When things go wrong

This procedure will be used as a last resort and will be conducted in a team setting. 

The Investigation

The investigating officer will conduct the investigations but may be accompanied by a third party who will take notes confidentially on behalf of the investigating officer. The decision as to who is the investigating officer will be taken as soon as there is a known incident to investigate. This should not be the direct line manager of the staff member under investigation if at all possible.

As soon as a disciplinary matter arises the investigating officer should first establish the facts, using investigatory interviews with those identified as being involved in or witnesses to the incident. Other useful evidence may include emails and other organisational documents and in some case photographs, or CCTV footage.

In some cases, for example unsatisfactory timekeeping or attendance, there may be no requirement for investigatory interviews. In such cases, the evidence gathered at this stage of the process may include file notes, return to work interviews etc. The important point is that all available evidence is gathered before a decision is taken about formal or informal action.

Timescales of Investigations

Initial investigations should be carried out immediately, while the events remain clear in the memory of those involved. All efforts should be made to ensure that investigations, including formal interviews are completed within two weeks of the alleged misconduct arising, although we acknowledge that more complex cases may take longer and when this is the case PVCSE will keep the employee informed.

Where a participant/client is involved, an assessment should be made about whether it is appropriate for them to be interviewed by the investigating officer, taking into account their own personal circumstances. If the participant/client is interviewed, then they can choose to have an appropriate staff member or other person of their choosing present for support.

The employee may be accompanied by a work colleague or trade union representative, providing this does not unnecessarily delay the investigation. There is no statutory right to be accompanied to an investigatory interview.

​​​​​​​Once all investigatory interviews have been held and the investigation is concluded, the investigating officer should prepare a summary report to be passed on to the disciplining officer, along with any supporting evidence including notes of investigatory interviews and other relevant documents.

Decision to Act

The disciplining officer may or may not be the same person as the investigating officer and will then decide whether:

  • no further action is necessary, or
  • informal action should be taken, including an informal warning or letter of concern, or
  • a formal disciplinary hearing is required.

1) If no further action is necessary, then the employee concerned should be told of the outcome of the investigation by the disciplining officer within 24 hours of the decision being made.

2) If informal action is necessary, then the employee concerned should be invited to an informal counselling meeting by their line manager, as outlined below. This meeting is informal and should not turn into disciplinary action. The meeting should be private, involving a two-way discussion, with the emphasis on finding ways to improve the situation, and take place within 48 hours of the investigation. It is essential that decisions and agreements are confirmed in writing within five working days of the meeting taking place.

Informal counselling can be considered as one option.

Formal disciplinary action is regarded by PVCSE as the last resort. We recognise that cases of minor misconduct may best be resolved through informal counselling, goal or target setting, advice or training and these do not form a formal part of this procedure.

Where an improvement is required, the concern will be discussed with the employee by their line manager as soon as possible after it has been observed.

The conduct giving rise to the concern will be explained and the required improvement stated, along with a reasonable timescale for improvement. Any foreseeable problems with complying with the request should be discussed and dealt with. The line manager should ask what support the employee needs in order to make the improvement, to ensure relevant and appropriate support is available.

The line manager should make a note that the conversation has taken place, confirming any agreed action plans and that it is reasonable to expect that the improvement is sustained. The employee should be informed of this within five working days, plus the fact that it may be necessary to move to the formal disciplinary procedure in the event that the informal route is unsuccessful.

It is hoped that the majority of concerns will be successfully dealt with in this manner.

Only when these options have been exhausted, or where matters are more serious, or where the issue is one of gross misconduct, should managers enter into the formal disciplinary procedure.

3) If the discussion reveals issues of a more serious nature, then the meeting should be adjourned, and the employee advised that the matter will now be considered under the formal disciplinary process.

If a formal disciplinary hearing is required, the employee should be invited in writing to attend a formal disciplinary hearing. The employee should be given at least 48 hours’ notice of the hearing. To enable the employee to prepare their response to the allegations, the letter should contain: 

  • the reasons for the hearing, e.g. the alleged misconduct or unsatisfactory behaviour
  • the possible consequences or outcome of the hearing, if this may be dismissal
  • details of the employee’s entitlement to be accompanied at the hearing by a work colleague or a trade union representative.

Outcomes of the Formal Disciplinary Procedure

Verbal warning: for unsatisfactory behaviour or misconduct of a relatively minor nature.

