pursuing it through the disciplinary procedure; or



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       (iii)   arrange a disciplinary hearing.

3.5.6 An employee must be advised of the outcome and decision following proper
      investigations, as soon as possible to allow maximum preparation time should the
      matter be referred to a disciplinary hearing.

3.5.7 Where, following a proper investigation, it is the intention of management to hold a
      disciplinary hearing this will be confirmed in writing with a minimum of ten working
      days notice of the hearing. The letter must be drafted in consultation with an HR
      Officer. It will set out the allegations, rights of representation and the details of
      where and when the hearing is to take place.

3.5.8 A hearing will be arranged only after consultation with an HR Officer. The employee
      should be advised that should they fail to attend the hearing without good cause or
      reason, then management may proceed with the hearing in their absence.

3.6    The Disciplinary Hearing

3.6.1 The purpose of the hearing is to determine the facts of the case in the presence of
      the employee and their representative and to hear any explanations offered by the
      employee or by their representative on the employee’s behalf. If the allegation(s)
      is/are admitted or substantiated then mitigating circumstances will be considered
      before any decision is given by the Chairperson. The employee must be given
      adequate opportunity to explain or defend themselves.

3.6.2 Both parties to the hearing will where possible agree papers (i.e. statements or
      other evidence to be considered) for submission up to five days before the hearing.
      In exceptional circumstances, an extension to this timescale may be sought, subject
      to the agreement of all parties.

3.6.3 The persons attending the hearing will include:

       (i)     the Chairperson who will preside at the hearing;

       (ii)    the Investigating officer;

       (iii)   the employee;

       (iv)    a representative chosen by the employee (if requested) (see 3.2.1 (iv));

       (v)     any witnesses for both sides who will be called if necessary;

       (vi)    an assigned HR Officer.

       N.B. The HR Officer must be consulted at every stage of any formal disciplinary
       proceedings including attendance at any hearing.


3.7    Procedure at the Hearing



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3.7.1 At the hearing the procedure will be as follows unless varied with the consent of all
      parties:

       (i)      the Council’s Management Representative to put the case and call witnesses
                as appropriate in the presence of the employee and their representative;

       (ii)     the employee (or representative) to have the opportunity to ask questions of
                the Council’s Management Representative and any witnesses called by the
                Council’s Management Representative;

       (iii)    the employee (or representative) to put his/her case, to call such witnesses
                as they wish, in the presence of the Council’s Management Representative;

       (iv)     the Council’s Management Representative to have the opportunity to ask
                questions of the employee and their witnesses;

       (v)      the Chairperson and HR Officer to have the opportunity to ask questions of
                both parties at the end of each presentation;

       (vi)     both parties to have the opportunity to sum up their case if they should so
                wish. No new matter should be introduced at this stage. The employee (or
                representative) shall be allowed to sum up last;

       (vii)    the employee and their representative, the Council’s Management
                Representative and witnesses to withdraw;

       (viii)   the Chairperson to deliberate in private with the HR Officer recalling the
                employee and their representative and the Council’s Management
                Representative only to clear points of uncertainty on information already
                given. If recall is necessary, both parties are to return, even if only one is
                concerned with the point giving rise to doubt;

       (ix)     the Chairperson will endeavour to announce the decision to the employee
                and their representative and the Council’s Management Representative
                verbally at the end of the hearing. The Chairperson will confirm that
                decision in writing to the employee within five working days of the date of
                the hearing. The employee will be given notice of any right of appeal
                verbally at the end of the hearing which will also be confirmed in writing
                within    five    working   days   of   the     date   of   the    hearing.
                The written confirmation should be handed personally to the employee
                wherever possible or be posted by recorded delivery.      A copy should be
                sent to HR Operations and any representative of the employee.

