usually best dealt with informally. A quiet word is often all that is required to improve an employee’s conduct or performance. In some cases additional training, coaching and advice may be what is needed. An informal approach may be particularly helpful in small firms, where problems can be resolved quickly and confidentially. There will be situations where matters are more serious or where an informal approach has been tried but is not working. If informal action does not bring about an improvement, or the misconduct or unsatisfactory performance is considered too serious to be classed as minor, employers should provide employees with a clear signal of their dissatisfaction by taking formal action. Discipline in practice 1 A valued and generally reliable employee is late for work on a number of occasions causing difficulty for other staff who have to provide cover. You talk to the employee on his own and he reveals that he has recently split up with his wife and he now has to take the children to school on the way to work. You agree a temporary adjustment to his start and finish times and he undertakes to make arrangements for ‘school run’ cover which solves the problem. You decide that formal disciplinary action is not appropriate. How should it be done? Talk to the employee in private. This should be a two-way discussion, aimed at discussing possible shortcomings in conduct or performance and encouraging improvement. Criticism should be constructive, with the emphasis being on finding ways for the employee to improve and for the improvement to be sustained.
KEYS TO HANDLING DISCIPLINARY PROBLEMS IN THE WORKPLACE 11 2 Listen to whatever the employee has to say about the issue. It may become evident there is no problem – if so make this clear to the employee. Where improvement is required make sure the employee understands what needs to be done, how their performance or conduct will be reviewed, and over what period. It may be useful to confirm in writing what has been decided. Be careful that any informal action does not turn into formal disciplinary action, as this may unintentionally deny the employee certain rights, such as the right to be accompanied (see p23). If, during the discussion, it becomes obvious that the matter may be more serious, the meeting should be adjourned. The employee should be told that the matter will be continued under the formal disciplinary procedure. Keep brief notes of any agreed informal action for reference purposes. There should be reviews of progress over specified periods. Consider at any stage whether the use of an independent mediator may be helpful (see p7). Develop rules and procedures Extract: Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures Fairness and transparency are promoted by developing and using rules and procedures for handling disciplinary and grievance situations. These should be set down in writing, be specific and clear. Employees and, where appropriate, their representatives should be involved in the development of rules and procedures. It is also important to
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- Fall '16
- Farah Nabilla
- representative, disciplinary problems, acas code