The employee should be given a timescale within which his/her behaviour or conduct must improve and should be in no doubt as to what  “satisfactory” or “acceptable” behaviour or conduct standards are. The employee’s performance should be reviewed at regular intervals during the timescale set for improvement.

The employee should be informed that a verbal warning is being issued and if there is no improvement, a written warning will be the next stage in the procedure.

A written record will be kept on the employee’s file for future reference. The employee should receive written confirmation of the warning and must be told of their right to appeal against the decision (see Appeal section below).

First written warning: for continued incidents of unsatisfactory behaviour or misconduct, or if an incident of more serious misconduct occurs.

If the employee’s poor conduct continues, or their behaviour fails to improve within the given timescale, or another incident of misconduct occurs, he/she should be sent a letter inviting them to attend another meeting to again discuss the shortfalls.

At this meeting the employee should be told the areas in which they failed to improve or make the required changes and should be given a chance to explain. If there is no satisfactory explanation for the failure to address the situation, the employee should again be told:

  • the timescale in which his or her conduct must alter, or behaviour must improve and the standards required
  • that he or she is being issued with a first written warning, and that failure to improve within the agreed timescales will result in a final written warning.

Again, the employee should receive written confirmation of the warning, and must be told of their right to appeal against the decision (see Appeal section below).

Final written warning: for further continued unsatisfactory behaviour or further misconduct, or if an incident of serious misconduct occurs.

If an employee’s first misconduct or unsatisfactory performance is sufficiently serious, it may be appropriate to move directly to a final written warning. This might be where the employee’s actions have had, or are liable to have, a serious or harmful impact on the organisation.

If the employee’s poor conduct is not addressed either partially, or fully, or should their behaviour still fail to reach a satisfactory standard, or an incident of serious misconduct occurs, a meeting should be held to discuss the shortfalls. Again, the employee should be told the areas in which his or her work or actions are unsatisfactory and should be given a chance to explain. If there is no satisfactory explanation for the failure to address this, he or she should be told:

  • the timescale in which his or her behaviour must improve or conduct alter and the standard which would be considered satisfactory;
  • that he or she is being issued with a final written warning, and that if he/she is unable to reach a satisfactory standard of performance, they may be dismissed.

The employee should receive written confirmation of the warning and must be told of their right to appeal against the decision (see Appeal section below).

Dismissal with notice: for continued unsatisfactory behaviour or conduct

If there is no improvement within the given timescale, the employee should receive, in writing, a clear description of the ways his or her behaviour fails to meet the required standard or where conduct continues to cause concern, and will be requested to attend another meeting at which dismissal will be considered.

It is important that the employee is informed in writing at this stage that dismissal may be the outcome of this meeting, but that  no decision has yet been made. At this meeting the employee should be told the specifics of where they have failed to improve and should be given the chance to explain. If no satisfactory explanation is given, the employee may be dismissed with notice.

The employee will be given notice of dismissal in writing and must be told of their right to appeal against the dismissal, the timescale in which to appeal, and to whom they should appeal. He or she should be instructed to lodge the appeal in writing, setting out the grounds on which it is being made.

A woman who is dismissed during pregnancy, maternity or adoption leave is automatically entitled to a written statement irrespective of length of service.

The Right to Appeal

An employee who feels that a disciplinary warning or dismissal is unfair may appeal against this. An appeal must be lodged, in writing, within seven calendar days of the decision being notified to the employee concerned.

The employee should clearly state the grounds on which the appeal is made (e.g. the finding is unfair, the penalty too harsh, new evidence comes to light, or because of a procedural defect).

An appeal hearing will be arranged without unreasonable delay. Where possible, the appeal will normally be heard by a member of staff senior to the person making the original decision, and not previously connected with the disciplinary process so that an independent decision may be made. If this is not possible, then a further independent party or other external party may be requested to attend the hearing and advise.

The person conducting the appeal is advised to be accompanied by a trustee (from the HR sub committee) of PVCSE, who will act as a witness and take full notes of everything that is said. Where there is no such person available, or where matters of confidentiality require that it should not be a staff member, then an external person may be invited to attend in this capacity.

The employee has a statutory right to be accompanied and may, if he/she so wishes, be accompanied by a supporter, a work colleague, a trade union representative (who must be certified in writing by the union as having experience of, or having received training in, acting as a worker’s companion at disciplinary or grievance hearings) or by an official employed by a trade union at any appeal hearing. The employee should tell the person conducting the appeal hearing in advance whom he or she has chosen as a companion. As with a disciplinary hearing, the companion will be able to address the appeal hearing, ask questions on behalf of the employee and to confer with the employee but not to answer questions on behalf of the employee.

