disciplinary and grievance procedure advice for employers

Where we differ from many other companies is that we will actually work with you in your business.

For example, rather than just provide HR advice about a grievance procedure, we will also write all the necessary correspondence. And should you wish for even closer support, we will attend and run any meetings that may be required. We work as part of your team, from the start to the conclusion of the process.

Disciplinary issues are also within our remit. We can curate a plan of action for your business when disciplining individuals, and follow up by producing documents to be used in accordance with regulations. Getting employment law wrong could be costly, not only from a financial viewpoint but also for your reputation and in the perspective of employee relations.

We provide employers with the peace of mind that this difficult situation is being taken care of by seasoned experts.

what counts as misconduct?

Misconduct and gross misconduct are two of the main grounds for dismissal. The distinction is that if an employer finds there has been gross misconduct, they should still carry out an investigation and the full disciplinary procedure. They might then decide on immediate dismissal or no payment.

Misconduct might include:

  • bullying
  • harassment
  • refusing to do work
  • being absent without permission

Gross misconduct might include:

  • fraud
  • physical violence
  • serious lack of care to their duties or other people
  • serious insubordination, such as refusing to follow what is required by law

What counts as misconduct can be very difficult to discern. Contacting a HR professional will be key. Each business must have its own documented policy concerning disciplinary expectations.

what is the disciplinary process for businesses

We’ll walk you through the step by step process of disciplining employees:

step 1

Identify the issue:

What has happened? why are you considering undertaking disciplinary procedure? Does the matter  concern unacceptable or improper behaviour, or is the disciplinary purely on performance.

Sentient will ask the employer if they have tried resolving the issue, be it by privately talking with them and any other staff involved, listening to their point of view agreeing improvements to be made, or setting up a training or development plan, if it’s a performance issue. Whether the employer deals with the issue under a capability or disciplinary procedure, they must do so fairly.

step 2

Consult material:

Check actions against the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. To learn more about how to follow formal procedure, Sentient has bookable training courses and online training videos available.

step 3


Call and consult Sentient with the facts and together we will prepare a plan on how to fairly move forward with disciplinary procedure. We will advise on whether what you are doing is right and lawful and assess your grounds for dismissal.

step 4


Sentient will advise on the process to set up the final consultation meeting where an employee’s dismissal is to be confirmed. An employee does have the right to be accompanied at this meeting by a trade union representative or colleague. Employers should also look to have legal representation, which we can provide.

When informing the employee of any action, our letter templates are available. 

step 5

Consequences and Tribunal Preparation :

Consequences needs to be equal to the level of discipline.

At Sentient we will give a range of options for how to proceed, and employers might look at other disciplinary actions depending on the seriousness of the misconduct or performance issue. For example, instead of dismissal, the employer could decide to move the employee to an alternative role.

If the consequence is dismissal, then the employee should be told as soon as possible both the reasons for the dismissal and the date the employment contract will end. They will require a notice period and an explanation that they have a right to appeal. Remember, the disciplinary outcome and details must remain confidential.

Sentient helps businesses avoid unfair dismissal claims. The employee might make this claim if they feel the outcome is too severe, or if they feel any stage of the disciplinary procedure was unfair.

Sentient are on hand to assist with tribunal cases; we offer both preparation and representation services.