What is the purpose of a disciplinary investigation meeting?
The purpose of a disciplinary investigation meeting is to give the employee an opportunity to fully respond to the allegations that have been made. No decision will be made until all relevant information has been taken into consideration.
How long will a disciplinary process take?
A disciplinary process should be processed as quickly as possible, however depending on the circumstances, a greater level of information may be required. An employee will be given at least 5 working days’ notice of the requirement to attend a disciplinary investigation meeting. In cases other than potential dismissal, once all the relevant responses and information has been considered, a decision will be issued within 10 working days.
What rights does an employee have at a disciplinary investigation?
An employee has the right;
- To be informed and to be provided with the details of any allegations that have been made against them.
- To be accompanied at any such meeting by a colleague of their choice, by a whole time official of a recognised trade union or a Local Trade Union Representative.
- To submit suggestions for witness(es) for consideration by the Line Manager/Head of School.
- To respond fully to the allegations, which can include oral and written submissions.
- To a fair and impartial determination of the issues concerned, taking into account any representations made by, or on behalf of, the employee and any other relevant or appropriate evidence, factors or circumstances
How much notice is required to attend a disciplinary investigation?
An employee will be given at least 5 working days’ notice in writing of the requirement to attend a disciplinary hearing.
Does the employee have to attend?
An employee is required to engage in a disciplinary process as per the disciplinary statute. In the instance that an employee does not engage, it will be regarded as failure to follow a reasonable management instruction.
The Head of School/Line Manager or nominee of the Director of Human Resources has the discretion to conduct the disciplinary investigation meeting in absentia and make a decision based on the information available to them if the employee fails to engage with the process.
Who is permitted to attend a disciplinary investigation?
The Disciplinary Statute permits the employee to be accompanied by a colleague of their choice, by a whole time official of a recognised trade union or a local trade union representative. The Head of School/Line Manager or nominee of the Director of Human Resources has the right to be accompanied by an appropriate HR Representative.
In cases of potential termination of employment, an outcome will take longer than 10 working days to be issued due to the stage of consideration by the Director of Human Resources and the President. The employee will be updated, regarding the progress of the process.
What happens if an employee’s representative cannot attend the disciplinary meeting?
The employee will be given at least 5 working days’ notice to attend the disciplinary investigation meeting which should allow sufficient time to avail of a representative. If the employees first preference of who they would like to accompany them is not available, they should try to arrange for someone else to attend. The employee may request an adjournment provided they have an objective justification as to why that representative should accompany them along with documentary evidence to support that the person is not available. The Head of School/Line Manager or nominee of the Director of Human Resources has the right to refuse the request for an adjournment at their discretion.
What if the employee is not satisfied with the person appointed to hear the disciplinary?
In this instance, an employee should write to the Head of School/Line Manager or nominee of the Director of Human Resources and explain why they feel that the person appointed is not suitable. Only in situations where a direct conflict of interest has been established will Human Resources in conjunction with the appropriate line management consider the appointment of an alternative individual to conduct the disciplinary process.
What are the possible outcomes following the disciplinary investigation meeting?
Possible outcomes in accordance with the disciplinary stature include,
- No disciplinary action is warranted;
- Verbal warning, written warning, final written warning;
- Deferral of an increment for the period of the incremental cycle;
- Reducing the employee to a specified lower grade or rank on a temporary or permanent basis or,
What is the role of the Line Manager/ Head of School in the Disciplinary Statute?
The role of the Line Manager/Head of School, when appointed to a disciplinary process, is to ensure that the employee is given a fair hearing.
In accordance with the Statute, the Line Manager/Head of School can be the employee’s direct Line Manager, or it can be a level of seniority above.
For academic staff, this function will be carried out by the relevant Head of School, College Principal and then the President or Director of Human Resources.
What is the role of the Human Resource Director in the Disciplinary Statute?
The Human Resource Director (HRD) may be involved in any stage of the disciplinary process depending on the circumstances, however ordinarily, involvement in the process is only where the sanction is potentially dismissal.
In cases of potential dismissal, the line manager, or appropriate nominee will arrange a disciplinary investigation meeting. The line manager will then make a recommendation to the HRD as whether they consider the allegation to be a serious infringement or act of potential gross misconduct.
If the HRD considers that disciplinary is warranted, they will provide the employee with; all of the probative material, a statement of potential penalty and a copy of the disciplinary statute. The employee will be required to respond in writing, within 10 working days. The employee has the right to request a meeting with the HRD. This request should be made in the employees written response. The HRD will take all of the information into consideration and make a recommendation to the President as to an appropriate level of sanction.
What is the role of the President in Disciplinary Statute?
In the case of potential dismissal, the President is required to review the recommendation of the Director of Human Resources, or nominee following the disciplinary process and any representations made by the employee. Following due consideration of all the relevant information, the President will make a decision and issue in writing to the employee and the Director of Human Resources. The President has the right to uphold the recommendation of the Director of Human Resources, impose another sanction in accordance with the Statute or decide that no disciplinary sanction should be imposed.
When does a disciplinary sanction take effect?
In accordance with the Statute, a formal warning, a deferral of an increment, reduction to a lower grade or dismissal will be imposed at the conclusion of the disciplinary process.
How long will a warning be retained on file?
- A verbal warning will be retained on an employee’s personnel file for 6 months, subject to satisfactory improvement.
- A written warning or a final written warning will be retained on an employee’s personnel file for 12 months, subject to satisfactory improvement.