Disciplinary and Dismissal Process
Woodland & Hill Brow Ltd aims to ensure that there will be a fair and systematic approach to the implementation of standards of conduct, attendance and job performance affecting all grades of employee within its organisation. To this end the following procedure sets out the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved in disciplinary matters including misconduct and failure to meet the required standards of performance or attendance. Please note that this procedure does not form part of employees’ contracts of employment but sets out the process the care service will normally follow unless there is a valid reason for doing otherwise.
The purpose of this procedure is to be corrective rather than punitive and it should be recognised as such. If however, the standard of work or conduct falls and after warnings, remains below the level that is acceptable, the employee may be dismissed.
- Minor breaches of discipline, misconduct, poor time-keeping, etc may result in an informal discussion with the employee’s immediate superior.
- Although an informal warning will not form part of the formal disciplinary procedure, it will be recorded.
- It is expected that an informal discussion will resolve most difficulties. Where an employee commits a more serious act of misconduct or fails to improve and maintain that improvement with regard to conduct, behaviour or job performance, the formal steps detailed below may be taken.Examples of misconduct:The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of behavior or conduct which amount to misconduct falling short of gross misconduct:
- Unauthorized absence from work
- Unacceptable performance
- Inappropriate standards of dress
- Smoking within the building of the Home
- Time wasting
- Contravention of minor safety regulations
- Disruptive behavior
- Unauthorized use of the telephone and IT systems
- Unauthorized use of personal mobile phone while on duty
- No disciplinary action will be taken until the case has been fully investigated. The employee may be suspended to allow an investigation to take place. In some circumstances the fact that the employee has been suspended may be reported to the Secretary of State in accordance with the Protection of Vulnerable Adults Scheme.
- A disciplinary hearing conducted by the Homes Manager or Deputy manager will be held. In good time before the hearing the employee will be advised in writing of the reason(s) for thinking that the employee is guilty of misconduct or unsatisfactory job performance, where applicable provided with any evidence such as copies of witness statements and informed of the right to be accompanied at the hearing by a work colleague of his or her choice, or a trade union official. A trade union official means a full-time official or a lay official certified by the union as having experience of, or having been trained in, acting as a companion at disciplinary hearings. It should be noted that neither spouse/partner nor solicitor are suitable companions.
- At the disciplinary hearing, the employee will be invited to state his or her case and to answer the allegations against him or her. If, following the hearing, it is decided that disciplinary action should be implemented; the employee will be told of the decision and given a letter in confirmation of this within 7 days.
- In the case of a first offence, or if further offences have occurred following an informal warning, the employee will, following a disciplinary hearing, be given a first written warning. The written warning will state that it constitutes the first formal stage of the service’s disciplinary procedure and:
- the nature of the misconduct or poor performance
- the change in behaviour or improvement in performance that is required
- the time scale for change/improvement
- how long the warning will remain current on the employee’s file for disciplinary purposes
- that the employee has the right to appeal against the warning
- that any further misconduct of any kind, or a failure to improve performance to a satisfactory level, will result in a further disciplinary hearing and a final written warning which, if unheeded, may result in dismissal with notice.
- In the case of a more serious offence, or if a further offence occurs within the currency of a first written warning, or if the employee has failed to improve his/her performance to a satisfactory degree within the agreed timescale, the employee may be given a final written warning. Written confirmation of the warning will be as above for a first written warning.
- The final decision to dismiss can only be taken by The Homes Manager when satisfied with the facts of the case, the relevance of any mitigating factors and after interviewing the employee concerned.
- Alternative disciplinary actions short of dismissal may be considered. These are:
- suspension without pay up to a maximum of seven days
- demotion to a suitable job, if one is available
- transfer to another home within the service
- loss of seniority, pay increment or discretionary bonus.
- Employees may be summarily dismissed if it is established, after investigation and hearing the employee’s version of the matter, that there has been an act of gross misconduct, major breach of duty or conduct that brings or might bring the service’s name into disrepute.
