Misconduct – Employment

Part 1 – Disciplinary Procedure Introduction Purpose Principles Human Resources & Other Advice Disciplinary Stages Part 2 – Procedure Guidance Introduction Scope of Guidance Stages of Disciplinary Action Initiating Formal Disciplinary Action Level of Management Investigation PAGE No 1 2 2 3 3 HUMAN RESOURCES 4 6 7 10 10 11 Information for the Employee before a Disciplinary Hearing 12 Time Limits Representation The Hearing Appeals Suspension General Issues 12 13 14 18 20 21 DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE.

FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. SERVICE PROCEDURE CONTENTS (continued) Other Legal Issues PAGE No 22 Appendix A – A Simplified Briefing Note for the Disciplinary Procedure Appendix B – Draft Dismissal Letter Appendix C – Draft Investigation Letter Appendix D – Draft Suspension Letter Appendix E – Disciplinary Flow Chart HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT).

HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. AUDIT OF AMENDMENTS Date Paragraph Changed Brief details of alterations Approved by APRIL 2007 July 2008 TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT Added after para 31 V. Bell Please note: where a warning has been issued, Continued Professional Development payments where applicable, will not be paid for the period of time that the warning is on file.

Continual Professional Development, where applicable will not be paid during the period of warning. Continual Professional Development, where applicable will not be paid during the period of warning. V. Bell July 2008 July 2008 Added in para 16 of the procedure guidance Added in para 22 of the procedure guidance Added in para 25 of the procedure guidance Appendix E 10 V. Bell July 2008 A warning (CPD payments will not be paid for the period of the warning. V.

Bell July 2008 Oct 2010 Amended Appendix Added. It must be noted that the behaviour listed below can include such actions/activity using social media. Added. Harassment, victimisation or bullying, including cyber bullying Added. It must be noted that the behaviour listed below can include such actions/activity using social media. Added. harassment, victimisation or bullying, including cyber bullying. V. Bell SCF 19 August 2010 SCF 19 August 2010 SCF 19 August 2010 SCF 19 August 2010 10 11 11 FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version.

LEICESTERSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE INTRODUCTION 1 This procedure applies in cases of conduct, unsatisfactory work performance and poor attendance, for further details please refer to the guidance. The Absence Management Procedure should be applied for absence due to sickness. The disciplinary guidance covers the scope of the procedure; the requirement to undertake an appropriate investigation; the stages of the procedure; the sanctions available to the employer; the rights of the employee; the hearing and the appeal mechanism; etc.

This procedure is written in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance 2004 and replaces every aspect of the Regulations from the date of the repeal of the Statutory Disciplinary Regulations. The basis of this procedure is that the principle of natural justice applies, at every stage, in a framework which also ensures fairness for both employees and managers. A guiding principle of the procedure is to obtain improvement and remedy problems.

This procedure, for disciplinary action and consequent appeals, applies to all people who are employed under the conditions of service of the following bodies: a. National Joint Council for Local Authorities’ Fire Services’ Scheme of Conditions of Service. National Joint Council for Local Government Services 2 3 4 b. 5 The procedure also applies to temporary and casual employees (not agency workers). The procedure does not apply to employees currently on a probation period of six months or less or where the six-month probationary period has been extended.

Employees have a statutory right to be accompanied by a fellow employee or trade union official at all formal stages of the procedure. 1 HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE 6 7 FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. PURPOSE 8 The purpose of this procedure is to encourage employees to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of conduct and performance within the Authority.

The aim is to resolve disciplinary issues as quickly as possible and to encourage consistent and fair treatment for all employees in accordance with the Authority’s policy on equality and fairness. PRINCIPLES 9 The procedure is not primarily a means of imposing sanctions, but rather to assist employees fulfil their duties and responsibilities to a satisfactory level. Disciplinary decisions may also include a requirement for counselling or training in certain circumstances. The procedure is designed to establish the facts quickly and to deal consistently with disciplinary issues.

No disciplinary action will be taken until the issues in question have been investigated thoroughly. Employees will be advised of the process. Prior to the hearing, following investigation, they will also be informed of the nature of the complaint together with supporting evidence and will be given the opportunity to state their case. Managers will ensure that employees are aware of the standards required of them, for example, work performance and behaviour.