       (x)      the employee must register their appeal in writing within ten working days
                of receiving the letter confirming the decision of the hearing. It should state
                whether their appeal is because:

                (1) they think a finding or penalty is unfair; and/or
                (2) new evidence comes to light; and/or



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               (3) they think the disciplinary procedure wasn’t used correctly.

4.0    FORMS OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION FOLLOWING A HEARING

       In determining appropriate disciplinary action, regard should be given to the
       employee’s previous record and/or the gravity of the offence.

4.1    Formal Verbal Warning

4.1.1 Where the Chairperson considers that the employee is at fault but that the offence
      is of a minor nature, the employee may be given a Formal Verbal Warning.

4.1.2 The Chairperson will determine the reasons for misconduct and advise the
      employee of the standards expected and, where appropriate, what assistance will
      be provided, e.g. additional training or supervision.

4.1.3 The employee will be informed that if there are further acts of misconduct, then
      further formal disciplinary action may be taken which may result in dismissal.

4.1.4 A dated written record of this formal verbal warning will be kept on the personnel
      file of the employee (see 4.9 for further detail) and a copy of this record should be
      sent to the employee within five working days. A copy should also be sent to HR
      Operations. The letter should confirm the findings of the hearing including any
      advice and guidance given to enable the required standards to be achieved.

4.2    Written Warning

4.2.1 If previous disciplinary action has proved ineffective, or if the nature of the
      complaint so warrants, the Chairperson may wish to issue a written warning.

4.2.2 The written warning will:

       (i)     set out the nature of the unsatisfactory conduct;

       (ii)    state that any further act of misconduct may lead to further disciplinary
               action;

       (iii)   inform the employee of their right of appeal and the time limit;

       (iv)    be handed personally to the employee where possible or be posted,
               preferably by recorded delivery, to be received within five working days of
               the disciplinary hearing.

4.2.3 A copy should be kept on the employee’s personnel file (see 4.9 for further
      detail)and a copy sent to HR Operations.




4.3    Final Written Warning



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4.3.1 The Chairperson may issue a final written warning even though no previous
      disciplinary action has been taken where it is warranted by the circumstances and
      there is a degree of serious misconduct by the employee.

4.3.2 The final written warning will:

       (i)     clearly state that it is a final written warning and refer to any previous
               warning where appropriate;

       (ii)    set out the nature of the unsatisfactory conduct;

       (iii)   state that any further act of misconduct of similar gravity, if proven, may
               lead to further disciplinary action which may result in dismissal;

       (iv)    inform the employee of their right of appeal and the time limits;

       (v)     be handed personally to the employee where possible or be posted
               preferably by recorded delivery to be received within five working days of
               the disciplinary hearing.

4.3.3 A copy should be kept on the employee’s personnel file (see 4.9 for further details)
      and a copy sent to HR Operations.

4.4    Dismissal With Notice

4.4.1 Where an employee has previously received a final written warning and is
      considered by the Chairperson to have committed further misconduct serious
      enough to warrant disciplinary action, then the employee will normally be dismissed
      in accordance with the terms of their contract of employment.

4.4.2 The Chairperson will endeavour to announce the decision to the employee and their
      representative and the Council’s Management Representative(s) verbally at the end
      of the hearing. The Chairperson will confirm that decision in writing to the
      employee within five working days of the date of the hearing. The written
      confirmation should be handed personally to the employee wherever possible or be
      posted by recorded delivery. It must inform the employee of their right of appeal to
      the Statutory Appeals Board and the time limit. A copy should be sent to HR
      Operations.

4.5    Other Sanctions

4.5.1 In exceptional circumstances and/or as an alternative to dismissal, it may be
      appropriate for the Chairperson to consider one of the following:

       (i)     Withholding of incremental progression

       (ii)    Demotion/Transfer with or without protection of Salary/ Wage/ Bonus.




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       NB. Demotion/Transfer without salary protection is only likely to apply in cases
       where the decision is an alternative to dismissal

4.5.2 In addition to any disciplinary action taken, the Council may, in appropriate
      circumstances, take action to recover monies or property legitimately due to it.

