ACAS have issued some guidance on handling disciplinary and grievance processes during the pandemic and we’ve summarised the key points for you below.  The full advice can be seen here:

https://www.acas.org.uk/disciplinary-grievance-procedures-during-coronavirus

Is it fair and reasonable to proceed?

The employer should decide if it is fair and reasonable to proceed with the disciplinary or grievance process during the pandemic, taking into account factors such as whether people are on leave, furloughed, or working from home. It is also suggested that those involved should be consulted and informed of the rationale behind the decision to proceed or not to proceed. The employer should consider:

  • the individual circumstances and sensitivity of the case; for example if it needs to be dealt with urgently, or if it would be dealt with more fairly when people are able to return to the workplace; and
  • if anyone involved has a reasonable objection to the procedure going ahead.

The process should be safe and in line with public health guidelines

Someone on furlough can still take part in grievance and disciplinary processes, for example to attend an investigation interview or a hearing, subject to them doing so voluntarily and in a way that is in line with public health guidelines. For example, where the workplace is still open, employers should consider whether interviews and

meetings can be held in a place that safely allows for social distancing as well as privacy.

Video meetings need to be assessed for clarity and fairness

Consideration should be given to whether video meetings can be used fairly for investigation interviews or hearings, taking into account factors such as whether:

  • those involved have access to the technology needed;
  • disabilities or other accessibility issues are present that might affect someone’s ability to use video technology and, if so, whether any reasonable adjustments might be needed;
  • any witness statements or other evidence can be seen clearly by everyone involved during a hearing;
  • it’s possible to fairly assess and question evidence given by people interviewed in a video meeting;
  • it’s possible to get hold of all the evidence needed for the investigation or hearing, for example records or files that are kept in the office; and
  • it’s possible for the person under investigation or who raised a grievance to be accompanied during the hearing (or an investigation interview if the right applies).

We have been successfully conducting investigations remotely on behalf of public and private sector organisations over the past six weeks using video meetings (and the tried and tested telephone). We’ve found it has had very little impact on our ability to carry out investigations sensitively, effectively and efficiently and, in some cases where witnesses are geographically dispersed, it has actually speeded up the investigation process.

Whilst there might be other factors which impact on an employer’s ability to deal with disciplinary and grievance processes during the pandemic, this ACAS best practice guidance confirms that a requirement to conduct investigations and hearings remotely should not be a barrier per se.

Telephone:  +44 117 920 0137

Website: www.ibexgale.com

Connecting you

Putting you in touch with the right experts and business contacts quickly and efficiently

Find out more

Knowledge Sharing

Gain knowledge & inspiration from other business owners

Find out more

Business people shakling hands

Massive momentum

“ESPA have been involved with Inspire for about 4 years. Since the launch of the Elite programme we have gained a massive momentum through both the networking and direct business advice and support. For companies on a growth track, they are a vital partner to have along with you for the ride!”

Colin Blackburn
Director, European Student Placement Agency Ltd

Goldman Sachs logo
In partnership with Goldman Sachs

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme is designed to provide high-quality, practical education and business support to leaders of high-growth small businesses and social enterprises across the country.

Watch video
Grants and grant funding

Grants to fund business growth and innovation are often available but dependent on Government and Local Government priorities. If you are interested in finding out whether your business could be eligible for Grant Funding.

Watch video
x
x

Our Partners

Download your Inspire Meet The Expert Toolkit here

1TCA
Abacus Associates logo
abel and Imray
Apptel Logo
Artemis Clarke
Atkins Limited
Avagio IT
BWC logo
Boson web
confident cashflow logo
Cereal Partners UK
CSquared
Engage CRM UK
Enhance
Enquire
ESPA
face2faceHR
HR Dept
Intelligent Dialogue
Labyrinth Computers
Lloyds Bank
Longleat
Milsted Langdon
Mitchell Law
Money Corp
Quantuma LLP
RCC Town Planning Consultancy
rosemary bookkeeping logo
Securious - the south west's leading cyber security company
Shaw & Co
Stonegate
SWBF Finance
Wansbroughs
Wessex Fleet
What No Safety Services
Wiltshire college
Wiltshire Council
Wiltshire Friendly Society

Strategic Partners

Apetito
Atkins Limited
Center Parcs
Engage CRM UK
Granted Consultancy
Green Labyrinth
Haines Watts
Knorr-Bremse
Labyrinth Computers
Lloyds Bank
Longleat
Natwest
Securious - the south west's leading cyber security company
Shaw & Co
Smith and Williamson
UWE Bristol
Weston College logo
Wiltshire Council
Wiltshire college
Edison Wealth Management