Disciplinary policy and procedure

Policy overview

We want to provide an environment where employees can work to the best of their ability. We are proud of the willingness and loyalty of our staff to deliver our services.

We provide guidance about the standard of behaviour we expect and any rules that apply. To find out more, read our Code of Conduct.

A disciplinary policy promotes the fair treatment of employees. It also ensures the safe and effective operation of the business. The following procedures provide a framework to address any lapses in conduct. It encourages employees to achieve and maintain acceptable standards.

We will try to deal with incidents of minor misconduct informally.  We will discuss the breach of any rule or procedure in one-to-ones or supervision meetings. These types of meetings can be enough to bring about a change in behaviour. 

We may need to invoke a formal procedure when:

  • there is no improvement
  • a more serious lapse in conduct has occurred

We want to ensure that we deal with disciplinary offences:

  • in a fair and consistent way
  • without prejudice
  • in confidence
  • inline with good practice guidance provided by ACAS

This policy only applies to dismissals connected with disciplinary action and does not apply to situations such as redundancy or non-renewal of a fixed-term contract. In these cases, we will follow a fair and reasonable procedure before dismissal. 

The standards required from employees will apply to trade union representatives. However, where application of formal disciplinary action is being considered against a trade union official or representative, the case must first be discussed with a senior trade union representative or full-time official. This is in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice.

We do not use this policy to deal with issues relating to an employee's capability to perform their role.


  • Managers and employees should raise and deal with issues promptly. They should not unreasonably delay hearings, discussions or decisions
  • Relevant and necessary investigations, appropriate to the case, will take place
  • Managers should inform employees of the basis of the allegations. Employees should have a chance to respond before any disciplinary decisions are made
  • Employees are entitled to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing
  • Employees are entitled to a right of appeal against any formal decision made
  • Managers will decide whether meetings should be held in person or virtually or as a hybrid of both.


We may activate the disciplinary procedure for misconduct. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • a breach of health and safety rules or procedures. In some cases, this may constitute gross misconduct
  • lateness and poor timekeeping
  • inappropriate or excessive personal use of our property and equipment
  • failure to report damage to property and equipment as soon as possible
  • a breach of our policies
  • failure to follow reasonable requests and instructions made by a manager. In some cases, this may constitute gross misconduct
  • inappropriate conduct towards other employees or customers, clients, visitors
  • unauthorised absence from work. In some cases, this may constitute gross misconduct
  • aiding or encouraging other employees to breach rules or procedures or to perform other acts of misconduct
  • any other acts we deem to be misconduct

Gross misconduct

We only give dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice (summary dismissal) for gross misconduct. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • dishonesty, including falsification of statutory or our documents
  • dangerous practice or infringement of safety rules. These may or may not result in injury or endanger health and safety
  • aggressive, abusive or indecent behaviour
  • some cases of refusal to carry out reasonable requests made by a manager
  • theft or attempted theft
  • serious cases of neglect of duty
  • wilful damage to property
  • unauthorised disclosure of confidential information. For exceptions, read our whistleblowing policy
  • any action which contravenes our policies or has the potential to bring us into disrepute

Actions of gross misconduct include those actions which take place:

  • on our premises
  • in the course of our duty
  • in conduct outside work

Employees may be subject to disciplinary action if their conduct outside work could damage:

  • the council's reputation and standing
  • the employee's reputation
  • the reputation of other members of the council or Councillors

To find out more, read our Code of Conduct.

We may consider some acts committed while not in the course of duty to be gross misconduct. This will be if they are potentially damaging to us, other employees, clients or visitors. For example, if you are convicted of a criminal offence.