4.6    Gross Misconduct

4.6.1 Suspension will take place where there is prima facie evidence of gross misconduct,
      please refer to paragraph 3.3 of this document.

4.6.2 If the Chairperson is satisfied that the employee has committed an act of gross
      misconduct they shall normally, subject to consideration of any mitigating
      circumstances, summarily dismiss the employee i.e. without notice. (See
      Disciplinary Rules, Section 7.3)

4.6.3 The decision shall be confirmed in writing to the employee within five working days
      of the date of the hearing. The written confirmation will be posted by recorded
      delivery. It must inform the employee of their right of appeal to the Statutory
      Appeals Board and the time limit. A copy should be sent to HR Operations.

4.7    Action Against a Trade Union Official

4.7.1 Disciplinary action against a recognised trade union official can lead to a serious
      dispute if it is seen as an attack on the union’s functions. Although normal
      disciplinary standards should apply to their conduct as employees, no disciplinary
      action beyond informal action should be taken until the circumstances of the case
      have been discussed with a senior trade union representative or full time official.
      In cases of alleged gross misconduct against a recognised trade union official and
      where a full time union official cannot be quickly contacted, the recognised trade
      union official may be suspended (see 3.3 Suspension) on full pay until the full time
      union official has been contacted and further action agreed.

4.8    Criminal Proceedings

4.8.1 An employee will not necessarily be subject to formal disciplinary action because of
      their arrest, charge or conviction for a criminal offence outside their employment.

4.8.2 In such circumstances the criterion for determining whether the disciplinary
      procedure should be invoked will be the extent to which the alleged offence is one
      which makes the employee unsuitable for their type of work or which, if it became
      widely known, would be detrimental to the Council’s interests or could reasonably
      be considered to weaken public confidence in the conduct of the Council’s business.

4.8.3 Where it is suspected or alleged that an employee may have committed a criminal
      offence connected with their employment with the Council then action must be
      taken. An investigation of the facts must be carried out, where possible, separately
      from any investigation undertaken by the police or from any criminal proceedings.
      Care will need to be exercised by the appropriate manager with responsibilities
      under the procedure, so as to ensure the Police investigations are not prejudiced,



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       or the interest of the Council and its employee(s) put at risk. In such instances, the
       advice of the appropriate HR Officer should be sought. In these circumstances, it
       will usually be appropriate for the employee to be suspended to enable the
       investigation to take place. A formal disciplinary hearing should be convened as
       soon as possible and imposition of the appropriate disciplinary penalty should not
       normally be delayed pending the outcome of any criminal investigations or criminal
       proceedings.

4.8.4 If an employee is sentenced or remanded in custody, this may constitute frustration
      of contract. The advice of an HR Officer must be sought.

4.9    Time Limits of Warnings

4.9.1 A record of each formal warning will be put on the employee’s personnel file.

4.9.2 Time limits:

       (a)    Recorded verbal warning – 6 months from the date of the letter of
              confirmation.

       (b)    Written warning – 1 year from the date of the letter of confirmation.

       (c)    Final written warning - 2 years from the date of the letter of confirmation.

       Exceptionally, there may be circumstances where the misconduct is so serious -
       verging on gross misconduct - that it cannot realistically be disregarded for future
       disciplinary purposes. In such circumstances it should be made very clear that the
       final written warning can never be removed and that any recurrence will lead to
       dismissal.

4.9.3 If there is no good reason to do otherwise, the formal warning will be disregarded
      for disciplinary purposes after the expiry of the specified period and documents will
      destroyed in accordance with the Council’s Retention and Destruction Policy on
      personnel and payroll records.

4.9.4 Written management advice and guidance is not a formal warning and serves to
      assist with the development of the employee. It will be retained for 1 year from
      date of issue, in accordance with the Council’s Retention & Destruction Policy.