All employees have the right to be accompanied by their representative body or a colleague of their choice at all stages of the formal procedure. Managers may require employees to answer questions directly rather than through their representatives. In addition, employees who have difficulties with communication will be suitably assisted. Notice of any proposed formal disciplinary hearing will be given. Employees will not be dismissed for the first breach of discipline except in the case of gross misconduct. There is a right of appeal at all stages of the formal procedure and this is outlined under each heading. (See below) 10 11 12.

13 14 15 16 17 The proceedings at a disciplinary investigation and hearing must be confidential. A breach in confidentiality may result in the disciplinary procedure being used in respect of the breach. HUMAN RESOURCES FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) 2 DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. 18 In normal circumstances, disciplinary action will relate to the employee’s behaviour at work.

However, in some cases it may relate to behaviour outside of work where it has a direct bearing on the employee’s suitability for employment or where the behaviour brings the authority into disrepute. Each case will be considered in accordance with the circumstances. HUMAN RESOURCES AND OTHER ADVICE 19 A Human Resources Advisor must be consulted on all formal disciplinary matters and will normally be present at a disciplinary hearing to provide advice. DISCIPLINARY STAGES INFORMAL STAGE 20 This is an informal discussion with the line manager or appropriate manager.

The separate formal stages of initiating action, investigation, hearing and decision are not relevant at this stage. The informal approach means that minor problems should be dealt with quickly and confidentially. The line manager will speak to the employee about their conduct, attendance or performance and may put this in writing although it would not form part of the disciplinary record, but can be used if no improvement. At the informal stage the manager should ensure that employees are clear of the expected outcomes and the process by which they will be achieved.

21 FIRST FORMAL STAGE 22 An employee’s line manager, or appropriate manager at Watch Manager level or above, may initiate the disciplinary process and investigate. Where, following a disciplinary hearing, the employee is found guilty of misconduct; the usual first step would be to give them a warning. A warning must give details and an explanation of the decision. It should warn the employee that failure to improve or modify behaviour may lead to further disciplinary action, and advise them of their right of appeal.

A warning should be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after six months. Where the issue is one of unsatisfactory performance or unsatisfactory attendance, please refer to the guidance. 3 HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE 23 24 FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. 25 A warning may only be given to an employee by their Station Manager or equivalent level management or above.

SECOND FORMAL STAGE 26 Where there is a failure to improve or change behaviour in the timescale set at the first formal stage, or where the offence is sufficiently serious, the sanction may be no greater than a final written warning. This sanction may only be issued after a further investigation and hearing. A final written warning must give details and an explanation of the decision. It should warn the employee that failure to improve or modify behaviour may lead to dismissal or to some other sanction, and advise them of their right of appeal.

A final written warning should be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after eighteen months. Where a lesser sanction is issued, the same right of appeal applies. A final written warning may only be given to an employee by their Group Manager or equivalent level management or above. 27 28 THIRD FORMAL STAGE 29 Where employees continually fail to improve, or where the offence is sufficiently serious, there should be an investigation and hearing. The sanctions available may include dismissal.

Alternatively, the outcome may be a sanction less than dismissal (see guidance for details). Employees must be told they have the right to appeal and details of the appeals process. Any sanction up to dismissal may only be given to an employee by their Area/Service Manager or above. 30 GROSS MISCONDUCT 31 Acts which constitute gross misconduct, are those resulting in a serious breach of contractual terms and thus potentially liable for summary dismissal. It is still important to establish the facts before taking any action.

Please refer to the guidance for further information. Further details are given in the Guidance. Please note: where a warning has been issued, Continued Professional Development payments where applicable, will not be paid for the period of time that the warning is on file. FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) 4 HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. LEICESTERSHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE PROCEDURE GUIDANCE.

INTRODUCTION 1 The disciplinary procedures will be made available to all employees, for instance on a station and in the staff handbook and will be referred to in contracts of employment. Management will do all they can to ensure that every employee knows and understands the procedures. The procedure, which reflects and improves on the statutory provisions and the ACAS Code on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures, is designed to help and encourage all employees to achieve and maintain standards of conduct, attendance and job performance. The aim is to ensure consistent and fair treatment for all employees in the organisation.

