Disciplinary Hearings

Advice and assistance from Cohen Cramer

If you are an employee facing a disciplinary hearing, or an employer conducting one, what goes on during the hearing will probably determine whether any future unfair dismissal claim succeeds or fails. Cohen Cramer can help make sure that you have the advice you need.

As an employee, it is essential that you prepare for the disciplinary hearing. An employer is entitled to suspend, investigate and discipline employees so objecting to them doing this is unlikely to assist. Your role is to explain why action taken against you is unfair.

You should:

  • Make a request, in writing, for all relevant documentary evidence. You should receive this with sufficient time to allow you to read, review and digest all information before the disciplinary hearing.
  • You are entitled to be accompanied by a Trade Union representative or a work colleague who should make notes of what is said during the hearing. What is said during a hearing is often disputed at an Employment Tribunal which is why it is important to have your own record. Unless the outcome of the disciplinary hearing is likely to impact upon your ability to practice in your profession, such as for example a surgeon, you are not entitled to be accompanied by a solicitor at the disciplinary hearing.
  • Ask in writing for employees relevant to your case to attend the disciplinary hearing so that you can question them.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask during the disciplinary hearing.
  • Ask for any reasonable adjustments you require, for example wheelchair access.
  • Remember that the disciplinary hearing is being conducted by the company. Employees facing disciplinary hearings often ask us whether their employer can or cannot do something.  The fact is that an employer can conduct the meeting how they want. The fairness of the disciplinary hearing will be judged by an Employment Tribunal. In these circumstances, it is wise to think what a judge would think when they read the disciplinary notes and how that judge will apply the standard legal tests to decide whether any dismissal is fair.

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