Disciplinary policy

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What's a disciplinary policy and when do you need it?

You should have a disciplinary policy in place for your employees. This policy does not apply to self-employed contractors, workers and agency workers.

The policy covers your procedure when a disciplinary matter arises, usually where there is reasonable concern or suspicion that an employee has engaged in one or more actions that can be classified as ‘misconduct’.

There are three categories of misconduct; the policy covers each of them and provides non-exhaustive examples of what ‘misconduct’, ‘serious misconduct’ and ‘gross misconduct’ mean and the procedures that you will follow where any of them are exhibited by one or more employees within your business.

Our experts recommend that you do not give this policy contractual status in any employment contract that you put in place, but that you do reference it in that contract, make clear that the employee is expected to comply with the policy and that you have the right to update or revise it, in your discretion and when you want to. It also makes clear that while you will usually follow the procedural steps identified in the policy, you are not obliged to do so, including where an employee is on probation.

This template includes the statutory requirements, as well as optional elements for you to consider.