Introduction to this document

Limiting disciplinary procedure clause

If you don’t want to get bogged down by your disciplinary warnings procedure in respect of short-serving employees, our limiting disciplinary procedure clause might be just what you’re looking for.

An unfair dismissal?

Employees who have sufficient continuous employment with you (two years) have the right to claim that any dismissal is unfair. In this scenario, you will be required to demonstrate to the employment tribunal not only that you had a potentially fair reason for dismissal, for example, misconduct, but also that you acted reasonably in implementing the dismissal and in treating the particular reason as sufficient to dismiss the employee. Where conduct or poor performance is an issue, usually this will require you to have followed your standard disciplinary or capability procedure and to have acted fairly and reasonably throughout. However, employees with less than two years’ continuous employment don’t have the general right to claim unfair dismissal so you will probably want to ensure that you don’t have to follow your standard disciplinary or capability procedure in respect of them if you can avoid it.

No warnings

If you don’t wish your short-serving employees (usually those with insufficient continuous employment to claim unfair dismissal or those on probation) to be subject to your standard disciplinary or capability procedure, consider using our Limiting Disciplinary Procedure Clause. This allows you to dismiss employees with short service without having to slavishly follow all the warnings. Bear in mind it is the effective date of termination of employment that is important here in ascertaining whether an employee has the general right to claim unfair dismissal, not the date of any offence (and, in determining this date, employment tribunals will add on the statutory minimum notice period of one week where you have purported to pay in lieu of notice).