Choice, Responsiveness, Integration & Shared Care
Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust Information Reader Box
Document Type: Human Resources Policy
Document Purpose: Best practice guidance
Unique identifier: HR007
Title: Disciplinary Policy
Target Audience: All Staff
The policy provides an agreed framework to enable disciplinary
matters to be dealt with properly and fairly.
Superseded Documents: None
Ratified by: Joint Negotiating Consultative Committee
Ratification date: 21st April 2008
Implementation date: 21st April 2008
Review period: 3 years
Version update date: September 2010
Review date: 21st April 2011
Owner: Head of Human Resources
Responsible group: Joint Negotiating Consultative Committee
Head of Human Resources
Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Contact Details: Isaac Maddox House
Shrub Hill Road
The electronic copy of this document is the only version that is maintained.
Printed copies may not be relied upon to contain the latest updates and amendments.
WORCESTERSHIRE MENTAL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP NHS TRUST
1. INTRODUCTION 3
2. EQUALITY OF TREATMENT 4
3. PRINICIPLES OF THE POLICY 4
4. REFERRAL TO A PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATION OR THE 4
INDEPENDENT SAFEGUARDING AUTHORITY (ISA)
5. REFERRAL PROCESS 5
6. ALLEGED ABUSE OF CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS 5
7. INITIAL PROCESS TO BE FOLLOWED 6
8. ALLEGATIONS AGAINST A TRADE UNION REPRESENTATIVE 7
9. INFORMAL ACTION 7
10. SUSPENSION 8
11. THE ROLE OF THE TRADE UNION REPRESENTATIVE/ 9
12. INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEWS 10
13. FORMAL ACTION 11
14. USE OF WITNESSES 13
15. DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS AND OUTCOMES 14
16. THE RIGHT OF APPEAL 17
17. MONITORING/EFFECTIVENESS OF THE POLICY 17
1. AUTHORITY TO DISMISS 18
2. POLICY OF DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS 19
3. POLICY OF DISCIPLINARY APPEALS 21
4. GUIDANCE ON THE TRUSTS EMPLOYMENT RULES 23
5. DISCIPLINARY POLICY – SUMMARY 25
6. GUIDANCE ON RECORDING INVESTIGATORY INTERVIEWS 28
7. ADDITONAL INFROMATION FOR DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS 29
MADE AGAINST STAFF IN RELATION TO THE ABUSE OF
VULNERABLE ADULTS AND OR CHILDREN
Disciplinary Procedure 1
Please cross reference this policy with
• Capability Policy
• Harassment and Bullying at Work Policy
• Guidance on Recording Investigatory Interviews and Hearings
• Standards on Business Conduct
• Policy for Dealing with Conduct, Competence and Performance of
• Sickness Absence Management Policy and Policies
• WMHPT Adult Protection Policy and Policies
• WMHPT Safeguarding Children Policy
• Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board Policies for
Managing allegations against staff who work with Children.
• Disciplinary Policy
• Grievance Policy
• Whistle Blowing Policy
• Counter Fraud Policy.
• Nursing & Midwifery Council Code of Conduct
• General Medical Council Code of Conduct
• Independent Safeguarding Authority Policies
Disciplinary Procedure 2
WORCESTERSHIRE MENTAL HEALTH PARTNERSHIP NHS TRUST
1.1 This Policy applies to all staff employed in the organisation. This includes all medical
and dental staff in relation to their personal conduct. However please see HSC
2003/012- Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS; Doctors’ and
dentists’ disciplinary framework and the Trust’s Policy for Dealing with Conduct,
Competence and Performance of Medical and Dental Staff concerning the professional
conduct and competence of hospital medical and dental staff employed by the Trust.
1.2 Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership Trust has a zero tolerance of abuse of
children and vulnerable adults. The Trust promotes a culture of ensuring that staff
who work for the Trust are supported to ensure that service users and their carers
and families who come into contact with the Trust, can be assured that the safety and
well being of the aforementioned is of paramount importance. .
1.3 This policy also acknowledges that the nature of the work that is carried out by the
trust will sometimes mean that allegations are made against staff without there being
any substance to the allegation but may be due to the illness of the service user.
1.4 However it is also important that all such allegations are treated initially in the same
way and that safety of all concerned is maintained and that all investigations into
such allegations are recorded appropriately.
1.5 The purpose of this policy is to consider issues where an employees work performance
or conduct has fallen below the recognised and acceptable standard. In these situations
the manager will need to decide whether it is more appropriate to use the capability or
the disciplinary policy. The main purpose of the disciplinary policy is to bring about an
improvement in levels of performance or conduct.
1.6 The policy provides an agreed framework to enable disciplinary matters to be dealt with
properly and fairly. Every employee can access a copy either via the Intranet and
Internet or a copy can be obtained from the Human Resources Department. A
summary of the different stages can be found in Appendix 5.
1.7 It is the responsibility of managers to ensure that the employees for whom they are
accountable know the standards of work and conduct required. It is the manager's
responsibility to ensure that each employee has received the appropriate induction and
has been given adequate training and regular feedback to equip him/her to carry out
If the allegation has criminal implications there may also be a need to involve the
Police and where appropriate the Professional Safe Guarding of Adults& Children’s
Lead. In cases of substantiated professional incompetence or misconduct, the Trust has
a responsibility to notify the appropriate professional or statutory body.
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1.8 If the allegation is potentially fraud then it will be handed over to the local Counter Fraud
Specialist for investigation first and a view as to whether any other investigation should
wait until they have finished.
2. EQUALITY OF TREATMENT
Effective action shall be taken where proven to deal with cases of discrimination,
victimisation or harassment, please see the Equal Opportunities Policy.
3. PRINICIPLES OF THE POLICY
• Issues will be raised and dealt with promptly and there should not be any
unreasonable delays to meetings, decisions or confirmation of those decisions.
• Issues will be acted upon consistently
• Any investigations will be carried out as necessary, to establish the facts of the
• Employees will be informed of the basis of the issues and they will be given the
opportunity to put their case in response before decisions are made.
• Where an employee raises a grievance during a disciplinary process the
disciplinary process may be temporarily suspended in order to deal with the
grievance. Where the grievance and disciplinary cases are related the Business
Unit Lead will consider whether it is appropriate to deal with both issues
concurrently after discussing this with the Human Resources Department and
trade union representative/ companion or employee.