All managers, at every level, who may be involved in disciplinary action shall be fully trained in the operation of the procedure. Responsibility for the appropriate level of disciplinary action must be in accordance with the relevant role map, the role of the manager and levels of delegated authority. The basis of this procedure is that the principle of natural justice applies, and is clearly seen to apply, at every stage. The aim is to ensure that appropriate action can be taken without unnecessary delay, but in a framework which also ensures fairness for both employees and managers.

The principles of natural justice are: a) b) c) 6 the employee should know the allegations against them; the employee must be allowed to present the case fully, call witnesses and cross-examine; the body hearing the case must be free from bias. 2 3 4 5 The guiding principle of the procedure is that, in every case except dismissal, the aim is to obtain improvement and remedy problems. Each case shall be treated on its merits in the light of the particular circumstances involved. On issues of conduct the procedure may be initiated at any stage depending on the seriousness of the case.

Where issues concern unsatisfactory performance and/or attendance (not sickness) the stages in the procedure would normally be followed in sequence. 5 HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE 7 FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. 8 On issues of incapacity at work brought on by mis-use of alcohol or drugs, separate remedial procedures should be considered as an alternative in the first instance.

SCOPE OF GUIDANCE 9 This guidance covers the scope of the procedure (conduct, attendance and job performance); the requirement to undertake an appropriate investigation; the stages of the procedure; the sanctions available to the employer; the rights of the employee; the hearing and the appeal mechanism; etc. The disciplinary procedure is designed to cover behaviour which is contrary to that necessary for ensuring a safe and efficient workplace, and for maintaining good employment relations. It must be noted that the behaviour listed below can include such actions/activity using social medial.

Such behaviour could include, but is not limited to: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 11 bad behaviour, such as fighting or drunkenness unsatisfactory work performance harassment, victimisation or bullying, including cyber bullying misuse of company facilities (for example e-mail and internet) poor timekeeping unauthorised absences repeated or serious failure to follow instructions. 10 Acts which constitute gross misconduct are those resulting in a serious breach of contractual terms and may lead to summary dismissal i. e. dismissal without notice.

It must be noted that the behaviour listed below can include such actions/activity using social media. This list is not exhaustive and there may be other offences that could constitute gross misconduct. Examples of gross misconduct might include: ? ? ? ? ? theft or fraud and other offences of dishonesty fighting, as an aggressor, or assault on another person serious acts of insubordination physical violence or bullying, including cyber bullying HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE deliberate and serious damage to property FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) 6.

WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? serious misuse of the Authority’s property or name deliberately accessing pornographic, offensive or obscene material unlawful discrimination or harassment bringing the Authority into serious disrepute serious incapacity at work brought on by misuse of alcohol or illegal drugs causing loss, damage or injury through serious negligence a serious breach of health and safety rules a serious breach of confidence breaches of confidentiality involving members of the public.

STAGES OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION INFORMAL STAGE 12 Cases involving minor misconduct or unsatisfactory performance or attendance are usually best dealt with informally by the line manager or appropriate manager. A quiet word is often all that is required. The informal approach means that minor problems can be dealt with quickly and confidentially. Where issues involve performance, or in some cases attendance, supportive action, reference to the appraisal and specialist advice may be more appropriate. At this informal stage the manager should ensure that employees understand the position, if necessary by giving them a written note.

This would not form any part of their disciplinary record but it would be filed on their Personal Record File and used if no improvement occurs. There will, however, be situations where matters are more serious or where an informal approach has been tried but isn’t working. At this point it may be appropriate to enter the formal stages of the procedure. 13 14 FIRST FORMAL STAGE 15 An employee’s line manager, or appropriate manager at Watch Manager level or above, will investigate the matter. If required, a hearing may be held at which a manager at a higher level will make a decision.

The employee has the right to be represented and present their case in response to management. 7 HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. 16 Where, following a disciplinary hearing, an employee is found guilty of misconduct, the usual first step would be to give them a warning setting out the nature of the misconduct and the change in behaviour required. Continual Professional Development, where applicable will not be paid during the period of the warning.

The employee should be informed that the warning is part of the formal disciplinary process and what the consequences will be of the failure to change behaviour. The consequences could be a final written warning and, ultimately, dismissal. The employee should also be informed that they may appeal against the decision. A record of the warning should be kept, but it should be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after six months. Where there are issues of performance, account should be taken of the review of the employee’s Appraisal, which is designed to offer support and assistance whenever possible.