- The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of behavior or conduct which amount to Gross misconduct:
- serious acts of insubordination
- serious breaches of health and safety rules
- fraud and deliberate falsification of records (including time sheets and expenses claims)
- being under the influence of alcohol or drugs during working hours
- serious negligence (even a single error where the actual or potential consequences are extremely serious), which causes, or is likely to cause, unacceptable loss, damage or injury
- flagrant failure to follow the service’s documentary procedures and regulations
- breach of duty regarding non-disclosure of confidential information including failure to report an incident, allergation or suspicion of the abuse of a resident
- deliberate or negligent damage to the service’s property including reckless or serious misuse of a Woodlands & Hill Brow Ltd vehicle
- disorderly or indecent conduct
- fighting on the service’s premises, threatening physical violence, abusive or intimidating conduct
- acts of incitement or actual acts of discrimination or harassment on the grounds of sex, gender reassignment, marital status, civil partnership status, pregnancy, colour, race, nationality, national origins, ethnic origins, religion or belief, religious practices, sexual orientation, disability or age
- misuse of the employer’s computer system, including misuse of e-mail and Internet access
- breach of the organization’s Internet social networking policy and procedure
- offering or accepting bribes in an attempt to influence behaviour of third parties
- Failure to comply with the relevant statutory or regulatory requirements
- Unauthorized use or disclosure of confidential information (subject to Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998)
- Rudeness to clients and/or relatives and/or their visitors
- Any act likely to bring Woodlands & Hill Brow Ltd into disrepute
- Sleeping on duty
- Failure to disclose correct information on your application form
- Conviction of any serious criminal offence while an employee of Woodlands & Hill Brow Ltd and failure to notify the Employer of any convictions or disqualification imposed on the employee during employment with the Employer
- Duplication of or unauthorized possession (or release to unauthorized third parties) of key or security cards belonging to Woodlands & Hill Brow Ltd.
- Abuse of position
- Failure to notify the Employer that he/she has been dismissed from employment by another employer on the grounds of misconduct which harmed or placed at risk of harm a vulnerable adult or that he has resigned, retired, been made redundant or been transferred from employment with another employer
- Failure to notify the Employer that he/she is the subject of a complaint relating to activities other than during employment by the Employer, which is concerned with harm or risk of harm to a vulnerable adult
- Failure to notify the Employer that he/she is the subject of any enquiries of any nature by any police force
- Any form of bullying
- Serious or persistent failure to comply with the standards of professional conduct and practice set out in the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers
- Receipt of notice that the employees name has been provisionally included on the POVA list or that his/her name has been confirmed on that list, either during or prior to employment with Woodlands & Hill Brow Ltd
- Failure to notify Woodlands & Hill Brow Ltd of hi/her inclusion or provisional inclusion on the POVA list
- The employee may, at the employer’s discretion, be suspended with pay while the circumstances of any complaint or allegation are investigated.
- In cases of potential gross misconduct, suspension with pay will be automatic.
- Such suspension does not constitute a disciplinary sanction but is instigated in order to allow the care service to investigate the conduct in question properly.
- The employee may appeal in writing to the Board of Woodlands & Hill Brow Ltd against any disciplinary action within 2 working days of receipt of the letter confirming the action taken. The employee must state the specific grounds for the appeal.
- An appeal hearing will be held and, where possible, will be chaired by a manager who is senior to the disciplining manager and who was not involved in the earlier disciplinary proceedings or decision.
- The employee will have the right to be accompanied at the appeal hearing by a work colleague of his/her choice or a trade union official. A trade union official means a full-time official or a lay official certified by the union as having experience of, or having been trained in, acting as a companion at disciplinary hearings. It should be noted that neither spouse/partner nor solicitor are suitable companions.
- If the disciplinary action which is the subject of the appeal is your dismissal the decision to dismiss will stand unless it is reversed on appeal.
- Following the hearing, the appeal decision will be confirmed in writing.
- The decision at the end of the appeal is final. There is no further right of internal appeal.
- The decision may include:
- the original decision is upheld
- the original decision is withdrawn
- suspension without pay
- re-instatement where the employee has been dismissed.Signed: _____________________________________
Policy review date: ____________________________