4. REFERRAL TO A PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATION OR THE INDEPENDENT
SAFEGUARDING AUTHORITY (ISA)
a. The outcome of an investigation may result in the need to refer the case to Nursing &
Midwifery Council, General Medical Council, or other professional body.
b. From October 12th 2009 all cases that result in dismissal due to either
• inappropriate behaviour towards a child or vulnerable adult or
• the nature of a criminal investigation leads to a conclusion that the member of staff is
deemed unsuitable to continue in employment owing to concerns related to the
safety of children and/or vulnerable adults must, under legislation laid out in the
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, be referred to the Independent Safeguarding
c. Referrals are required to be made to ISA for all staff that are dismissed in the above
circumstances and include staff that may not be professionally qualified. This
legislation also applies to voluntary workers.
d. ISA will make decisions based upon the evidence they receive as to whether the
member of staff should be barred from working with Children and/or vulnerable
e. Following an ISA referral, if the ISA’s decision is ‘minded to bar’ an employee it will
write to that individual seeking representations as to why they should not be barred
from working or volunteering with children and/or vulnerable adults. The ISA will
provide to that individual all the evidence that the ISA has relied on in making its
‘minded to bar’ decision. The individual will have eight weeks to make
representations in writing to the ISA. Current employers and other bodies or
Disciplinary Procedure 4
individuals with a registered legitimate interest in the individual will be notified in
writing that the ISA is ‘minded to bar’ that individual.
5. REFERRAL PROCESS
All disciplinary cases will be considered for referral to either a professional body or
ISA. The decision to refer will be made by the Senior HR Manager, Named
Professional Safeguarding Adults and Children and the Director for Service
Development and Executive Nurse.
6. ALLEGED ABUSE OF CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
a. Anyone employed to work with vulnerable adults, or who look after children, has the
responsibility to be aware of possible abuse, and to take appropriate action whenever
there is a concern that abuse may have taken place or may occur unless someone
does something to stop it.
b. In circumstances where the alleged abuser is a member of staff the Manager
receiving the allegation must consider which leads within the Trust need to be
consulted. These may include:
• Named Professional for Safeguarding Adults and Children
• Lead Director for Safeguarding
• Human Resources Manager
c. Referrals must also be made to the outside agencies who’s specific role it is to
investigate allegations of abuse and crime
• Worcestershire County Council Children’s Services
• Worcestershire County Council Adult Protection Team
d. Managers need to familiarise themselves with the relevant policies.
e. Some staff may feel uneasy about reporting situations that constitute, or may lead to
an investigation particularly when this involves a work colleague. In such
circumstances they should be made aware of the Trust’s Whistle Blowing Policy
which gives advice on how the Trust will work with them to avoid any adverse
repercussions and look at all options available so that they are and feel supported.
f. Staff should be clear that they do have a duty and responsibility to report such
incidents or occasions of actual or potential abuse.
g. Failure to report possible incidents actual or potential immediately may indicate
varying degrees of collusion. Along with malicious allegations or those made for
personal gain these would be viewed extremely seriously. It is the manager’s
responsibility, in conjunction with the above Trust leads as appropriate, to assess
whether such incidents or occasions would constitute abuse or verify or prove that
the information they have is true.
7. INITIAL PROCESS TO BE FOLLOWED
Disciplinary Procedure 5
7.1 On receipt of an allegation or concern which involves a member of staff the
immediate manager and Business Unit Lead will make the decision, in conjunction
with the Named Professional for Safeguarding Adults and Children and the Human
Resources Manager whether it is necessary to make referrals to agencies such as
the Adult Protection Team, Children’s Services or the Police. Even where it is felt that
there may be no substance to an allegation the case should still be logged as an alert
and appropriately recorded to identify why there is no ongoing investigation, this is in
accordance with the Safeguarding and Vulnerable Adults processes.
7.2 Through this reporting process and discussion a decision will be made as to whether
any immediate action needs to be taken e.g. that the employee needs to be
suspended or temporarily redeployed. Any decision to suspend or redeploy an
employee should only be made when, as far as possible, steps have been taken to
establish that the allegations have some substance in line with the Trust’s disciplinary
7.3 In making decisions regarding suspension or redeployment the first and foremost
considerations must be the safety and well being of all vulnerable adults and
7.4 The abuse of children and vulnerable adults is likely to constitute a crime and
therefore all such allegations should be referred to the police. The Business Unit
Lead or if out of hours the on-call manager and the Police should be informed no
later than 24 hours after the receipt of the allegation. In such circumstances a joint
investigation may be necessary. Parallel investigations are possible but would have to
be agreed with either the police or other external agency as appropriate.
7.5 Where the police are involved guidance needs to be sought from them as to when,
where, and how formal interviews can be conducted. This does not stop staff from
being asked to record what they know of the event in a form of a written document.
Where it is deemed that a joint investigation is appropriate all staff will be expected to
co-operate fully with the investigation.
7.6 All relevant facts should be collected in the form of a statement within 24 hours or as
soon as possible thereafter before memories fade; including anything the member of
staff wishes to say. Statements should be signed and dated by the witnesses.
Employees must be informed that they can seek advice and support from their trade
union representatives before submitting their statement. The person who the
allegation/s has been made against should not submit a written statement unless the
information is required for care.
7.7 The policy needs to be followed and advice sought when any decision is made,
records will need to be kept stating when and how these decisions were made. A
buddy can be established for members of staff who have had concerns/allegation
made against them and also for witnesses where needed. However, this is in addition
to any trade union representation that is available and may be helpful for individuals
who are not union members.
7.8 If there are grounds to proceed, management must nominate an Investigating Officer
to take the investigation forward. The Investigating Officer must be from outside the
employees immediate work area, have had training to carry out investigations and
with no prior involvement in the issue, to ensure impartiality. It must be noted
Disciplinary Procedure 6
however that if the matter is subject to a police or counter fraud investigation, this
may delay the internal investigation.
Where it is necessary to undertake an investigation, the employee must be informed in
writing that an investigation is taking place and advised of the precise allegations against
him/her. It is however recognised that as an investigation develops the nature of the
allegations may be clarified and/or change. Where this happens the employee must be
kept informed of the developments in writing on a regular basis.
8. ALLEGATIONS AGAINST A TRADE UNION REPRESENTATIVE
Where the allegations are made against a Trade Union representative no action
other than suspension, if the allegation requires it, should be taken until the matter
has been discussed with the Head of Human Resources and the representative’s
Full Time Officer.
9. INFORMAL ACTION
Cases of minor misconduct or unsatisfactory performance are usually best dealt with
informally. The Capability Policy could be considered as more appropriate at this stage.
9.1 Where an employee appears to be failing to meet acceptable standards of work
performance or conduct, the immediate manager must endeavour to deal with this by
raising the issue with the employee.
This is not part of the formal disciplinary policy. It is the first attempt to highlight problem
areas and try to overcome them informally
9.2 The manager should arrange a meeting and make clear to the employee the areas
which are causing concern.
For example in a case of persistent lateness
• what standards are required
• Where he/she is falling short in meeting the standards.
• What improvement is required over a given period of time
At the end of the meeting, an action plan should be set out with clear objectives and
reasonable timescales for review. The manager will confirm the outcome in writing.
9.3 The manager should also attempt to ascertain if there is any reason for the employee’s
attitude or behaviour with which he/she can be helped. Consideration may be given to
such things as personal problems, environment and the need for further training.
