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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50173
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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disciplinary hearing

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I am facing a disciplinary hearing and which is scheduled for this coming Monday. The initial hearing was on 28th November and I have waited nearly two weeks and not received any letter only an e-mail and itdoes not contain any witness statements am I entitled to see these before the meeting? What action can I take if witness statements are not forthcoming?

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
JACUSTOMER-fx389wst- :

Nearly four years

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry my connection dropped earlier and have only just managed to get back on. In disciplinary situations like this one, the employer is expected to follow the ACAS Code of Practice, a copy of which you can find here:

You will see that on page 5 it states:

“If it is decided that there is a disciplinary case to answer, the employee should be notified of this in writing. This notification should contain sufficient information about the alleged misconduct or poor performance and its possible consequences to enable the employee to prepare to answer the case at a disciplinary meeting. It would normally be appropriate to provide copies of any written evidence, which may include any witness statements, with the notification.”

Whilst you cannot force the employer to follow this Code, if they fail to do so and the breach is serious enough (for example you are dismissed as a result and you believe that the failure to provide the required evidence affected the outcome), you can consider making a claim for unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal. However, you cannot just make a claim without either being dismissed first or being forced to resign.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

JACUSTOMER-fx389wst- :

Just one more question which is not does not appear to be covered by the acas code of practice.

JACUSTOMER-fx389wst- :

Just one more question.

JACUSTOMER-fx389wst- :

I have looked at many websites and other than what I can find on Acas it reads :

The employer should provide the employee with all the evidence, typically in the form of witness statements, in advance of the disciplinary hearing. Ideally, the evidence should be provided when the employee is invited to the hearing, or at least far enough in advance for him or her to be able to prepare a proper ‘defence’.

JACUSTOMER-fx389wst- :

Is an e-mail satisfactory for the disciplinary hearing or does it have to be by letter. Secondly the company has had 15-18 days to collate their evidence and they say all I need is one day according to the company handbook. Surely this is not constituted as a reasonable time frame to prepare my defence.

Ben Jones :

An email can be sufficient, as long as the employer knows you have access to it at the time, so it is no good sending it to your work email if you are off sick and do not have access at home. As to the time allowed for you to prepare a defence, the law does not actually stipulate a minimum notice period to prepare a defence and it would generally be required for the employer to give you 'reasonable notice', but that would depend on the individual circumstances, such as how much documentation there is, the level of detail, etc. One person's disciplinary could only require a day to prepare for, another could require at least several days - it would vary on a case by case basis, but there is nothing specific in law about this unfortunately.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies things for you?

JACUSTOMER-fx389wst- :

thank you

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry tracker mouse pad not brilliant I meant to score you as excellent.

its not a problem, nothing to worry about, thanks for clarifying anyway.