Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures, Absence and Performance Management

Advising in relation to disciplinary and grievance procedures, and providing guidance on absence and performance management, is one of our core areas of employment law expertise.

For employers, it is often important that advice is taken on these issues as soon as they arise, even if your policies and procedures are up to date. Frequently these cases are difficult to deal with and complications easily arise. Mishandling the situation can lead to various claims in the employment tribunal and therefore ensuring appropriate management of such issues from the outset is key. Our team is well acquainted in advising HR professionals and managers on internal investigations, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and absence and performance management, to minimise the risk of tribunal claims.

When advising senior executives in such situations, we understand the emotional pressure of being subject to internal processes. We offer legal and practical guidance through what is often a difficult time. We will assist you in terms of how to put your best case forward, whether you are the subject of disciplinary investigation, poor performance allegations, or ill health capability proceedings.

We will ensure that we understand the issues and your requirements, and advise you on the best strategy available in order to achieve your business goals and protect your interests.

Kingsley Napley’s criminal and regulatory law pedigree means that we have in-depth experience of disciplinary investigations and cases involving alleged workplace wrongdoing. We regularly work with our business and financial crime, professional discipline and regulatory colleagues across the firm to ensure that such cases are handled appropriately from all angles.  

They are an outstanding firm and provide superb service; they are a genuine class act.

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

They understand the realities facing their clients, and the advice they give is practical.

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Latest blogs & news

Your employment rights if your Russia-related job is being cut

In recent weeks, we have all been witness to the significant consequences of Vladamir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – on a human and business level. Many financial institutions have shut-down their offices in Moscow with staff being let go or transferred, and there has also been a ripple effect over here in the City with an impact on banking jobs in London.

Understanding the benefits of flexible working

Moira Campbell and Jess Rice explain how employers can use flexibility as a way to attract and retain talent and promote workplace inclusivity.

Coronavirus: Living with Covid – the implications for employers

The government made its long-awaited Freedom Day announcement on Monday 21 February 2022 and later the same day the Cabinet Office published its paper Living with Covid. As a result, the legal landscape for employers and employees changed significantly on 24 February 2022. The legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test was removed. Self-isolation support payments went too. From 24 March, the special provisions for the payment of statutory sick pay for people with Covid-19 will be removed. So is this all good news for employers? Will this help those who have been charged with managing their workplaces through what remains of the pandemic? Does it mean freedom for them, or something less?

LLP Partners – Secure in the Equity?

The default retirement age of 65 for employees is now only a distant memory, but mandatory retirement ages for LLP members remain common in professional services firms. In practice this can result in surprising and harsh outcomes.

Removing vaccination as a condition of employment

Health secretary Sajid Javid has announced that the government will launch a consultation on removing vaccination as a condition of employment in health and all social care settings. The regulations requiring front line health workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 (Coronavirus) as a condition of employment were due to come into force on 1 April 2022, which meant that unvaccinated staff had until 3 February 2022 to receive their first dose so that they could be fully vaccinated by April.

Whistleblowing in the UK: In Summary

UK law has granted protection for those who raise concerns of potential wrongdoing in the workplace (whistleblowers) since 1999 through the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

Recent tribunal cases involving Covid-19

Nick Ralph looks in detail at recent cases that have stemmed from the pandemic, including a refusal to attend work due to fear of contracting the virus.

Covid vaccination and the workplace – what you need to know

One of the most topical issues regarding Covid-19 is that of vaccination and whether it should be mandatory. 

Stories regarding big employers such as Citibank in the US mandating vaccination as a condition of employment (“no jab, no job”), the experience of great sports personalities such as Novak Djokovic and the decision of the Supreme Court in the US last week regarding laws mandating vaccination in the private sector, have all brought this issue into the spotlight.

So what is the legal position in the UK?  

How HR should prepare for a workplace investigation

Richard Fox and Clodagh Hogan explain the questions people professionals should ask prior to conducting an inquiry into a dispute between employees

Investigations being conducted into workplace disputes have increased recently, possibly partly due to the rise in the number of sexual misconduct in the workplace allegations since the advent of the #MeToo movement.

Planning is key to workplace investigations and, if you are considering carrying out an investigation, ask yourself the following questions at the outset:

Flexible working – fit for firms?

Much has been said about the proposed changes to the flexible working regime announced by the Government in its Consultation Paper on 23 September 2021.

Omicron is here. What does that mean for employers?

It is the cliché that keeps on giving.  Uncertainty remains the only certainty in this world of coronavirus and all its mutations.

At the time of writing, the number of cases in the UK of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron (technically, the B.1.1.529 variant), had reached 32.  This is likely to increase given the current view among scientists that Omicron may be more infectious than the existing Delta variant of coronavirus and vaccinations less effective against it.

How businesses can avoid misusing NDAs

Richard Fox and Georgia Roberts explain why employers dealing with sexual misconduct claims should tread carefully when requiring an NDA to be included in a settlement agreement

Improving diversity at the top

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently launched a consultation on proposed amendments to its Listing Rules aimed at improving diversity and inclusion on company boards and executive committees. In particular, they are seeking feedback on proposals to require listed companies to publicly disclose annually whether they meet specific board diversity targets, including in relation to ethnicity, and to publish the composition of their boards and most senior level of executive management. To understand why such proposals are necessary, it is important to consider the current state of ethnic minority representation in UK leadership, why diversity at senior levels is so vitally important and what steps can employers take to improve diversity.