If either the employee or his/her chosen companion is unable to attend an appeal meeting arranged under this procedure for a reason which was not foreseeable at the time the meeting was arranged then we will attempt to rearrange the meeting for a date within five days of the original planned date.

If the employee is disabled, reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure that he or she is not disadvantaged at the hearing. This may include the provision of further assistance where necessary. Arrangements may also be made to assist any employee who does not have English as his or her first language and who may need an interpreter.

The grounds of the appeal will be considered when deciding the extent of any new investigation: it may be that a complete re-hearing will be held should there be any suspected procedural defects.

The employee will be notified of the appeal decision in writing within five working days, and the decision taken at the appeal hearing will be final.

Procedures relating to records: duration and removal of warnings

A copy of the written confirmation of any warnings, dismissal, suspension or other disciplinary penalty (plus any appeal documentation) will be given to the employee and a copy placed on the employee’s personnel file. Such documentation will be regarded as confidential.

Warnings will remain ‘active’ for the following periods unless a different period is confirmed in writing to the employee:

  • verbal warning: six months from the date the warning is notified to the employee or such other period as may be specified
  • first written warning or improvement note: twelve months from the date the warning is notified to the employee or such other period as may be specified
  • final written warning: twelve months from the date the warning is notified to the employee, or indefinitely, depending on the circumstances resulting in the warning.

Following completion of the appropriate period, the warning will no longer be active and will normally be disregarded for the purposes of any future disciplinary action.

Records of disciplinary warnings will however be retained on file for purposes of disclosure as required by regulation 11 of the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations 2006.

Penalties other than dismissal

There may be circumstances where we consider alternative disciplinary action to dismissal to be appropriate. Such disciplinary action could include suspension  for up to ten days, demotion (which may result in a reduction in pay for the employee), or transfer to another position which may result in a reduction of pay.

Suspension

We reserve the right at any stage of this procedure to suspend the employee. Such suspension is not disciplinary action and does not involve any prejudgment. Only senior staff and the HR subcommittee have the right to enact a suspension.

A suspension is deemed necessary:

  • Where relationships have broken down
  • In gross misconduct cases
  • Where there are risks to the employee’s or the organisation’s property or responsibilities to other parties
  • Where there are reasonable grounds for concern that evidence has been tampered with, destroyed or witnesses pressurised before the meeting.

Suspension will be on full basic pay and will be for as short a period as possible in order to carry out any investigation of an alleged serious offence or to prevent any recurrence.

If suspended, the employee must be available to attend any fact finding interview called during the suspension period. Contact will be maintained with the employee throughout the period of suspension to keep him/her informed of the investigation. An employee who is suspended will only be allowed contact with PVCSE, through a nominated person and will only be allowed onto PVCSE premises in certain circumstances relating to the procedure, and only with the prior knowledge and consent of the suspending officer.

INFORMAL GRIEVANCE

The staff member (or volunteer) raises a concern

Time is allocated to hear and discuss the concern . This meeting is attended by the person with the grievance and a senior staff member (but not anyone named in the grievance).

The concern is addressed in an acceptable way for both parties and therefore recorded as such.

FORMAL GRIEVANCE

When the concern is not addressed to the satisfaction of the individual raising the concern, the individual (complainant) is then asked to put this in writing to their manager. Where the grievance is against the individual’s manager, they should talk to another manager or a trustee.

The written grievance is acknowledged within 48 hours.

A formal meeting is set up to hear the concern with the following attending:

  • A Senior Staff member
  • The individual raising the grievance
  • A supporter/companion for that individual should they choose. Note: an individual with a grievance can make a reasonable request to PVCSE for a companion (e.g. Trade Union representative or work colleague).

This meeting is to be set within five[AB1]  days of the grievance being received at the PVCSE office. If the date set is not possible for all, or for some unforeseen reason has to be postponed,  best practice informs PVCSE that the meeting should be rearranged within five days of the original date set.

At the meeting questions can be raised from both parties and all parties can contribute and/or address the meeting, with a view to having a full understanding of the grievance being raised.

After a full discussion then agreement on what action should be sought and this will be recorded and copied to all involved within seven working days.

Where the grievance is not upheld the reasons must be clearly explained in the response letter.