The disciplinary process should only be used where actions to remedy unsatisfactory performance, based on the developmental Appraisal, or other forms of performance management, are not proving effective. An employee who is found to be performing unsatisfactorily should be given a written note detailing the following: ? ? ? ? the performance problem the improvement that is required the timescale for achieving this improvement, plus a review date all support the employer will provide to assist the employee. 17 18 19 The employee should be informed that failure to improve could lead to disciplinary action being taken.

A copy of the note should be kept and used as the basis for monitoring and reviewing performance over a specified period e. g. six months. When dealing with absence from work, it is important to determine the reasons why the employee has not been at work. If there is no acceptable reason, the matter should be treated as a conduct issue and dealt with as a disciplinary matter. If the absence is due to genuine (including medically certified) illness the absence management procedure should be used. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 will apply. 20 21 FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) 8.

HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. SECOND FORMAL STAGE 22 Where there is a failure to improve or change behaviour in the timescale set at the first formal stage, the employee may be issued with a final written warning – but only after a further investigation and hearing. Alternatively, where the offence is sufficiently serious, action may be initiated at this stage. The final written warning will give details and an explanation of the decision.

It should warn the employee that failure to improve or modify behaviour may lead to dismissal or to some other sanction, and advise them of their right of appeal against the final written warning, which should be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after eighteen months. Where a lesser sanction is issued, the same right of appeal applies. Continual Professional Development, where applicable will not be paid during the period of the warning. A final written warning may only be given to an employee by their group manager or equivalent level or above. 23.

THIRD FORMAL STAGE 24 Where employees fail to improve, or where the offence is sufficiently serious, following an investigation and hearing, employees may be dismissed by their Area Manager/Service Manager. Employees must be told they have the right to appeal and details of the Appeals Process. Alternatively where there has been a failure to improve as required or, in exceptional cases, at the first offence, following the investigation and hearing, a decision may be made by their Functional Head/Area or Service Manager to award a sanction less than dismissal, or in serious cases, as an alternative to dismissal.

These sanctions are: ? ? ? ? A warning (CPD payments will not be paid for the period of the warning). Demotion (either within role or no more than one role; a demotion of more than one role can only be done with the agreement of the employee). Disciplinary transfer (which should involve no loss of remuneration and unless the employee agrees otherwise should be within the same duty system). Loss of pay up to a maximum of thirteen days. 25 FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) 9 HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE.

WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. INITIATING FORMAL DISCIPLINARY ACTION 26 For apparent cases of misconduct, where, in the judgement of the line manager or appropriate manager, the issue is one which would not result in a formal sanction greater than a written warning, the disciplinary procedure may be initiated by the line manager or appropriate manager, who will ensure that an investigation will be conducted by themselves or another appropriate manager.

Where, in the line manager, or other appropriate manager’s judgement, the sanction could be greater than a written warning, the procedure should be initiated by a manager not lower than the Station Manager or equivalent level manager, who will ensure that an investigation will be conducted by themselves or another appropriate manager. Where there are issues of performance including poor attendance, account should be taken of the outcome of the review of the appraisal, which is designed to offer support and assistance.

In these cases the disciplinary process should only be used where actions to remedy unsatisfactory performance are not proving effective. 27 28 LEVEL OF MANAGEMENT 29 The lowest level of line management who can take action within the procedure is in accordance with the role maps. The lowest level at the informal stage would be the crew manager or equivalent level management.

Subject to training, competence, and levels of delegated authority, and equivalent management levels, the formal stages are as follows: Investigation Formal stage 1 Formal stage 2 Formal stage 3 Watch or equivalent level Manager Station or equivalent level Manager Group or equivalent level Manager Conduct hearing / take action Station or equivalent level manager* Group or equivalent level Manager Area/Service Manager FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) 10 HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE.

WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. 30 Where the manager who would normally deal with the issue cannot be available, or there may be a conflict of interest, another manager, at the same or higher level, should be appointed to deal with the case. A manager who is not the investigating manager but is at a higher level should conduct the hearing. The investigating manager would normally present the management case at the second and third formal stages.