The UK’s Data Protection Reform Consultation – Good News for Employers?

On 10 September 2021 the UK Government launched a Consultation on proposed changes to data protection law with the aim to “create a more pro-growth and pro-innovation data regime, whilst maintaining the UK’s world-leading data protection standards”. The proposals are designed to build on the UK’s existing data protection regime (contained in the General Data Protection Regulation (as it applies in the UK post-Brexit) (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018).

The Home Office’s new “early ILR concession”

Progressive developments in immigration law have become a rare phenomenon, so the Home Office’s new policy – which halves the route to settlement for certain young people who have resided in the UK for more than half of their lives – is welcome news.

BEIS White Paper on Audit Reform: Will Kwarteng's reforms really unchain entrepreneurs?

In 2012, as a recently elected MP, Kwasi Kwarteng co-authored “Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Properity”, a political pamphlet which championed risk-taking and innovation in the UK economy, and which ever since has led some to label him a fervent Brexiteer. Appointed as the Business Secretary in January 2021, only a few months later his department (BEIS) published one of the longest and most ambitious government White Papers in recent years.

Barder: Exceptional and rare

Cate Maguire looks at how the Barder principle has been applied in cases involving 'known unknowns'

World Menopause Day - time to break the taboo!

World Menopause Day was held on 18 October 2021. It is an opportunity to break the stigma and taboo that still exists around menopause and to encourage open dialogue about what is a natural and very significant transition in a woman’s life.

Redundancy and negotiating an exit package during the pandemic

Coronavirus is having a serious impact on businesses and the global economy. Sadly, many businesses have been impacted to the extent that they have or will have to put cost-cutting measures in place. For some individuals this will result in their role being put at risk of redundancy.

Preparation for Public Inquiries - Webinar Summary

In light of the announcement that an independent inquiry into the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic will begin in spring 2022, Kingsley Napley hosted a webinar last week on the theme of Preparing for Public Inquiries in conjunction with Blackstone Chambers and FTI Consulting. For anyone who missed this event, a recording is available here (LINK) and we have also prepared the summary below.  

Disciplinary and grievance procedures, absence and performance management Insights

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Fair redundancies - Top 10 tips for employers: Part 1 - Individual Consultation

Credibility of witness evidence justified dismissal under FCA’s ‘fit and proper’ test

When an employee is under regulatory or criminal investigation, how should their employer handle an internal disciplinary?

Carrying out a reasonable investigation into a misconduct allegation – can an employer withhold evidence from a disciplinary panel?

The pitfalls of employee immigration status

When is a data controller liable for the criminal acts of a rogue employee?

Stopping sexual harassment from happening in the first place – #ICanHelpToo

A warning for employers to think carefully before suspending an employee

Where now for tribunal fees?

What the employment tribunal fees ruling means for business

FCA and PRA regulatory references - what do the new rules mean in practice?

A case on service of a Notice to terminate a Contract of Employment … and yes, it's interesting!

What employment law developments does 2017 have in store for HR professionals?

Employees with temporary incapacity may be disabled

“Fair” dismissal after failing to prove the right to work in the UK

Employer could not rely upon manifestly inappropriate final warning when dismissing employee

Off the Record: Protected conversations versus “without prejudice” protection

Royal Mail fails to deliver whistleblowing win for fellow employers

No Imputed Intention for Direct Disability Discrimination

Proposals for a single employment court

EAT allows appeal against order for re-engagement

“Pulling a Sickie”

The tax treatment of settlement payments: Are payments made to employees on account of injury to feelings, discrimination or termination of employment, subject to tax?

Peninsula Business Services v Donaldson: Childcare Vouchers not a “Benefit” says EAT

Senior President of Tribunals’ Annual Report 2016 - Fees, fair representation and a digitised future

The questions around holiday pay live to fight another day

A Scottish skirmish and the on-going battle over holiday pay

Briggs report and how it will affect employers and HR practitioners

Case update: Are subsequent events relevant to whether a task was intended to be of short term duration?

Case update: Associated employers, continuous employment and the importance of being transparent with the Employment Tribunal

Case update: Unfair dismissal: A striking example of procedural errors

Early Conciliation through Acas proves its worth

Legal update: Religious dress and discrimination in the workplace

Legal update: Will successful claimants be entitled to a 10% uplift on any injury to feelings compensation they are awarded?

Legal update: Reason for dismissal – clarity is vital

Tribunal fees question moves from court to politics

Employment law case round up: 12 lessons learnt in 2014

Legal update: A failure to comply with Early Conciliation requirements can be rectified, and the claim is treated as presented on the date the defect was rectified

Acas statistics for Early Conciliation - 6 months on

Employment Tribunal user group meeting in Watford - Another step forward?

Can employees bring claims if they have been employed illegally?

Acas Early Conciliation – what’s the story so far?

Employment Tribunal Former President is looking forward and thinking out of the box, says Fox!

Employment Tribunals – is East London bucking the trend?

Case summary: UNISON and employment tribunal fees

Employment tribunal statistics – the reckoning

Employment rights come at a price

Occupational health referrals in disability cases: lessons from recent case law

Are you ready for the changes to Employment Law in 2014?

Tips for winning an age discrimination case

Fun (yes I mean fun!) at the Employment Tribunal User Group meeting in Watford!

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