9.4 Where the discussion identifies a lack of training or knowledge as the root cause the
matter should be handled under the Capability Policy and appropriate training/education
9.5 This meeting is not part of the formal disciplinary policy. The employee should however,
be made aware that formal policies will be followed if the necessary improvement in
behaviour, attitude, performance or conduct is not forthcoming. The manager will also
need to take a view as to whether any subsequent action that might be necessary
remains under this policy or moves to the Capability Policy
Disciplinary Procedure 7
10.1 Where an allegation is of a serious nature, it may be felt necessary to suspend the
employee on full pay, including any contractual enhancements or allowances, while the
investigation is carried out.
Suspension is not a disciplinary measure and it shall only be used if:
• it is necessary to defuse a particular situation in the workplace;
• it is necessary to remove a potential risk to staff, patients, the employer’s property,
• it is necessary because it is reasonably believed that the employee’s presence in
the workplace will hinder or prevent an investigation; or
• It is necessary because it is reasonably believed that the employee may interfere
with evidence or witnesses if allowed to remain in the workplace.
NB Exclusion of medical and dental staff is covered in HSC 2003/012
Suspension should only be considered after careful consideration of alternatives which
would remove the individual from the workplace. For example, redeployment to another
area where the nature of the allegation is not relevant
10.2 The appropriate HR Manager shall be consulted whenever possible before an employee
10.3 Normally the authority to act as “suspending manager” will be given to dismissing
officers (see Appendix 1), however a dismissing officer can delegate this authority to an
appropriate senior member of staff who acts as the” suspending manager “with the
authority to suspend pending full investigation.
10.4 All suspensions shall be for the minimum period possible. In all cases, the suspension
should be regularly reviewed by the ‘suspending manager’ and an HR Manager during
the course of the investigation; this should be recorded as having taken place.
10.5 When the decision is made to suspend an employee, the “suspending manager” will
normally ask the employee to a meeting to discuss and explain this decision. The
employee must be informed of the reason for suspension.
10.6 In exceptional circumstances it may not be possible to meet with the employee prior to
suspension and in these rare cases the suspension will be confirmed in writing.
10.7 Written notice both of the suspension and the reasons for it and its lifting will be given or
sent to the employee and copied to the employee’s trade union representative/
companion without unreasonable delay.
10.8 During the period of suspension, the employee shall not be entitled, unless authorised
by a senior manager, to have access to any of the Trust's premises and then may be
subject to such conditions as the Trust may impose. They will however still have access
to Occupational Health. The employee will be asked not to contact colleagues at work;
however the Trust recognises that it cannot prevent any social contact with colleagues
outside the workplace. If a meeting is required with the employee’s trade union
representative on Trust premises the suspending manager must be contacted to agree a
Disciplinary Procedure 8
10.9 The employee will remain on suspension until he/she is advised otherwise. The
employee must make him/herself available to attend any meetings connected with the
investigation and must advise his/her manager of his/her whereabouts if he/she cannot
be contacted at his/her home address for any reason. This means that during the period
of suspension, no other paid or unpaid work should be undertaken during their contacted
hours with this Trust.
10.10 During any period of suspension, the employee may request and / or take
annual leave in accordance with normal policies. It should be noted that where an
employee has been suspended the usual provisions regarding the carry over of annual
leave will apply in accordance with the guidance on leave policy.
10.11 It should be noted that whilst on suspension an individual should receive the pay they
would have received had they been at work including any enhancements
due. However, in exceptional circumstances staff will be deemed to be absent without
pay. These exceptional circumstances will include:
• Where employees are arrested and detained. Pay will be reinstated if further action
deems them to be not guilty.
These examples are not exhaustive and decisions will be made on a case by case
basis. However, where a decision is made to count an employee absent without pay,
this decision will also be reviewed on the same basis as suspensions.
10.12 It should be noted that if the employee produces a doctors certificate during the period of
suspension they will be recorded as being absent from work due to sickness absence.
At the end of the period of sickness absence the suspension will be reviewed.
11. THE ROLE OF THE TRADE UNION REPRESENTATIVE/ COMPANION
11.1 Employees have a right to be accompanied by a companion/ trade union
11.2 The chosen companion/ trade union representative 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 trained to accompany the employee.
11.3 The companion/ trade union representative should be allowed to address the
meeting to put and sum up the employees case, respond on behalf of the employee
to any views expressed at the meeting and confer with the employee during the
meeting. The companion/ trade union representative does not, however, have the
right to answer questions on the employee’s behalf, address the meeting if the
employee does not wish it or prevent the employer from explaining their case.
11.4 Reasonable adjustments will be made for a worker with a disability and for their
companion/ trade union representative if they are disabled
11.5 Fellow workers do not have to accept a request to accompany a worker, and they
should not be pressurised to do so.
11.6 The trade union representative and employee will be contacted regarding the mutual
agreement of a date and time of a hearing. If the companion/ trade union
representative cannot attend on an agreed date, the employee can suggest an
alternative time and date so long as it is reasonable and is not more than five working
Disciplinary Procedure 9
days after the original date. If a manager is unable to attend the meeting on the
agreed date and is unable to rearrange an alternative time and date not more than
five working days after the original date a deputy or other appropriate manager will
attend the meeting on their behalf.
11.7 Before the meeting takes place, the employee must inform the employer who they
have chosen as a companion/ trade union representative.
12. INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEWS
12.1 An investigations should be aimed to be completed within 6 months unless there are
exceptional circumstances. There will be an effort made to complete the investigation in
less than 6 months.
12.2 An investigation will include interviews with other employees to establish the facts.
The employee against whom the allegations have been made can ask for witnesses
to be interviewed if they feel they will support their case, these witnesses need to be
identified to the investigating officer as soon as reasonable possible to avoid any
delay in the investigation process. Any such should be made prior to the completion
of the investigation.
Witnesses interviewed as part of the investigatory process must be informed that
they will be required to be available to give evidence at a disciplinary hearing should
one be necessary.
These interviews will be either taped or digitally recorded in accordance with ‘Taping
of Interviews Guidelines’ provided interviewees consent to this .Failure to consent will
not be held against an individual but they will have to recognise that there will not be
a verbatim record of the interview, only notes.
12.3 The investigation will normally include a face to face interview with the employee
against whom the allegations have been made. Again, this interview will be
taped/digitally recorded provided the member of staff agrees.
If the employee is unable to attend the interview, it will be rescheduled once if the
employee can provide clarification that their absence is due to an illness related to a
genuine physical health or mental health issue which causes difficulty with capacity.
The interview will not be rescheduled a second time unless there are extenuating
circumstances. On the rare occasion that the interview is unable to proceed, the
Investigating Officer will request a response to written questions.
If the employee against whom the allegations have been made does not attend the
arranged interview or does not provide evidence that they are not fit to attend or does
not submit a response to the written questions or a written statement, the
investigation will proceed without the benefit of their evidence.