If the grievance raised was about a fellow employee, that individual will need to be informed of any part of the decision that affects them and the reasons for it. In this case the employee who raised the grievance should be informed about who else will be told about the decision and what type of information they will be given.

APPEALING A DECISION

If the action agreed is not acceptable to the individual raising the grievance then an appeal should be made in writing within seven working days of receiving the outcome of the formal meeting.

An appeal committee is created, including one senior staff member and a trustee from the HR sub group, along with an independent person. The appeal committee shall meet within seven days of receiving the letter of appeal.

The employee has the right to be accompanied as per point 7.3 of this policy.

The appeal committee decision shall be final and a written record sent to the individual raising the grievance and copied to all involved within seven days of the meeting taking place.

 

Any employee or volunteer has the right to seek action if she/he feels that   bullying or harassment has taken place or is offended or intimidated in any way. 

(Informal Approach) An employee who feels that he/she is being subjected to harassment or bullying may attempt to resolve the matter informally in the first instance. In some cases, it may be possible and sufficient for him/her to explain clearly to the person(s) engaged in the unwanted activities that the behaviour is unwelcome, that it offends or makes him/her uncomfortable. 

• If at the initial informal discussion stage, the circumstances are too difficult or embarrassing to approach the harasser alone, the complainant may wish to be accompanied by a friend or colleague; 

• the complainant may wish to write a letter to the harasser (research has shown this to be very effective); 

 • the complainant should keep a record of any incidents, detailing when, where, what occurred, and witnesses (if any); 

• in some cases, those experiencing the bullying or harassment may not be sufficiently confident to tell the harasser that his or her behaviour is unacceptable. 

PVCSE emphasises therefore that staff are not required to approach the harasser in an attempt to resolve the problem informally and are entitled to report the matter immediately if they so wish. 

Where the steps outlined in 5.2 above are unsuccessful or inappropriate, the complainant should raise the matter formally and in confidence with his/her manager. Alternatively, the matter may be raised with the HR sub committee or a senior staff member, and where necessary this could be an individual of the same sex/race or other identity as the complainant. 

The organisations disciplinary procedure will be invoked at this point. This states clearly the course  of action to take and the timescales involved in each.

If the complaint relates to the conduct of the complainant’s direct manager, the complainant may choose to discuss the matter with his/her manager’s line manager or a more senior staff member or Trustee. 

The Senior staff member and/or HR sub committee will discuss the matter with the complainant and agree a course of action.  

  • The complainant may be accompanied by a representative or work colleague at these meetings.  
  • The alleged harasser will also have the right to state their version of events to the manager and to also be accompanied by a representative or colleague. 

The complainant must be assured that he/she will not be discriminated against or victimised for raising the complaint.  

Confidentiality will be observed throughout and the need for any disclosure of the details of the case will be discussed and agreed. 

At any stage of the process the complainant, the staff member dealing with the complaint or the accused may feel that they need the help of an independent person before deciding on the best course of action. PVCSE will signpost to an appropriate individual or service, that provides adequately trained personnel, who can give confidential advice and assistance, including: 

  • advising on the nature of harassment; 
  • offering guidance on resolving harassment problems, including acting as an independent broker 

These individuals may be employees of PVCSE, or from a specialist agency, or an independent. The right support will be found depending on the need of the individual who requires assistance.  

If the situation cannot be resolved informally then the complainant has the right to pursue his or her complaint formally via PVCSE’s Grievance Procedure. 

The organisation has a responsibility to pursue the complaint formally through the disciplinary procedure.

Where senior staff and/or trustees consider that there may be evidence of harassment, they may consider it appropriate to undertake a full investigation of the circumstances. In this case a staff member or trustee previously not connected, or with no knowledge of the people involved may be commissioned to undertake this investigation.  

Best practice in relation to confidentiality will be maintained during this investigation; and both the complainant and alleged harasser will have  the opportunity to have their say.  

The investigator will also interview and take statements from any appropriate witnesses to the alleged harassment. 

Where there is evidence that harassment has occurred, prompt and corrective action will be taken, including disciplinary action where appropriate.  

Bullying and/or harassment is a serious offence which may result in summary dismissal. 

Approaching Performance Issues at PVCSE 

A staff member has a right to know what the standards are that are required, especially when their work is being questioned, and to have these clearly laid out, described and documented. This will be in their written terms of employment.

