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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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An employee who took the minutes in a disciplinary meeting

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An employee who took the minutes in a disciplinary meeting showed the typed up minutes to the employee before they were given to the manager, is this breach of trust ?.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Was he specifically asked not to disclose them before approval by the manager?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No but she has worked for the company for 12 years and would have known to give them to the manager first, she is very friendly with the other person.
How would she have known - was there a policy on this, or has she been involved in such duties previously and always been specifically asked to give them to the manager first?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes she has always taken the minutes in disciplinary meetings and would be trusted to give the minutes to the manager before the employee. The manager altered one or two points and the employee has now accused the manager of altering the minutes, even though they had been given them to approve.
The key here is what was the employee’s knowledge of the procedure and the expectations placed on them in these circumstances. If there was no previous exposure to these procedures, no clear policy in place and no specific instructions given to them, then it would be difficult to justify any disciplinary action. However, if any of these criteria existed and were broken then it is indeed possible to consider taking disciplinary action. In these circumstances I would only go as far as a warning, not dismissal. You would still need to go through a formal procedure and satisfy all the elements of a disciplinary procedure to ensure it is done fairly, but it is possible to discipline if necessary. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rules on misconduct disciplinary procedures, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help.
Thank you. Misconduct is a common reason for taking disciplinary action against an employee. It could be due either to a single serious act of misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time. In order to justify that disciplinary action on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:· Conducts a reasonable investigation;· Follows a fair disciplinary procedure; and· Shows they had reasonable grounds to believe the employee was guilty. In addition, the employer is expected to follow the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. Altogether, it means that a disciplinary procedure should be conducted as follows: 1. Investigation - a reasonable investigation is needed. What is reasonable depends entirely on the circumstances and especially the nature and seriousness of the allegations. The more serious these are, the more detailed the investigation needs to be. 2. Disciplinary hearing - if the investigation provides sufficient evidence of misconduct, the employee may be invited to attend a formal disciplinary hearing. They must be given prior notice of the hearing, including details of the allegations, allowing them time to prepare. They have the legal right to be accompanied at the hearing but only by a trade union representative or a colleague. 3. Decision and penalty - following the disciplinary, if the employer holds a genuine belief that the employee was guilty, then they can go ahead and formally sanction them. When deciding on the appropriate penalty, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and the employee's disciplinary record. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee should be issued with a written warning. In summary, an employer is not expected to prove that the alleged misconduct had definitely occurred. Disciplinary action will be fair if the employer can show that it had conducted a reasonable investigation, followed a fair procedure and held a genuine belief that the employee was guilty. Finally, it must show that the penalty was a reasonable action to take in the circumstances and one that a reasonable employer would have taken.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
You are welcome all the best