Disciplinary hearings

Your employer should not take any disciplinary action before meeting with you first and discussing the problem.

This disciplinary meeting (normally called a ‘hearing’) should be at a reasonable time and place.

At the hearing your employer should:

  • explain the complaint against you
  • go through the evidence
  • give you a chance to tell your side of the story

If you raise a significant new fact or issue at the hearing your employer might stop it and look into the issue. They should then rearrange the hearing at a later date.

Taking someone with you to a disciplinary hearing

You have the right to take someone with you to a disciplinary hearing, but you must tell your employer about this first.

Your companion can be either:

  • a colleague
  • a trade union representative
  • a trade union official

If a colleague cannot go with you and you’re not in the union you can ask to bring a family member or a Citizens Advice worker. However, your employer does not have to agree to this unless your employment contract says they must.

The companion can:

  • present and/or sum up your case and say things to support your case
  • speak to you during the hearing

Your companion cannot answer questions on your behalf.

Your companion cannot be disciplined for supporting you.

Disciplinary action

After the hearing your employer should write to you as soon as possible, saying what action they’re going to take, and telling you about your right to appeal.

The decision might be:

  • no action
  • written warning
  • final warning
  • demotion
  • dismissal

It might also be anything else that could resolve the problem, for example an agreement to mediate with a co-worker you’ve had personal problems with.