Supervision meetings and staff appraisals are also used to monitor performance, check on support levels and resources required and progress towards agreed outcomes.

PVCSE requires all those involved in addressing capability to act with caution and sensitivity, as we are not always aware of the causes of the drop in performance or standards (COVID -19 and other health related issues, life events, external stresses, mis-understandings as well as possible competence and aptitude issues). 

 First Steps 

In the first instance managers should seek to resolve performance issues informally and at the earliest possible opportunity. Usually this would be through the supervision process, or in a one off meeting called to address a particular issue. In terms of best practice these discussions and decisions, as well as the outcomes should be recorded. 

Expectations and Procedure 

Every staff member in a job with PVCSE should know clearly what is expected of them – in terms of content, achieving deadlines, the approach and attitude as they go about their work, as well as the standards to be reached.  

Stage 1: raise any concerns of performance or capability in the first instance in support and supervision sessions.  

If the issues cannot be resolved satisfactorily or the improvements/changes required are not made within six weeks then move to Stage 2 

Stage 2: explain to the employee that you are invoking the capability procedure and the reasons for this. The line manager will need to be explicit about what needs to change/improve, by when and how the measures to evidence this improvement/change will be made. This must be formally documented.

It will also be important to identify who has what role in relation to any assessment. At this stage training, coaching, learning visits, work shadowing can be suggested. 

At this stage it is important to break down the required changes as far as possible and to set clear timescales. It is also worth stating at this point if there are any ultimate deadlines for monitoring and measuring performance, especially where there are external factors to take into account and partners/funders’ requirements to meet (e.g. with training delivery, event management, information dissemination etc).

At this stage discuss with the employee the wider impact and consequences of not achieving what is required. 

Decide when any review meetings will take place and make a written record of the meeting. When the changes/improvements have been made ensure that these are documented and placed on file.  

If the required standards/improvements/changes are still not met within eight weeks then move to Stage 3 

Stage 3: Formal Capability Meetings 

This will involve a similar process to the one set out above, with the addition of a trustee from the HR Sub Committee. The employee will be invited to a formal meeting, giving them five working days’ notice, detailing the areas of concern with performance. Both parties have the right to present evidence and call witnesses at this meeting.

The employee has the right to be accompanied, by a supporter, colleague or Trade Union representative  

The purpose of meetings at Stage 3 is to investigate, bring forward any evidence and witnesses from both parties and to seek to understand why things have come this far and what needs to change 

A Performance Improvement Plan will be issued with a clear timescale to monitor change. This will have very clearly laid out areas for improvement required, including tasks, targets, deadlines, measures and what the employee needs in order to fulfil these requirements. 

It is recommended that the minimum time period is three months and that this stage does not extend beyond six months.

Stage 4: Disciplinary Policy and Procedure – as detailed in PVCSE’s policy 

If a worker is going to make a disclosure it should be made to the employer first, or if they feel unable to use the organisation’s procedure the disclosure should be made to a prescribed person, so that employment rights are protected. 

At PVCSE the staff member should first approach their direct Line Manager, a Senior Colleague or a member of the Trustee Board. 

Where possible any issues and concerns should be dealt with informally, with emphasis on confidentiality wherever possible. 

We ask those listening to the concern to take this seriously and take action as soon as is reasonable possible.  

The staff member or Trustee who receives the information will then conduct a thorough investigation, or appoint a colleague to undertake the investigation. It is not expected that any staff member would be left alone with this and the staff/Trustees will take advice from our HR Trustee and/or an outside agency, such as ACAS. 

www.acas.org 

An investigation will involve taking statements from all those connected to the issue/concern being raised. A full report will be written on the findings within 21 days of the original concern being raised. Any actions to be taken will be detailed in the report. 

3.4 Where the concern or ‘allegation’ is unfounded this will be clearly reported in the form of an official letter, closing the investigation. 

All staff should be informed that at any point if they are not happy with the findings of a ‘case’ they can then choose to raise a grievance via the PVCSE Grievance Policy. They can also contact Protect (formerly Public Concern at Work) on  020 3117 2520 and see https://www.pcaw.org.uk/ for further information 

Right to Appeal 

  • If workers are dismissed because of whistleblowing they may claim unfair dismissal. 

  • From 25th June 2013 if a case goes to a tribunal and the tribunal thinks the disclosure was made in “bad faith,” it will have the power to reduce compensation by up to 25%. 