If the employee is absent due to sickness, the employee should obtain statement of
fitness from their GP in order to ascertain the likelihood of recovery and the
prospects of the employee being fit to attend a disciplinary hearing and when this
may take place. The decision to proceed will be balanced against the need to
proceed with the process/hearing, the effect of the delay in not doing so upon other
witnesses or upon the evidence itself. Before the decision is made to proceed in the
absence of the employee, then consideration will also be given to whether the
Disciplinary Procedure 10
employee has the opportunity to put his or her case through a representative who
also has the opportunity to cross-examine management witnesses.
Digitally recorded interviews will be kept until the conclusion of the investigation and
subsequent hearing if required. The transcribed and written records of investigatory
interviews must be kept including details of parties present, time and date, for 6
years after the members of staff concerned leave the Trust's service. Witness
statements should be dated and signed within the time limit given. .An investigation
file should be established with all notes, transcripts and all witness statements. This
information may be needed if disciplinary action follows an investigation
12.4 Following an investigatory interview the person being interviewed will be sent a
written transcript of the discussion. Please note that this will not be a verbatim
transcript but a record of all discernable dialogue.
Where a written submission has been provided a copy should be retained by the
12.5 It should be noted that this transcript or written submission will be used as a
statement at a disciplinary hearing. Further it should be recognised that during the
course of an investigation, if new facts are discovered, an employee may be
interviewed on more than one occasion, in order to clarify any facts. However any
additional information gathered must be added to the documentation prior to the
completion of the investigation.
12.6 At the conclusion of the investigation the Investigating Officer will produce a written
report of the findings and make any recommendations including whether they believe
there is a case to answer. The commissioning manager who requested the investigation
may discuss the findings with the investigating officer before reaching a decision,
regarding the appropriate course of action. Following the investigation it may be felt that
it is more appropriate to deal with the issues under a more appropriate policy such as
the Capability Policy for example and at this stage the case can be transferred to that
policy without a re-investigation.
12.7 The outcome of the investigation will be notified to the employee and their trade union
representative/ companion with the employees consent by the manager within 5 working
days of the presentation of the report to the manager. If this is not practicable the
employee will be informed.
12.8 If the commissioning manager believes there is a case for disciplinary action, they will
authorise a disciplinary hearing but should not be on the Panel. The investigating officer
will be required to present the investigatory report at the disciplinary hearing.
13. FORMAL ACTION
An employee shall be given 10 working days notice that he/she is required to attend a
formal disciplinary hearing
Where the panel are considering allegations of Gross Misconduct or where
dismissal may be an outcome the employee must be advised that the hearing
could result in dismissal.
Disciplinary Procedure 11
The employee and the employee’s trade union representative/ companion with the
employees consent will receive in writing:
• The precise allegations made against him/her;
• A copy of the Investigating Officer’s report;
• Copies of all witness statements including transcripts
Where the HR Manager is concerned about an employee receiving this material directly
they will contact the employees trade union representative/ companion with the
employees consent to ensure support is available
The documents will be sent out by recorded delivery 10 working days prior to the
hearing but it is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that their employer is informed of
a current address at all times.
In exceptional cases, for example where witnesses are genuinely in fear for their safety
from an employee who is the subject of an investigation it may be necessary to
anonymise statements. In such a case however the witness will be questioned on the
day by the Panel, and management and staff side representatives in private. However
both management and trade union representative/ companions must ensure that the
identity of the witness is not revealed and complete confidentiality is maintained.
The disciplinary hearing will be heard by a three member panel that have had training in
Panel Hearings and previous involvement in the case. Where it is relevant to the case
one member of the panel should be from the employees own profession. The other
member’s of the panel should be a Business Unit Lead and appropriate manager /
senior manager/ HR manager who would be able to advise the panel. Exceptionally
where either side feel there is a process issue that requires independent advice this can
be made available.
Where the panel are considering allegations of Gross Misconduct or where dismissal
may be an outcome the Business Unit Lead on the panel must have the authority to
dismiss. In exceptional circumstances this authority can be invested in a senior
dismissing officer from a partner organisation or another NHS Trust.
The date and time for the disciplinary hearing must be agreed with the employee and
their trade union representative/ companion and the employee or just with the employee
if they do not wish to be represented, and confirmed in writing. This should normally be
with a minimum of 10 working days notice. If the complexity of the case means this is
unachievable a later date can be mutually agreed but this should not exceed a further 10
working days of the original date. If this date is subsequently cancelled by the employee
or trade union representative/ companion, or management for whatever reason, a
second date will be set. Unless there are exceptional extenuating reasons the case will
be heard on the second date and if the employee is not present the Panel will proceed in
his/her absence. In these circumstances the Panel will hear the management side case
and consider this together with a written submission from the employee if he/she
submits one by the due date. The decision will be made on the basis of the evidence
that is presented. Should it be accepted that there are exceptional circumstances a third
and final date will be set and the Hearing will proceed on that date.
It is the Human Resources Department’s responsibility to make the necessary
arrangements for the hearing and notify the members of the panel, including the
Disciplinary Procedure 12
employee, the employees trade union representative/ companion, and the
The objective of any disciplinary hearing is to consider impartially both the management
case and the employee’s response in order to reach a decision on the action to take and
therefore both sides should have every opportunity to state their case.
Panel members will receive copies of the Investigating Officer’s report and any
documentation that staff side wish to submit and this will normally be 5 working days
prior to the Hearing. If only one party has submitted written documentation that will be
sent to the Panel Members.
Normally late submissions of additional documentation to the written case will not be
allowed. However, if either party has a late submission, both sides will approach the
Chair jointly to hear the reasons for late submission. The final decision rests with the
Chair. Therefore the side in question should ensure they have 4 additional copies
available to ensure the Panel can follow the presentation accurately.
Full documentation of all action taken at any stage is an essential integral part of the
proceedings, including notes of any hearings.
14. USE OF WITNESSES
Where management or the employee/ trade union representative/ companion wish’s to
call witnesses, the Panel must be advised of these 5 days prior to the disciplinary
hearing via the Human Resources Department, with copies of the witness statements to
be made available to all parties.
All witnesses, whose statements are included in the management or trade union
representative / employee’s case, must be available to attend the Disciplinary hearing,
except in the case where management and trade union representative/ employee agree
that their attendance is not necessary. It is the responsibility of the employee or their
trade union representative/ companion to arrange for their witnesses to be present.
Managers must release the employee’s witnesses to attend hearings.
If it is difficult for the employee or the trade union representative to contact the witness
the Human Resources Department will assist with facilitating this process, e.g. forward
letters to witnesses on behalf of trade union representatives. Both sides may bring any
relevant witnesses to the hearing(s). However, they must be Individuals who can make a
contribution related to the specific allegations, this would not, therefore, include
character witnesses or any third party hearsay witnesses.