Where the investigation has been undertaken at Stage 1 or Stage 2 and evidence collected at the investigation indicates a more serious offence, the hearing can be conducted at Stage 3. Likewise, if the investigation is undertaken under Stage 3, following the investigation the hearing may be reduced to Stage 1 or 2 if the investigating manager considers it appropriate. The Investigating Manager will present the case, even if below the level indicated above. Advice should be taken from the HR Manager. 31 INVESTIGATION 32 An investigation should be carried out to establish the facts promptly.

For information about who should undertake the investigation please see Level of Management, above. Points to consider ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? The investigation should establish the facts of the case and should be appropriate to the nature of the alleged offence. A written record should be kept. All relevant parties should be interviewed. The employee must be interviewed as part of the process, they should be advised in advance of the purpose of the meeting. The employee may be represented. Making these arrangements should not frustrate the process.

A representative from the HR section may be present to assist with the investigation. The employee should be kept informed of the likely timescale by the Investigating Manager. Where the employee is subject to criminal proceedings this will not always prevent a disciplinary investigation and hearing taking place Where necessary technical experience relevant to the case should be obtained. If the formal procedure is evoked, witnesses will be provided with a copy of their statement to sign. HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE.

FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) 11 WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. ? ? ? Witnesses should be informed that they may be asked to attend the hearing. Confidentiality should be maintained at all times. If no formal disciplinary action is to be taken then no correspondence connected with the investigation should be kept on the employee’s personal file. 33 Having established the facts, the investigating manager, with the assistance of HR where appropriate, will decide: ? ? ?

Drop the case Deal with the matter informally Proceed to a formal disciplinary hearing. INFORMATION FOR THE EMPLOYEE BEFORE A DISCIPLINARY HEARING 34 In advance of any disciplinary hearing the manager with responsibility for chairing the disciplinary hearing will write to the employee. The letter should contain enough information for the employee to fully understand the case against them with all relevant details (e. g. dates, times, location, etc. ). If the employee has difficulty reading, or if English is not their first language, the manager should explain the content of the letter to them orally.

The employee must be informed if the case is being considered as gross misconduct. The letter should also invite the employee to a hearing at which the problem can be discussed, and it should inform the employee of their right to be accompanied. The employee will be given copies of any documents that will be produced at the hearing plus the names of witnesses to be called on management’s behalf. The employee may submit documentation in support of their case and call witnesses to the hearing.

The documentation plus a list of witnesses, if any, should be provided to the Chair at least two days in advance of the hearing, unless other agreements have been made. The Chair will ensure the Investigating Manager is provided with the documents prior to the hearing. At all stages, employees shall be fully informed. 35 36 TIME LIMITS 37 Time limits applicable to the different stages of the procedure are set out in the guidance below. These may be varied by mutual agreement. FIRST ISSUED (TRANSFERRED TO SHAREPOINT) 12 HUMAN RESOURCES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE & PROCEDURE GUIDANCE.

WARNING – If you are viewing a printed copy of this document it may not be current. Refer to Sharepoint for the latest version. 38 The timing and location of the hearing should, where practicable, be agreed with the employee and/or their representative. The length of time between the written notification and the hearing should be long enough to allow the employee and/or their representative to prepare and shall in any event be not less than: ? ? ? Seven days for first formal stage Ten days for the second stage Twenty-one days for the third stage (less by agreement).

REPRESENTATION 39 Employees have a statutory right to be accompanied by a fellow employee or trade union official of their choice at all formal stages of the procedure. There is no right to be represented by a legal representative. In addition, it is good practice for employees to be provided with the opportunity to be accompanied at the investigation stage, although this should not frustrate the process. Fellow employees or trade union officials do not have to accept a request to accompany an employee, and they should not be pressurised to do so.

An employee or lay trade union official who has agreed to accompany a colleague employed by the same employer, is entitled to take a reasonable amount of paid time off to fulfil that responsibility. This should cover the hearing and allow time for the representative to familiarise themselves with the case and confer with the employee before and after the hearing. A request for reasonable paid time off by a trade union official to accompany an employee employed by another fire authority in the same region shall be given due consideration by the respective employers.

Employers should cater for an employee’s disability at a meeting / hearing. They should also cater for a representative’s disability, for example providing wheelchair access if necessary. Before the hearing takes place, the employee will tell the manager who