Workers who ‘blow the whistle’ on wrongdoing in the workplace can claim unfair dismissal if they are dismissed or victimised for doing so. An employee’s dismissal (or selection for redundancy) is automatically considered ‘unfair’ if it is wholly or mainly for making a protected disclosure.  

A worker will have to show three things to claim PIDA protection: 

  • that he or she made a disclosure 

  • that they followed the correct disclosure procedure 

  • that they were dismissed or suffered a detriment as a result of making the disclosure. 

The list below is not exhaustive, but is a guide to the type of offence which normally results in summary dismissal (i.e. dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice):
  • theft, fraud or falsification of records e.g. PVCSE documentation, expense claims or attendance records etc.
  • being under the influence of alcohol
  • using a hand held mobile whilst driving or in control of a company vehicle at any time, or whilst driving or in control of any vehicle whilst on our business
  • gambling, bribery or corruption
  • being in possession of, or under the influence of, non-medically prescribed drugs
  • assault or fighting either on our premises or whilst engaged on our business or where the act committed irrevocably damages the required trust and mutual confidence between POP and the employee
  • violent, abusive, bullying or intimidating conduct within the team and/or towards beneficiaries
  • undertaking private work on our premises and/or during working hours without express permission
  • accepting gifts from outside organisations which have not been approved by POP
  • smoking in an unauthorised area where this constitutes a serious risk to health and safety or compromises our products
  • driving whilst under the influence of unlawful drugs or alcohol
  • sleeping on duty
  • inappropriate use of the internet or computer misuse in breach of our policies. This includes deliberately accessing internet sites containing pornographic, offensive or obscene material
  • act of unlawful discrimination, harassment, bullying or offensive behaviour
  • misuse of property belonging to PVCSE or of our name
  • malicious damage to property belonging to PVCSE, our clients/customers or other employees
  • flagrant disregard of our procedures, rules and regulations
  • any action in serious breach of legislative requirements which may affect our business
  • gross negligence
  • use of foul language or any act that violates commonly accepted standards of behaviour
  • actions which damage the reputation of PVCSE or bring it into disrepute – this includes taking part in activities which result in adverse publicity to ourselves, or which cause us to lose faith in your integrity
  • any action constituting a criminal offence which makes you unsuitable for employment with us
  • unauthorised use or disclosure of confidential information
  • failure to disclose correct information on your application form
  • serious breach of Health and Safety rules
  • accepting a gift which could be construed as a bribe
  • acts of dishonesty

An employee will not normally be dismissed for a first incident of misconduct, unless it amounts to gross misconduct, in which case summary dismissal without notice and without the need for any prior warnings may take place.

Gross misconduct and summary dismissal

Certain offences may be regarded as so serious as to render the employee liable to summary dismissal without prior warning (see examples above). A dismissal for gross misconduct will only be made following a disciplinary hearing and will be confirmed in writing, giving the reasons for dismissal, confirming that the employment is terminated immediately without notice, or pay in lieu of notice, and outlining the employee’s right of appeal.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of offences which amount to misconduct falling short of gross misconduct:​​​​​​​
  • unauthorised absence from work
  • unsatisfactory time-keeping or attendance
  • unsatisfactory job performance
  • time wasting
  • failure to follow a reasonable management instruction
  • minor contravention of health and safety regulations
  • disruptive behaviour
  • unauthorised use of the telephone
  • unauthorised use of e-mail and/or the internet
  • failure to wear personal protective equipment, if issued
  • minor damage to our property
  • minor breach of our rules
  • leaving your place of work without authority
  • failing to notify us of your absence from work
  • persistent absence/sickness
  • taking extended breaks
  • disrupting our business by receiving and making what we consider to be excessive personal telephone calls.
Employees who are still within their probationary period are not covered by this procedure. If a probationary employee is not performing satisfactorily, or there are incidences of misconduct, he or she will normally be seen by his or her line manager, informed of any shortcomings in performance or conduct, offered training and support (where appropriate) and given a clear warning that failure to improve will result in dismissal. If there is doubt about the employee’s ability to reach a satisfactory standard (and only as a last resort), the probationary period may be extended, in which case the employee will be told of this and a new date set for the expiry of the probationary period. If the employee is unable to reach a satisfactory standard of performance or conduct he or she will normally be invited to a formal meeting (with the right to be accompanied) prior to a decision being taken concerning his or her continued employment. A probationary employee who commits an act of gross misconduct will be summarily dismissed.
 

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