Castle Associates can assist you by reviewing, evaluating and discussing the evidence against you; to advise you in how to question and challenge the case against you; prepare a comprehensive response to any allegation; to highlight concerns you may have and make every effort to ensure you get a fair and reasonable hearing.
What to expect during a disciplinary appeal hearing?
An employer’s reason for deciding to issue any disciplinary sanction against you should be fully explained; this could be in writing or at an outcome meeting following the disciplinary hearing and or both.
In line with the ACAS code of practice employees should be given the right to appeal a decision made following a disciplinary meeting. Most employers will give you a time limit to appeal; this can range from 5 days to 21 days, depending on the company policy.
An appeal should be heard as soon as possible, and without any unnecessary delay. In most cases, wherever possible the disciplinary appeal should be heard by someone who has not been involved in the disciplinary process itself; however, this may not always be possible and this will depend on the size and recourses of the company.
It is important to check your own company’s disciplinary procedure to make sure you are compliant with any of its timescales.
You have a statutory right to be accompanied at the disciplinary appeal meeting by a trade union representative or a work colleague. We can certainly provide you with a professional trade union representative, if you do not have anyone to accompany you to the disciplinary hearing.
What could be my grounds for appealing the disciplinary sanction?
The outcome of a disciplinary hearing can be appealed for a number of reasons and these could be:
- If the process was unfair.
- There was not a reasonable investigation
- The evidence does not substantiate the allegation
- The decision is unduly harsh
- New evidence comes to light
We can certainly help with writing the appeal letter. For a free, no obligation telephone consultation please contact us or fill out the call back request and we will be happy to arrange for an advisor to discuss your situation.
At the appeal hearing:
The appeal disciplinary hearing should be a two-way process but it will be mainly about you setting out the grounds of the appeal and depending on the company policy could be either a full rehearing of the case or a review looking at the grounds of the appeal.
It should be run in a similar way to the disciplinary hearing and employer should introduce those that are present and explain the purpose of the hearing, everyone’s role at the hearing and how it will be conducted.
The employer will normally ask you to set out your grounds of the appeal and ask you to put forward your reasons why they should change the original decision. They may ask you to go through all of the evidence to support your case and whether you have any new evidence. They will normally have some clarification questions around the allegations and the evidence presented.
You should be able to ask questions, present evidence and call any witnesses relevant to your appeal.
If you have a trade union representative or work colleague with you, they should be able to ask questions, you should also be allowed to confer privately with them.
The person accompanying you should be allowed to address the chair of the meeting and present your appeal setting out the grounds for you, they are not allowed to answer questions on your behalf, and the only way this can happen is if the employer has agreed this.
You should also be asked if there are any special circumstances or mitigation that you think the employer needs to take into account.
Your employer should provide you with minutes from the meeting of what was said in relation to the allegations. The minutes will not normally be verbatim but it is so important that they do reflect what you said and you should not sign them unless you are happy with the contents of the minutes. Should you not be happy with the minutes produced, make the necessary changes to confirm your responses to the questions put to you, your trade union representative will be able to help you with this, if you are accompanied.
After the hearing:
The employer should adjourn the disciplinary hearing before a decision is made, the length of adjournment will depend on the allegations and the evidence presented at the disciplinary appeal hearing.
They may choose to take one of the following options:
- Dismiss your appeal and the sanction remains in place
- Uphold your appeal and remove the sanction from you or even reinstate you if you have been dismissed
- Uphold your appeal in part and reduce the level of the sanction
- Your employer is not allowed to increase the sanction at the appeal hearing.
You will be informed once the decision is made writing and there are no further appeals allowed, unless your company policy allows further appeals.
The next step if you have been dismissed or there is a breakdown in the relationship with your employer will be an employment tribunal and it is important that you take proper legal advise before your next step.