Although character witnesses may not attend in person written statements from
character witnesses may be included in the paperwork provided they are contributing
towards any mitigating circumstances.
The Human Resources Department will ensure that both sides are made aware of the
names of each other’s witnesses 5 working days prior to the hearing. Where the
employee or trade union representative/ companion wants the opportunity to cross-
examine any other witnesses at the hearing they should make it known at this point.
Disciplinary Procedure 13
It should be noted that either side or the panel can request a witness to attend the
hearing and give evidence. Witnesses are obliged to attend if requested unless
• The witness is too ill to attend the disciplinary hearing.
• The statement is provided by a patient/member of the public/ external organisation
who is unable to attend or refuses to attend and who cannot be required to attend
the hearing as they are not a Trust employee.
The above list is not exhaustive and serves as an outline of some of the
circumstances, which may arise when it is not possible for the witness to attend a
In cases where a witness feels undue anxiety, for example in harassment and
bullying cases, he/she may be accompanied by a trade union representative/
companion see section 5 of this policy. When a witness is to be accompanied, the
Chair of the Panel should be advised in advance
15. DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS AND OUTCOMES
15.1 Conduct of Disciplinary Hearings
Details of the policy to be followed during the hearing can be found in Appendix
2.The disciplinary hearing will be recorded either by taping/digitally or written notes.
The outcome of the hearing will always be confirmed in writing to the employee, and
a copy retained on their personal file. The disciplining manager should also retain
documentation used in the hearing, in case there is an appeal. If there is no appeal,
the documentation is forwarded for retention by the HR Department.
15.2 Possible Outcomes
It is not necessary for all sanctions to be punitive in nature. They can be designed to
achieve an improvement in behaviour or performance and the Panel will need to
Acts of misconduct vary in seriousness from minor breaches to serious and gross
misconduct; Appendix 4 gives illustrations of the categories of misconduct. Whilst the
policy is designed to be a series of progressive warnings to employees, it may be
necessary in exceptional circumstances to proceed directly to the use of the final written
warning, or even consideration of dismissal, without prior counselling or disciplinary
warning in light of the seriousness of the offence.
There may be occasions when the panel decide to award sanctions as an alternative
to dismissal. In these circumstances they may make recommendations in addition to
any warning issued, these may include:
• Downgrading (no salary protection payable)
• Transfer to another department or site (no excess mileage payable)
• Change of shift pattern (no salary protection available)
15.3 Stage 1- First Written Warning
If a Disciplinary Panel decides that a first written warning should be given:
Disciplinary Procedure 14
• The employee shall be advised of the reason for the warning and any additional
recommendations and that it is the first stage of the formal disciplinary action.
There must be a written statement of the aspects that are considered to be
unsatisfactory together with the improvements required and timescales where
• Two copies of the written warning and any recommendations, together with the
right of appeal to the next level of management, must be issued to the employee
who must sign and return one copy to be placed on his/her personal file. This will
also be copied to the employee’s trade union representative/ companion with
the employees consent involved in the case. The right of appeal shall be to a
three member panel who have not been previously involved in the case. Where
it is relevant to the case one member of the panel will be from the appellant’s
own profession, where practicable. If it is not possible then a member from the
profession may be invited to attend as adviser to the panel. The appeal must be
lodged in writing, stating the grounds of the appeal, with the Head of Human
Resources within 15 working days of the date of the warning letter.
• The written warning will remain in place for 12 months. Any further recurrence of
the same or similar offence may lead to further disciplinary action being taken.
After 12 months the written warning will be regarded as spent.
15.4 Stage 2 - Final Written Warning
15.4.1 This follows the same policy as Stage 1, section 16.3
15.4.2 However, the warning must make it clear that any recurrence of a similarly
serious offence may result in dismissal.
15.4.3 The final written warning will remain in place for 18 months. Any further
recurrence of the same or similar offence will lead to further disciplinary action
being taken. After 18 months the final warning will be regarded as spent.
15.5 Stage 3 – Dismissal or Dismissal for Gross Misconduct
15.5.1 With the exception of gross misconduct, Stage 3 shall never be the first attempt
to deal with any offence.
Normally, ill treatment of patients if the allegations were upheld would result
in dismissal as gross misconduct and be heard under stage 3 immediately.
At this stage it is essential that the panel includes a manager with the authority to
dismiss see appendix 1.
15.5.2 This stage consists of:-
a) A hearing where the individual must be clear that this is a disciplinary
hearing which may result in dismissal.
b) Dismissal may be considered where:-
i) the employees performance has not improved after a final written
warning within the given time period.
Disciplinary Procedure 15
ii) the employee commits an offence constituting gross misconduct
(see Appendix 4) which does not necessarily occur in the course
of the actual work or at the place of work but which could be
thought likely to affect the employee, while doing his/her work.
Where under slightly different circumstances the panel would have dismissed the
employee, they may choose to issue a final written warning and make other
Two copies of the letter confirming the action short of dismissal and the right of appeal
must be issued to the individual within 5 working days with a copy to the Staff side
Representative involved. The individual must sign and return one copy to be place on
his/her personal file.
An appeal must be lodged in writing, stating the grounds of the appeal, with the Head of
Human Resources within 15 working days of the date of the warning letter.
15.5.3 If the decision is taken to dismiss, the letter to the employee, with a copy to the staff side
representative shall be issued within 5 working days stating:
• The reasons for the dismissal and the date on which the employment shall
• The right of appeal to a three-member panel, including an Executive
Director, which must be lodged in writing, stating the grounds of the appeal,
with the Head of Human Resources within 15 working days of the date of the
dismissal letter. One member of the panel shall be from the appellant’s own
profession where practicable. Where this is not possible, a member of the
relevant profession may be in attendance as an adviser to the panel. For the
purposes of this panel the Head of Human Resources or Senior HR
Manager will be recognised as a co-opted member of the Board
• Confirmation of the pay in lieu of notice due under the terms of his/her
contract if applicable.
Please note that gross misconduct is behaviour that warrants summary
dismissal. In such exceptional cases this will be summary dismissal and there
will be no right to notice or pay in lieu of notice.
16. THE RIGHT OF APPEAL
16.1 Employees have the right of appeal against any disciplinary action including dismissal.
However, if an appeal is lodged against dismissal, the dismissal still stands until the
appeal is heard. If on appeal a decision is taken to re-instate the employee, any loss of
pay shall be made good. However, where dismissal is rescinded but replaced by a
lower level of warning, there is no further appeal and the time limits applicable to that
level shall apply.
16.2 Details of the arrangements required for an appeal hearing and the policy to be followed
during the hearing can be found in Appendix 3.