5.0    APPEALS PROCEDURE

       Employees are entitled to appeal to the Statutory Appeals Board, which must be
       registered in writing, stating the grounds of appeal (see 3.7 (x)).

5.1    Appeal to the Statutory Appeals Board

5.1.1 The Appeals Board will comprise of Elected Members of the Council.




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5.1.2 An HR Officer must be consulted at every stage of any formal disciplinary
      proceedings including the investigation and to present the case on behalf of the
      Council.

5.1.3 An HR Officer (who has had no previous involvement) must attend the hearing to
      advise the Statutory Appeals Board.

5.1.4 The appellant will be notified (and the appellant’s representative if the appellant is
      to be represented) of the time, date and venue of the appeal hearing.

5.1.5 The parties to the appeal hearing will where possible agree papers for submission
      up to at least five days before the hearing. A copy of the agreed papers relevant to
      the disciplinary appeal shall be made available to the Statutory Appeals Board in
      advance of the Hearing.

5.1.6 As an appeal is against the decision reached by the Chairperson based upon
      evidence presented at the Disciplinary Hearing, it is not normally permissible to
      include any new evidence. However, in exceptional circumstances new evidence
      that is material to the case may be submitted and must be clearly identified and
      each side must be given an opportunity to comment on it prior to the Appeal
      Hearing.

5.1.7 The Statutory Appeals Board may:

       (i)     uphold the original finding and sanction;

       (ii)    uphold the original finding but modify the sanction (only in the most
               exceptional case will the severity of the sanction be increased);

       (iii)   not uphold the finding and therefore remove the sanction.

       The decision of the Statutory Appeals Board shall be final.

5.2    Appeal Procedure

5.2.1 The procedure is as follows:

       (i)     the appellant (or representative) to put their case, to call such witnesses as
               they wish in the presence of the HR Officer;

       (ii)    the HR Officer to have the opportunity to ask questions of the appellant and
               of any witnesses called;

       (iii)   the HR Officer, in conjunction with the Chairperson of the original
               Disciplinary Hearing, to put their case and call witnesses as appropriate in
               the presence of the appellant and their representative;

       (iv)    the appellant (or representative) to have the opportunity to ask questions of
               the HR Officer and any witnesses called;




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                                                      Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures and Rules




       (v)      the members of the Statutory Appeals Board, as appropriate, to have the
                opportunity to ask questions of both parties;

       (vi)     both parties to have the opportunity to sum up their case if they should so
                wish. No new information should be introduced at this stage. The appellant
                (or representative) shall be allowed to sum up last;

       (vii)    the appellant and their representative and the HR Officer and Chairperson of
                the original Disciplinary Hearing withdraw;

       (viii)   the Statutory Appeals Board, as appropriate, to deliberate in private with an
                independent HR Officer, recalling the appellant and their representative and
                the HR Officer only to clear points of uncertainty on information already
                given. If recall is necessary, both parties are to return even if only one is
                concerned with the point giving rise to doubt;

       (ix)     the Chairperson of the Statutory Appeals Board, as appropriate, to announce
                the decision to the appellant and their representative and the HR Officer
                verbally at the end of the hearing. The Statutory Appeals Board will confirm
                that decision in writing within five working days of the date of hearing to
                the appellant.

       NOTE: The Statutory Appeals Board reserves the right to call any witness or
       employee who might be able to assist and clarify any point that may emerge during
       the hearing that will enable them to form a decision consistent with the spirit of
       intent of the ACAS Code on Disciplinary Practice and Procedure and of natural
       justice.


6.0    SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS

6.1    Powers of the Chief Executive/Executive Directors

6.1.1 The Chief Executive/Executive Directors shall have the power to assume the
      responsibilities of the Heads of Business Unit insofar as they relate to disciplinary
      matters, should this be necessary.


