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 2016, 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 2016, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession

Latest blogs & 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.  

Why it’s time for youth mobility visas for EU nationals

The Youth Mobility Scheme allows employers to access younger workers from countries such as India and Iceland for two years. With skills shortages afflicting critical sectors, now might be the time for the government to consider a youth visa agreement with the EU.

Back to the office? - Your legal rights on returning to work during COVID-19

In revised guidance first published in July, the Government stated that it is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can.  In line with that, many employers have planned and begun implementing a return to the workplace.  However, as the latest figures and the Government’s recently published Autumn and Winter Plan seem to indicate, it is clear that the risk of contracting COVID-19 will continue to be a genuine and serious one for some time.

Covid and post-Brexit immigration rules serve up a recipe for disaster in the hospitality sector

From being the centrepiece of England’s post-Covid recovery with ‘eat out to help out’, the hospitality sector is now struggling to rebuild after lockdowns, furlough and rising food prices. At the same time many restaurants, cafes and pubs are coming up against the hard realities of a post-Brexit immigration policy and discovering what it means for their business.

Proposed changes to the flexible working regime

Earlier this year it was announced that the Government had plans to consult on changes to our flexible working regime. The Government’s Consultation Paper has now been published and illustrates the Government’s intentions regarding how flexible working rights will operate in future.

Is a personality clash in the Boardroom a fair reason for dismissal?

A recent case has highlighted a trend that that we have seen over recent years, with Employment Tribunals finding that the dismissal of a senior executive can be fair where there has been a breakdown in relations amongst a management team and one director / executive is considered to be more at fault (Moore v Phoenix Product Development Ltd EAT/0070/20).  Also, the procedural requirements for such dismissals may be more limited, in this case, the fact that no right of appeal was offered did not render the dismissal unfair.

"Was it something I said?” Whistleblowing during the pandemic

You may be surprised to learn that, without realising it, you may be a whistleblower. If you are a manager, you could easily come across a situation in which you are expected to manage (or even dismiss) a whistleblower, without anyone warning you of the dangers. 


What rights do employees accused of bullying have?

Employers have a duty to take reasonable care of the health and safety of their staff and this includes those facing such allegations, says Bina Patel

The “Great Resignation”? Things to consider for employers and employees

In recent weeks, a number of commentators have predicted the “Great Resignation”—a mass exodus of employees leaving their jobs following the wake-up call the pandemic has afforded them. Microsoft research has indicated that almost half of the worldwide workforce is ready to resign this year, with just under 40% of UK and Irish workers saying they are ready to quit. Many have had cause to re-evaluate their careers during COVID and with lockdown restrictions set to ease further, people are considering their options. If the “Great Resignation” is upon us, there are a few things employers and employees should bear in mind.

Back to work – where exactly does this leave employers in the aftermath of “Freedom Day” ?

“Freedom Day”, and what it actually means in practice, is not proving to be as straightforward as some had hoped (and arguably as the Government had initially led the business community to believe).  Employers can be forgiven for feeling confused as to what is expected of them and what they should be doing in terms of bringing their employees back into the workplace. We are by no means at the end of the debate, but we summarise below, the latest developments

Disciplining an employee for posting racist comments online

We have seen examples of people being ‘outed’ for posting racist comments online by individual bystanders who have been able to find their LinkedIn profiles and then contact relevant employers calling for the employee in question to lose their job.  Unfortunately, this is nothing new. But what can an organisation do in these circumstances, if it wants to demonstrate that it stands against racism and discrimination?

Back to the workplace – the new guidance and key considerations for employers

With lockdown restrictions moving to “Stage 4” of the Government’s roadmap to recovery, one of the key questions will be what this means with regard to returning to the workplace and, in a recent article, we considered the rights of employees on this issue.

Law firm partner’s profit share allocation was a reasonable exercise of discretion

Most disputes between partners of professional services firms are settled either through confidential negotiations or arbitration.  A public resolution of the matter through a full hearing and reported judgment is a rare occurrence. A recent example of such a case involving an ex-partner of a law firm is a useful reminder that it is difficult to challenge profit share or bonus decisions as an irrational exercise of discretion.

Regulatory compliance, trust and confidence in the financial services sector

In a case that attracted national media coverage and emphasises the crucial importance of regulatory compliance and the highest standards of professional conduct in the financial services sector, the High Court dismissed a breach of contract claim brought by an investment manager.

Your legal rights on returning to the office in the UK during COVID

So the Prime Minister has announced that most restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic will be lifted on 19 July, despite acknowledging that the pandemic itself is far from over and that case numbers are expected to continue rising.   


Leading the way: it’s time for action on pregnancy loss

In recent weeks, it has introduced a formal workplace policy providing paid time off for all staff who are directly or indirectly affected by pregnancy loss. This is not only a significant enhancement to the provisions required by law but is also, I understand, the first of its kind being put in place by a UK law firm. We hope other firms in our sector and beyond will follow suit and normalise protection in this space, thereby supporting the wellbeing of those affected and protecting talent.

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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