Advice on Handling Discipline and Grievances at Work

November 2016

This guide is purely advisory. It complements the Agency’s Code by giving more practical advice and guidance that employers and employees and their representatives will often find helpful both in general terms and in respect of individual cases. Industrial tribunals are not required to have regard to the guidance in this booklet that does not form part of the Code.

The guide contains examples of dismissal, disciplinary and grievance procedures to help employers in all types and size of organisation. Although organisations can be flexible about how formal or extensive their dismissal and disciplinary procedures need to be, there are procedures they must follow by law. These are known as statutory procedures. Unless employers follow these procedures, industrial tribunals will find dismissals automatically unfair and adjust awards accordingly.  

In those grievance cases, for which an industrial tribunal has jurisdiction to determine, a failure to follow the grievance procedure set out in the Code (e.g. – where the employer does not offer a meeting to discuss the grievance matter or the employee does not invoke an appeal) may mean that the Industrial Tribunal adjusts any award.

This guide also gives information on the right to be accompanied at disciplinary and grievance hearings

Further information and help

If you require further information or help with this publication please contact us

Telephone Enquiry Point

The Agency’s Enquiry Point is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. Enquiry Point advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Enquiry Point is also an important contact point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.

The Enquiry Point provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.

While the advisors cannot provide a legal opinion they can help callers gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as well as identifying possible options to help resolve their issues.

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Please note that we cannot deal with employment-related enquiries by e-mail. To receive information or advice about an employment-related issue, please telephone our Helpline on Belfast 90 321442 where an officer will speak with you directly about your query. Please note that the Agency can arrange the services of an interpreter if required.

If you have an employment relations issue in Great Britain please contact the ACAS Helpline on 0300 123 1100 .

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