7.0    RULES

7.1    Introduction

7.1.1 It is not possible to define in this document all the acts which could lead to
      disciplinary action. Generally, the test of reasonableness in the circumstances
      would apply before any disciplinary action is taken: “Would a reasonable person be
      aware that disciplinary action would result from a certain action or omission?” The
      purpose of this document is to give more specific guidance to employees on
      disciplinary rules which, if flouted, would give rise to disciplinary action.

       It is expected that every employee of Bournemouth Borough Council should:



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                                                     Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures and Rules




       (a)    be honest and trustworthy; and

       (b)    maintain at all times a high standard of integrity and conduct; and

       (c)    not use their position to further or put private interests or those of
              relatives, friends or other third party before their duty to the Council; and

       (d)    fulfil the duties specified in their contract of employment.

7.1.2 The Council expects all employees to conduct themselves in a way that ensures the
      standards of service and the reputation of the Council are maintained.

       If there is anything in this document that employees do not understand they should
       seek the advice of their manager. Managers should endeavour to ensure staff are
       made aware of any rules that specifically apply to their role or workplace. This
       document applies to all employees of Bournemouth Borough Council.

       A clear Code of Conduct, an Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy, an Equal
       Opportunities policy, a Prevention of Bullying & Harassment at Work Policy and
       Disciplinary Rules and Procedure protects employees from misunderstanding and
       criticism by setting standards and ensuring that employees know what is required of
       them.

       In addition to the above there are Corporate Standards, Financial Regulations and
       Standing Orders which dictate the way that the Council operates. Management may
       issue further rules from time to time either in writing or by oral instruction (oral
       instruction should be recorded by Management). Failure to observe the Code of
       Conduct or any Rules and Standards may lead to disciplinary action. If this is taken
       it will be in accordance with the Council’s Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedure.

       A copy of this Code of Conduct, Anti-fraud and Corruption Strategy and Disciplinary
       and Dismissal rules and procedure should be supplied to all employees. Managers
       should take steps to ensure that all employees understand the rules and
       management requirements in respect of work performance and the observance of
       working procedures, operational regulations, safety rules and regulations, standing
       orders, etc.

       N.B. The Employment Act 2002 requires the Council as the employer to include
       with the main terms and conditions of employment a statement on any disciplinary
       rules applicable to employees. It should also indicate to whom employees should
       apply if they are dissatisfied with any disciplinary decisions. The statement should
       explain any further steps which exist in any procedure for dealing with disciplinary
       decisions or grievances. The employer may satisfy these requirements by referring
       the employees to a reasonably accessible document which provides the necessary
       information.

7.1.3 It should be noted that where poor performance arises as a result of carelessness or
      negligence rather than as a result of the lack of necessary skills and/or aptitude, it




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                                                      Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures and Rules




       will be addressed through the Disciplinary Procedure as opposed to the Capability
       Procedure.

7.2    Ordinary Misconduct

7.2.1 Ordinary misconduct is conduct of such a kind as to warrant disciplinary action
      rather than dismissal for a first offence on the part of the employee, and the
      warning procedure specified in the “Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedure” of the
      Council will normally be followed. The following are examples, not exhaustive, nor
      pre-empting more serious disciplinary action, of incidents where the normal
      warning procedure will be invoked:

                      (a)    Poor timekeeping;
                      (b)    Acts of minor insubordination;
                      (c)    Unjustifiable absence from work;
                      (d)    Unacceptable personal appearance and hygiene at work;
                      (e)    Disregard of specific departmental rules, working procedures
                             or Council policies.

7.3    Gross Misconduct

7.3.1 Gross misconduct is of such a kind that in the light of the employee’s action, the
      Council cannot allow the employee to continue work and sees no alternative to
      dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct, or suspension pending an
      investigation. Again, it is not possible to define all acts which could be classified as
      gross misconduct for the disciplinary act taken by the Council will ultimately be
      determined by the circumstances of the incident. The following are examples, not
      exhaustive, nor pre-empting less serious disciplinary action, of incidents which may
      be classified as gross misconduct:

       (a)    Consumption of alcohol or the taking of drugs in direct contravention of a
              specific management instruction or regulation or being under the influence
              of alcohol or drugs or intoxicating substances in circumstances where it
              could constitute a health and safety hazard or where it would be in breach
              of a position or responsibility and trust.

