Disciplinary policy and procedure


We may dismiss an employee, with notice, if:

  • their conduct still fails to improve, or
  • another act of misconduct occurs during the life of a prior warning

We may omit or add to any stage of the disciplinary process, depending on the seriousness of the misconduct.

Summary dismissal

In the case of gross misconduct only, we may dismiss the employee without notice.

Extension of a live warning

In some cases, a manager may extend the period of a current live warning. They can do this rather than issue a next stage warning or proceed to dismissal. 

The period of extension can be:

  • a written warning extended for up to a further six months
  • a final written warning extended for up to a further 12 months

Managers can extend live warnings if an employee has a period of absence during a current warning. It only applies if the employee is absent for 28 consecutive calendar days or more. It may refer to absences for sickness, family leave or any other circumstances.

The period of extension must not exceed the length of the period of absence. It must not extend the warning for a live period of longer than the original life of the warning. For example, an employee has a warning for six months and, after four months, they are absent for three months. The manager can extend the warning on their return for up to two months. It means that the warning is live, while the employee is in work, for a period of six months.

Some other substantial reason

We have procedures to deal with situations that could result in the dismissal of an employee. For example, this may occur due to:

  • disciplinary
  • capability
  • absence
  • redundancy

There are times where the reason for dismissal may not fall within the policies we provide, or within the misconduct or gross misconduct categories included within this policy. This is known as a dismissal for Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR). An example of SOSR is:

  • imprisonment
  • other criminal conviction
  • a persons right to work in the UK is withdrawn, which may affect the employees ability to carry out normal duties

Withholding incremental salary progression

We may withhold an employees pay increment during the live period of a formal warning or notice period.


An outcome of a disciplinary matter may be that it is not appropriate for an employee to continue in their current post. They may need to consider a transfer to an alternative position. A transfer to another job could be:

  • a role at the same or lower grade
  • in a different service area or work base

Where this applies, and the employee agrees to the transfer, At-Risk status and salary protection will not apply. We will confirm any agreement to such a transfer in writing. This will be separate to any disciplinary warning we issue.

Referrals to statutory bodies

We have a legal duty to refer information to statutory bodies where required. For example, we must refer information to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) when:

  • an individual is removed from working or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults
  • there are concerns about an individuals contact with children or vulnerable adults

For information about recruitment and vetting checks, read our recruitment and vetting checks - criminal records policy.

Other statutory bodies include The Teaching Regulation Agency and Social Work England.


An employee can appeal the outcome of any disciplinary hearing in writing. We must receive this within ten working days from the date that the employee is deemed to have received the letter confirming outcomes from the disciplinary hearing. To find out more about the appeals procedure, read our appeals policy.

Employee records

We commit to the appropriate retention of disciplinary and conduct information in accordance with legal requirements. 

Our employee records system will hold key dates and outcomes concerning disciplinary matters. The employee’s manager can access this during the live period of a warning and the following retention period. We will disregard warnings for disciplinary purposes at the end of the live warning period. 

HR will maintain a scanned copy of any disciplinary papers in a secure manner. We will destroy all documents after the relevant retention period, as per our retention and disposal schedule.