Welcome and introductions
The legal framework for disciplinary hearings
- Unfair dismissal and the rules of natural justice
- Who should be conducting the disciplinary hearing?
- The right to be accompanied
- Key features of a fair hearing
Case Study Session
In the first case study, delegates will look at a transcript of a disciplinary hearing and identify potential problems when the case comes before a Tribunal. This will involve analysing the way in which the evidence was put to the employee and the roles adopted by the various attendees including the employees representative. The task will be to identify ways in which the hearing could have been better structured and conducted
Structuring the meeting
- Openings and beginnings
- Introducing the evidence
- Making room for the employee’s story
- Staying focussed and ‘in control’
Dealing with witnesses
- Witness statements or live witnesses?
- Asking questions: open and leading
- Cross examination from the employee
- What is ‘hearsay’ and why does it matter?
Case Study Session
In this case study delegates will work through the evidence recorded in a disciplinary hearing and assess its strengths and weaknesses. This will involve identifying hearsay evidence when appropriate and looking for corroboration. The task will be to assess whether there is enough evidence to reach a conclusion about the employee’s guilt.
The employee representative
- Friends, lawyers, trade union reps
- The legal role of the representative
- How the representative helps the process
- What can the representative do and say?
- Dealing with points made during the hearing
- Handling disruptive representatives
Getting the sanction right
- Assessing the evidence
- Identifying gross misconduct
- Warnings – what are they for?
- Setting the right level of the warning
- When is dismissal appropriate?
- Mitigating circumstances and aggravating features
- The need for consistency – dealing with precedents
- Key principles to take away
- Final questions and round-up