              It is incumbent upon every employee to notify their manager of any
              circumstances where a prescribed course of drugs has been medically
              authorised which may effect the employee’s ability to efficiently perform
              the duties for which they are employed or which they may reasonably
              foresee having to perform.

       (b)    Where an employee steals or attempts to steal from the Council, members
              of the staff or the public;

       (c)    Serious contravention of a specific departmental disciplinary/ working or
              safety rules;

       (d)    Conduct at work likely to offend decency;




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                                                     Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures and Rules




       (e)    Where an employee deliberately makes false claims for financial
              reimbursement with the intention of obtaining from the Council a payment
              to which the claimant is not entitled;

       (f)    Where an employee deliberately falsifies time sheets or knowingly makes
              false, misleading or inaccurate oral or written statements in any record or
              document which leads to financial expenditure by the Council;

       (g)    Where an employee maliciously damages or misappropriates Council
              property, or property on loan to the Council or commits an act of neglect
              which endangers life or limb;

       (h)    Where an employee physically assaults a fellow employee, member of the
              public or Council;

       (i)    Where an employee, without sufficient cause, disobeys or omits or neglects
              to carry out a reasonable order if it is the employee’s obligation to obey it
              and by failing to do so, it has serious consequences or implications;

       (j)    Where an employee improperly uses or attempts to use their official position
              for their own private advantage or for the private advantage of some other
              person or third party;

       (k)    Where an employee commits an act outside of working hours which is
              incompatible or inconsistent with their duties to the Council or which is
              likely to bring discredit upon or lead to loss of confidence in the service in
              which they are employed;

       (l)    A serious breach of the Council’s policies relating to the use of Information
              Technology, e.g. E-mail and Internet policy;

       (m)    Serious cases of bullying behaviour, victimisation or harassment;

       (n)    Discrimination as defined within the Council’s Equal Opportunities Policy;

       (o)    Knowingly or recklessly, without the consent of the Council, obtain or
              disclose personal or confidential information, or arrange for the disclosure of
              such information to another person, including that which may be of use to a
              competitor within a Competitive Tendering situation.

       (p)    To alter, deface, block, destroy or conceal information after an application
              for access to information has been received, with the intention of
              preventing disclosure by the Council to all or any part of the information to
              which the applicant would have been entitled.

7.3.2 It is stressed that any disciplinary action resulting from the above will depend on
      the circumstances of the incident after it has been fully investigated in accordance
      with the Council’s Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures.




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                                                    Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures and Rules




                               SECTION B
                     STATUTORY DISMISSAL PROCEDURE

      Part 3 of the Employment Act 2002 established a framework for promoting the
      resolution of employment disputes in the workplace. The detail of how the
      procedure would operate in practice was set out in the secondary legislation, the
      Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004 which came into force
      on 1 October 2004.

      This process will be followed in the event of one or more of the scenarios set out in
      Paragraph 2.2 of this document.

      The employee has a right to be accompanied only by a trade union representative
      or by a fellow employee of their choice, at all stages of the procedure. It is the
      responsibility of the employee to make these arrangements.

1.1   Standard (3 step) Dismissal Procedure

      Step One - Statement of grounds for action and invitation to a meeting

      The    Council   must    set   out   in  writing   the  employee’s    alleged
      conduct/capability/other circumstances, which led the Council to contemplate
      dismissing the employee.

      A copy of the statement must be sent to the employee and they must be required to
      attend a meeting to discuss the matter.

      Step Two - The meeting

      The Council must invite the employee to a meeting at a reasonable time and place
      where the issue can be discussed prior to any action taking place (except in the
      case where the disciplinary action consists of suspension).