Where an appeal is lodged and heard the following outcomes may result:
Disciplinary Procedure 16
• The appeal is upheld and the disciplinary action is rescinded
• The appeal is not upheld and the disciplinary action stands
• The appeal is not upheld but the disciplinary action is felt to be too severe and is
17. MONITORING/EFFECTIVENESS OF THE POLICY
This Policy will be subject to joint monitoring and will be reviewed through the
Human Resources Department and JNCC as per the review date. The
effectiveness of this policy will be measured by randomly selecting three
cases and comparing them against the policy to ensure the process has been
Disciplinary Procedure 17
AUTHORITY TO DISMISS
Authority to dismiss shall be vested in the following managers for:
Mental Health Partnership Trust
Director of Resources
Chief Operating Officer
Director of Medical Development
Director of Service Development and Executive Nurse
Associate Director- Business Management
Integrated Learning Disabilities Business Unit Lead
Adult Community Services Business Unit Lead
Older Adult Services Business Unit Lead
Adult Acute Service Business Unit Lead
Substance Misuse and Prison In-reach Service Business Unit Lead
Primary Care Service Business Unit Lead
Head of Human Resources
Head of Facilities
This authority is delegated by the Board to any member of staff in any of the above roles
who have been seconded in from another employer.
Disciplinary Procedure 18
POLICY FOR DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS
In order to ensure consistency throughout the Trusts, the following arrangements have
been agreed with the Trade Unions through the JNCC and must be followed for every
It should be noted that, in exceptional circumstances, a disciplinary hearing, which has
been arranged, and a date agreed, may be re-arranged at the request of either side on
one occasion. However, in the case of a requested second postponement, the hearing
will proceed unless there are exceptional circumstances
It should be noted that hearings will be taped /digitally recorded
1. ARRANGEMENTS ON THE DAY
AMENDED1.1 Each party shall be allocated a separate room for themselves and any witnesses they
intend to call. If this is not possible each party will be contacted to ensure suitable
alternative arrangements are in place.
1.2 The designated Chair of the Panel shall introduce all parties and go through the format
for the hearing. Nothing in the Policy prevents the Panel from adjourning at any stage to
clarify or amplify any statement or for example to seek advice on procedural issues.
Adjournments can be requested by either side or by panel members. The length of the
adjournment must be agreed with both parties and should be what is reasonable in the
1.3 The management side shall open by presenting their case in the presence of the staff
member and, where there is one, trade union representative/ companion. Witnesses
may be called and questioned.
1.4 The staff member or trade union representative/ companion may then ask questions of
the management side representatives and witnesses.
1.5 The panel members may then have an opportunity to ask questions.
1.6 The management side may then re-examine the witnesses if necessary. The witnesses
shall then withdraw but, if the Panel feel it is necessary, they can be asked to wait.
1.7 The trade union representative/ companion or employee shall then present their case in
the presence of the management side and call witnesses and question if necessary.
1.8 The management side may then question of the employee to whom the allegations have
been made against, the staff side representative and any witnesses.
1.9 The panel may then ask questions.
1.10 The trade union representative/ companion or employee may then re-examine the
employee to whom the allegations have been made against and any witnesses if
necessary. The witnesses shall then withdraw; however, the Panel can request them to
wait outside if necessary.
1.11 If the chair of the panel feels it is necessary to receive further information from either
party, the chair of the panel can adjourn the hearing for this information to be presented
Disciplinary Procedure 19
to the hearing. This should be completed in a reasonable and agreed timescale to
1.12 The management side shall then be asked to sum up, followed by the trade union
representative/ companion or employee.
1.13 No new information can be introduced at this stage of the hearing or requested by the
1.14 The Panel shall then adjourn to make a decision. If any points requiring clarification
arise, BOTH sides must be recalled together, even if only one side is concerned.
This adjournment can also allow for any further checking of any matters raised,
particularly if there is any dispute over facts.
1.15 Where the panel are unable to reach a decision on the day of the hearing reasons must
be given and the Chair of the panel will ask the employee whether they wish to receive
the decision in writing or whether they wish both sides to be recalled to hear the
decision., If the decision is made that both sides are to be recalled, this will take place
within 5 working days. If the employee confirms that they shall be notified of the Panel’s
decision in writing, this will be within 5 working days of the panel reaching a decision.
1.16 The decision must always be clearly set out including the reasons why this is felt
appropriate. The Panel must provide a written decision in all cases and that must be
sent to the employee and trade union representative/ companion if agreed by the
employee. The employee must also be notified of their right of appeal within 5 working
days of the Panel reaching its decision.
Certain managers within the Trust have been delegated the power to dismiss and they
are the only people who can terminate contracts. The list is contained in Appendix 1 of
the Disciplinary Policy which is available on the Trust’s intranet and internet.
Disciplinary Procedure 20
Amended June 2010
POLICY FOR DISCIPLINARY APPEALS
In order to ensure consistency throughout the Employing Organisation, the following
arrangements have been agreed with the Trade Unions through the JNCC and must be
followed for every disciplinary appeal.
It should be noted that, in exceptional circumstances, an appeal hearing, which has been
arranged, and a date agreed, may be re-arranged at the request of either side on one occasion.
However, in the case of a requested second postponement, the hearing will proceed
Before any disciplinary appeal commences, all the Panel members and Presenting
Officer’s MUST have copies of:
• the written allegation
• the written record of the disciplinary hearing
• the written investigatory report and any management side case presented at the
• the written employees case presented at the hearing
• the appeal letter to the Head of Human Resources outlining the reasons for appeal
• the letter from the Chair of the Panel of the original hearing outlining the panel
In addition both the management side and trade union representative/ companion or
employee need to make available to the panel any further information that they wish the
panel to consider. If this is new information which was not available at the disciplinary
hearing, the panel will need an explanation to why it was not presented at the
The HR Department will forward the above documents to the Panel and Presenting
Officer’s at least 10 working days before the Appeal. If this is not possible each party will
be contacted to ensure suitable alternative arrangements are in place. In the event that
new evidence emerges between the original disciplinary hearing and appeal hearing this
evidence must be included in the information presented to the appeal panel no later than
five working days before the appeal hearing.
If the employee or their representative feels that a witness should have been called at
the original disciplinary hearing and they were not, they should advise the appeal panel
as part of their case and ensure that the witness is available to attend the appeal
hearing. However, if it is difficult for the employee or the trade union representative to
contact the witness the Human Resources Department will assist with facilitating this
It should be noted that the appeal hearing will be taped for transcription with the
agreement of the employee.
2. ARRANGEMENTS ON THE DAY
Disciplinary Procedure 21
2.1 Each party shall be allocated a separate room
2.2 The designated Chair of the Appeal Panel shall introduce all parties and go through the
format for the hearing. Nothing in the Policy prevents the Appeal Panel from
adjourning at any stage to clarify or amplify any statement. The length of any
adjournment must be agreed with both parties. Adjournments can be requested
by either side or by Appeal Panel members
2.3 The Chair of the Appeal Panel will normally open by inviting the trade union
representative/ companion or employee to present the basis of their appeal, outlining
their reasons. Any witnesses for staff side who were present at the original disciplinary
hearing may be called and questioned in relation to the grounds of appeal.
