What are you doing about disciplinary and grievance issues? In summary:

  • Informal resolution of minor disciplinary or grievance issues is effective, but formal complaints require adherence to proper procedures.
  • An HR system, such as Cezanne, can streamline the management of grievance and disciplinary processes by providing tools for policy access, documentation, and tracking.
  • Also, emphasising the importance of training managers on the right processes and ensuring transparency and documentation can help mitigate risks and improve handling of employee issues.

According to ACAS, 1 in 3 of the calls to their helpline are related to questions around disciplinary and grievance issues: a clear indication they’re both a contentious – and confusing – area for both employers and employees.

After all, preparing for and defending yourself against a claim can be expensive and time-consuming – and can occasionally result in costly fines. Perhaps it’s no wonder, then, that wrapping your head around disciplinary and grievance protocols can be daunting… But luckily for the most part, minor disciplinary or grievance issues can be resolved informally.

What are you doing about disciplinary and grievance issues Cezanne Blog

A quiet word with someone who is persistently late, or has developed the knack of rubbing colleagues up the wrong way can work wonders. If your organisation encourages regular performance check-ins, it becomes easier to nip potential problems in the bud before they get out of hand.

But, if problems with performance or attitude persist, or an employee raises a formal complaint, it’s essential that the right steps are followed. And this is where a powerful HR system can be advantageous for everyone.

Disciplinary and grievance issues: using HR systems to your advantage

Now of course, an HR system can’t possibly understand the nuances of every situation, or manage the process for you… but it can help you be better prepared and support you in being more ready to deal with grievance and disciplinary issues in a professional and timely way.

For example, with Cezanne HR you can:

Upload your Grievance and Disciplinary policy to a shared HR portal

You may have a whole set of comprehensive HR policies in place, but they’re next to useless if they can’t be found or checked easily. When you have the ability to centralise your policies in one place, it makes it easy for everyone to have access to the same information, and can refer to it at any time. With Cezanne for example, you can upload all your major HR policies to a shared portal, where they can be accessed and checked by everyone within the business.

Use your HR portal to share a link to the ACAS website

As well as using a shared portal to host your own policies, add a link in your portal to the ACAS website, and ask line managers to review the relevant discipline and grievances at work guide so they understand just how important it is to follow the right process. You can even use the workgroup feature in your Cezanne HR software to set up a private area just for managers, so you can provide more detailed guidance. For example, when they should get HR involved, or how to hold a difficult conversation.

Share your key HR policies

Make sure that you share all of your key policies – including those that disciplinary and grievances – with new joiners. You can make use of the document tracking feature in Cezanne HR to ensure that employees have received – and know they need to read – documents that have been sent to them.

Use dedicated Grievance and Disciplinary screens

The Cezanne HR system comes with dedicated grievance and disciplinary screens, which makes it easy to record when meetings were held, who was involved, what was discussed, and what the agreed next steps and expiry dates were. That way it’s easier to see where you are in the process with an employee (for example, at the verbal or written warning stage), and who else has been involved at each stage of the process.

Monitor absences accurately

If a disciplinary is centred around an unacceptable amount of absence, special circumstances may need to be taken into account. So, having the right data to hand is critical. With the Cezanne Absence module, you’ll be able to keep an eye on absences to help guide your decision making. Plus, you can also record any health or family issues the employees has reported to you, so you can be aware of them from the very start.

Keep accurate records

Along with the grievance and disciplinary screens to record conversations and events, the Cezanne HR system also lets you store documents – such as letters provided to participants – against the employee’s disciplinary and grievance record. You can then retrieve them easily should need to.

Make standards visible through your performance review process

By being open and transparent about your standards during regular performance reviews, there’s an opportunity for regular and constructive discussions. Where poor performance needs to be addressed, supplement your standard process with an employee-specific Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) with agreed goals. That way it’s clear to the employee, and their supervisor, exactly what’s expected, and how you are aiming to help them improve.

Remember to keep things private

It’s important to note that the grievance and disciplinary screens in Cezanne are only ever visible to the HR manager with responsibility for the employee involved. Information gathered during the process may include sensitive information about other employees that must not be shared. For best practice guidance on Disciplinary and Grievance, visit the Acas website.

You can read more about Cezanne HR features here

Click here to discover how Cezanne HR systems can transform your people operations

Sue Lingard author image

Sue Lingard

Sue studied Personnel Management at the London School of Economics before taking on management roles in the travel, recruitment and finally HR software industry. She's particularly interested in how technologies enable HR teams - and the people they support - to work better together.

You may also be interested in...