      The meeting must not take place unless:

      a)   the Council has informed the employee what the basis was, for inviting them to
           attend the meeting, as per Step 1, and

      b)   the employee has had a reasonable opportunity to consider his or her response
           to that information.

      The employee must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting.

      After the meeting, the Council must inform the employee about any decision, and
      offer the employee the right of appeal against the decision, if they are not satisfied
      with it.




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                                                   Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures and Rules




      Step Three - Appeal

      Employees are entitled to appeal to the Statutory Appeals Board, which must be
      registered in writing, within 10 working days of receiving the letter confirming the
      decision of the meeting, stating the grounds of appeal.

      The employee must be invited to attend a further meeting to appeal against the
      Council’s decision.

      The employee must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting.

      The appeal meeting need not take place before the dismissal or disciplinary action
      takes effect.

      After the appeal meeting, the Council must inform the employee of its final
      decision.

1.2   General Requirements of the standard dismissal procedure:

      Timetable

      •   Each step and action under the procedure must be taken without unreasonable
          delay.

      Meetings

      •   Timing and location of meetings must be reasonable.

      •   Meetings must be conducted in a manner that enables both employer and
          employee to explain their cases.

      •   In the case of appeal meetings which are not the first meeting, the Council
          should, so far as is reasonably practicable, be represented by a more senior
          manager than attended the first meeting (unless the most senior manager
          attended that meeting).




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                                                  Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures and Rules




Appendix 1



                                  MISCONDUCT
                      Employee suspected of misconduct or
                      gross misconduct and invited, in
                      writing, to attend an investigatory
                      interview and offered representation.




                      Employee is interviewed by designated
                      manager and other management
                      representative.




                      Designated manager decides to either:
                      (a) Give management advice and
                          guidance (Section 2)
                      (b) Undertake further investigation.

                      N.B. If (b) designated manager must
                      consider whether to suspend.




                              FORMAL INVESTIGATION
                       Investigating Officer recommends
                      whether formal disciplinary action is
                      required.




    No                                                                        Yes

  NO FURTHER ACTION                                           DISCIPLINARY HEARING




                                                                Decision to either:
                                              i       Issue verbal/written/final written warning
                                              ii      Dismiss
                                              iii     Or that there is no case to answer
                                              Confirm right of appeal




                                                        If Decision ‘i’ or ‘ii’ above:
                                                  RIGHT TO APPEAL TO STATUTORY APPEALS
                                                                   BOARD

                                                  Decision of Statutory Appeals Board is final




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                                                                                                               Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures and Rules




                                                                                                                                             Appendix 2
                                           DISCIPLINARY & DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
                                                         What is the reason for
                                                      disciplinary/dismissal action?




      Probation            Compulsory           Redundancy               Sickness          Retirement by                   Capability               Misconduct
                          retirement on       including early                             mutual consent
       Failure to         the grounds of         retirement               Medical        (incl. interests in
satisfactorily complete   age where not         triggered by            Incapability   the efficiency of the
 a probationary period      by mutual           compulsory                                    service)
                             consent        redundancy or non-           Ill Health
                                              renew of fixed            Retirement                                         Refer to                 Contractual
                                              term contract*                                                              Capability                Disciplinary
                                                                                                                          Procedure                and Dismissal
                                                                                          No dismissal
                                                                                                                                                    Procedures
                                                                                        process required
    Expiry and non-         Refer to                                     Refer to                                                                      Apply
  renewal of a Fixed       Retirement                                 Attendance at                                                                   Refer to
 Term Contract (also                            Refer to             Work Policy and                                                                 Section A
                           Procedure
   see Redundancy*)                           Redundancy               Procedures
                                               Policy and
                                              Procedures

  Imposed change to
   vary a contract of
     employment



 Statutory Dismissal
  Procedures Apply
 Refer to Section B




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