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“I have been asked to do a written warning to an employee. The manager has had a meeting about the incident with the employee, but it was not a disciplinary meeting. Can we give them this letter without holding a disciplinary meeting?”
Ordinarily it would not be fair to give a written warning to an employee without going through the process of a disciplinary hearing. This is because disciplinaries (and grievances) are governed by the ACAS Code of Practice which provides guidance on the procedure to follow, to ensure a fair disciplinary hearing.
To simply issue a written warning following an informal meeting (if there was no invite to the meeting explain the purpose of the meeting and right to be accompanied) would be in breach of the ACAS Code of Practice.
Employers can deal with matters informally whereby there is a meeting and effectively the employee is advised that their conduct is not acceptable, but a warning would not be issued or placed on their personnel file. It is effectively a ‘slap on the wrist’ but there is no record of the same.
If there is a matter that the Company feel warrants a written warning, it is always advisable to follow a full formal disciplinary hearing.
Andrew MacMillan, Solicitor, Motor Industry Legal Services