2.4 The management side may then ask questions of the employee or trade union
representative/ companion and any witnesses.
2.5 The Appeal panel members may then have an opportunity to ask questions.
Management Side re-examine the witnesses.
2.6 The management side shall then respond to the basis of the appeal outlining the
reasons the original disciplinary panel reached its conclusion in these areas. Any
witnesses for management side who were present at the original disciplinary hearing
may be called and questioned in relation to the grounds of the appeal.
2.7 The employee or trade union representative/ companion may then question the
management side representatives and any witnesses.
2.8 The Appeal panel may then ask questions. Trade Union Representative/ Companion /
Employee re-examine the witnesses.
2.9 The employee or trade union representative/ companion shall then be asked to sum
up, followed by the management side.
2.10 The Appeal Panel shall then adjourn to make a decision. If any points requiring
clarification arise, BOTH sides must be recalled together, even if only one side is
concerned. This adjournment can also allow for any further checking of any matters
raised, particularly if there is any dispute over facts.
2.11 Once a decision is reached, which is normally on the same day, both sides are recalled
and informed together. If a decision cannot be reached immediately, both sides are
recalled, given the reasons for this and informed they shall be notified in writing. This will
be within five working days of the panel reaching a decision.
2.12 The decision must always be clearly set out including the reasons why this is felt
appropriate. The Appeal Panel must provide a written decision which is sent to the
employee, or trade union representative.
Disciplinary Procedure 22
GUIDANCE ON THE ORGANISATION’S EMPLOYMENT RULES
1 This guide is intended to provide employees with an understanding of the
employment rules and gives specific examples of unacceptable conduct
which may lead to dismissal or summary dismissal (termination of
employment with no notice or no pay in lieu of notice). It is not an exhaustive
2 These rules are not intended to set out an exhaustive list, but are intended to
spell out as clearly as possible to employees the forms of disciplinary
breaches which are likely to give rise to formal disciplinary action or summary
3 Your manager will inform you of any specific rules or policies which apply in
the local work situation, and when a breach of rules is likely to result in
disciplinary action. These rules should normally cover issues such as
absence, health & safety, misconduct, sub-standard performance, use of
Trust facilities, timekeeping and holiday arrangements.
4 If you have any questions regarding this document, you should discuss them
with your manager or contact the Human Resources Department.
2. CONDUCT WHICH WARRANTS DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREVIOUS WARNINGS
MAY LEAD TO SUMMARY
The following are examples of offences which may be regarded by the Employer, in
the light of the circumstances and nature of each particular case, as gross
misconduct, thus warranting dismissal, without previous warnings. This list is to be
regarded as neither exclusive nor exhaustive.
Breaches of policies, etc. — Serious offences which are in breach of any of the
Employing Organisation’s agreed policies/policies or recognised national legislation.
Confidentiality — Serious breaches of confidentiality relating to patients/clients, staff
or other persons. This would include deliberate abuse or misuse of a Smartcard.
Corruption — Receipt of any gift or consideration of any kind, other than of minor
value, from contractors or their agents, any organisations, firms, individuals, patients
or visitors with whom the employee is brought into contact by reason of their official
duties, as an inducement or reward.
Criminal convictions — Convictions received outside work which make the
individual unsuitable for his/her type of work. Where an employee has been
convicted of a criminal offence it will be for the Employer to establish the nature of
the offence and decide whether the conviction is relevant to the person’s duties in the
Trust. It is the employee’s obligation to inform the Employer of any convictions
obtained during the course of their employment.
Discrimination — Any action by an employee which is discriminatory in terms of the
Employer’s Equal Opportunities Policy, and specifically any act of racial, sexual or
Disciplinary Procedure 23
disability discrimination or racial/sexual harassment.
Drugs/alcohol — Being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances to
such an extent as would put at risk either themselves, other staff, patients, visitors or
members of the public.
Fraud/falsification — Any attempt to defraud the Employing Organisation and/or its
employees or deliberate falsification of records. Any fraud whether committed at or
external to the workplace either on or off duty. This would also include the
falsification of records which would result in additional remuneration.
Gross or wilful negligence of duties — In respect of performance of duties
which employees are employed to carry out, including the duties of care
encompassed by the Employing Organisation’s Health and Safety Policy and health
Mental Health Act — The following offences which incorporate a breach of the
current Mental Health Act or the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or subsequent
• The ill-treatment or wilful neglect of a patient receiving treatment, i.e.
under the care of any employee of the Organisation.
• Sexual intercourse/activity with a patient receiving treatment as a
patient or service user, i.e. under the care of any employee of the
• To induce, knowingly assist a patient to be absent without leave or
knowingly harbour a patient absent without leave, or to hinder or
interfere with a patient’s return to hospital under the Mental Health
Professional competence/conduct — Any serious breach of professional
Failure to obey reasonable verbal or written instructions from your manager, or other
supervisory member of the management team.
Theft/misappropriation — Actual or attempted theft/misappropriation from the
Trust, its staff, patients or the public and other offences of dishonesty.
Violence and aggression — Any violence, aggression or abuse towards another
member of staff, a patient/visitor or a member of the public. This includes foul or
abusive language used in circumstances which would cause extreme distress to any
employees, patients or members of the public.
Disciplinary Procedure 24
* Please read across each row for guidance on each stage of the policy APPENDIX 5
DISCIPLINARY POLICY – SUMMARY
RIGHT TO STAFF MANAGEMENT APPEAL
DEFINITION DOCUMENTATI TIMESCALES HR ROLE
REPRESENTATION INVOLVEMENT RIGHTS
INFORMAL First attempt to Not applicable, this stage Immediate • Action plan Timescale for Advice to manager Not
ACTION highlight problem is a one-to-one meeting. Manager review to be re. process applicable
areas and try to agreed.
SUSPENSION Removal from Where practicable at Dismissing • Suspension Duration of Advice to Not
duty on full pay suspension interview, but Officer, see letter investigation and suspending officer applicable
for the duration of if not available, process Appendix 1, disciplinary on policy
investigation and should not be delayed however this hearing
any subsequent authority can be
INVESTIGATION Authorised Employee may be Investigating • Notes of all To take place Advice to Not
manager accompanied by a trade Officer investigatory very soon after investigating officer applicable
investigates event union representative/ meetings and allegation arises. on policy; will also
surrounding companion. Witnesses corresponden To be completed accompany the
allegations. May may also choose to be ce as soon as is investigating officer
take witness accompanied by a trade • Witness practicable within and be able to ask
statements and union representative/ statements 6 months, unless any questions for
will interview the companion • Relevant there are points of
employee who the records e.g. exceptional clarification.
allegations have drug circumstances.
been made sheet/petty Where there is a
against to cash receipts suspension these
ascertain if any must be reviewed
management monthly to see
action is whether it is still
STAGE 1 For a minor Employee may be Immediate • All of the Written warning Attendance at the Please see
offence, or if accompanied by a trade Manager above valid for 12 hearing to support Policy
FIRST WRITTEN informal action union representative/ • Invite to months. the panel and ask
WARNING has failed, companion Disciplinary any questions for
together with Hearing letter Thereafter points of
explanation of • Confirmation regarded as spent clarification.
required of written and removed.
performance/ warning letter Accompany the
behaviour and investigating officer
details of • Notes of and be able to ask
improvements disciplinary any questions for
needed hearing points of
STAGE 2 Employees Employee may be Senior manager • All of the Written warning Attendance at the Please see
unsatisfactory accompanied by a trade above valid for 18 hearing to support Policy
FINAL WRITTEN performance union representative/ • Invite to months. the panel and ask
WARNING persists/a further companion Disciplinary any questions for
offence is Hearing letter. Thereafter points of
committed but is • Confirmation regarded as spent clarification.
not so serious as of written and removed.
to warrant warning letter Accompany the
dismissal. • Notes of investigating officer
disciplinary and be able to ask
hearing any questions for
DISCIPLINARY POLICY – SUMMARY (continued)
STAGE 3 Employees Employee may be Dismissing • All of the Dismissal Attendance at the Please see
unsatisfactory accompanied by a trade Officer, see above effective from hearing to support Policy
DISMISSAL performance union representative/ Appendix 1, and • Invite to date of hearing the panel and ask
persists/a further companion at least one Disciplinary with pay in lieu of any questions for
offence occurs or other manager. Hearing letter notice points of
an act(s) of gross • Details of clarification.
misconduct is suspension (if
committed any) Accompany the
• Details of investigating officer
investigation and be able to ask
• Record of any questions for
disciplinary points of
SUMMARY Any act(s) of Employee may be Dismissing • All of the Dismissal Attendance at the Please see
DISMISSAL gross misconduct accompanied by a trade Officer, see above effective from hearing to support Policy
is committed and union representative/ Appendix 1, and • Invite to date of hearing the panel and ask
Without any it is felt that there companion at least one Disciplinary with no pay in lieu any questions for
payment in lieu of are exceptional other manager Hearing letter of notice points of
notice circumstances • Details of clarification.
which will result in suspension (if
the withholding of any) Accompany the
notice pay. E.g. • Details of investigating officer
imprisonment this investigation and be able to ask
example is not • Record of any questions for
exhaustive disciplinary points of
1 In the absence of a dismissing officer, a nominated deputy, acceptable to the member of staff will be used.
2 An immediate manager is authorised to suspend, and conduct investigations. As a matter of principle, the investigating officer should not be the
person who issues a disciplinary warning (if given). If the immediate manager is in doubt as to the potential seriousness of the offence(s), he/she
should seek advice from the Human Resource Department and it may be appropriate to refer this matter to the Business Manager
3 Only managers identified in Appendix 1 are authorised to issue final written warnings or dismiss. Where this affects a direct subordinate, a Business
Manager from another Directorate may conduct the disciplinary hearing and decide on the appropriate penalty.
4 Where an accredited Trade Union Representative may be subject to disciplinary action, his/her Full Time Officer must be notified immediately by the
Head of Human Resources.
5 Please follow the detailed disciplinary policy and contact the Human Resources Department for further advice before taking any action.
GUIDANCE ON RECORDING INVESTIGATORY
INTERVIEWS AND HEARINGS
The recording of interviews and hearings will facilitate full and more accurate records
for the investigating officer as well as for the interviewee(s) and, in the case of hearings,
the panel members.
It is intended to use the facility of recording only for interviews being conducted as part
of a formal investigation and, where appropriate, subsequent hearings. This is in order
to speed up the process and aid in the production of accurate transcriptions. However,
it will only be used where the individual concerned is happy to do so and recording can
be suspended at the request of either party.
1. All staff should be asked for their consent to record an investigatory interview or
hearing when arrangements are made to set up the meeting. Where consent is not
given manual notes will be taken.
2. Once the equipment is set up for use, a check must be made to test that it is fully
functional. At the start of any interview or hearing the date, time and location should
3. All parties present should introduce themselves to enable later voice identification.
4. On request, an individual may receive a copy of the recording relevant to their
interview. However, because it will contain identifiable information, this will have to
be collected in person from the Human Resources Department.
5. Once the recording has been transcribed, the transcript should be forwarded to the
6. Recordings of interviews will be held securely within the Human Resources
Department until the transcription has been signed off as an accurate reflection of
7. The recording produced as part of an investigation will not go forward to a hearing,
the transcript will be used.
ADDITONAL INFROMATION FOR DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS MADE
AGAINST STAFF IN RELATION TO THE ABUSE OF VULNERABLE ADULTS
AND OR CHILDREN
Allegations of abuse against Children and Young People under 18
There are specific policies produced by Worcestershire Safeguarding Children
Board in accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006 that
must be followed by all organisations in the above circumstances.
WMHPT has a lead Officer and a senior manger whose roles in those circumstances
are as follows
Named Senior Officer (Director of Modernisation and Executive Nurse)
• Ensuring that their organisation complies with the standards and policy
outlined in this policy.
• Ensuring that this policy is reflected and implemented within their own agency policy.
• Ensuring that their workforce is aware of and implements the policies and
policies regarding allegations against adults who work with children and young
• Ensuring that their organisation has systems in place to review cases and identify and
then implement any changes which would improve both policies and practice.
• Resolving any inter-agency issues which impede the implementation of the LSCB policy.
• Ensuring that their organisation has effective reporting and recording
arrangements are in place.
Senior Manager (Named Professional Safeguarding Children)
• Ensuring that this policy is properly applied and implemented within their
• Providing advice, information and guidance for staff within the organisation.
• Being the senior manager within the organisation to whom allegations or
concerns are reported.
• Referring allegations in accordance with this policy.
• Attending Strategy Meetings where required.
• Liaising with the Local Authority Designated Officer.
• Liaising with Human Resources where disciplinary action is required.
• Ensuring that risk assessments are undertaken where and when required.
• Ensuring that effective reporting and recording systems are in place which allow
for the tracking of allegations through to the final outcome.
• Undertaking appropriate checks with data held by their organisation.
• Providing reports and information as required by their Named Senior Officer.
• Ensuring appropriate training programmes are in place and accessed by all
• Ensuring relevant support is in place for staff, parents and young people.
• Should the allegation be unfounded, giving consideration to a referral either to
Children and Young People’s Services or the police if the allegation is deemed
to be deliberately malicious or invented.
In order to meet these responsibilities the Senior Manager will need to access
advice and guidance from the LADO; The Senior Manager may be, or may
represent, the employer