Most conduct issues can be dealt with by an informal chat with your manager. But if that doesn't resolve things, or there’s a significant cause of concern, they may need to take things to a formal disciplinary process. In the most serious situations you could be asked to leave the council.
Your manager will ask to meet you in a neutral place to talk. If your situation is connected to your line manager, then an independent manager will talk to you instead. You’ll get the chance to have a two-way open conversation and you’ll always be treated fairly.
Your manager will:
- Ask you to explain your behaviour
- Suggest how you can improve your behaviour
- Agree an action plan with you
- Agree a review date to check how things are progressing
If your manager thinks the matter could be more serious, they may start a formal disciplinary procedure.
You may have to be suspended from work for a while so the situation can be investigated.
You can still see your work colleagues socially, but you can’t discuss your situation. You should be contactable during work hours and, depending on how long the suspension goes on for, you’ll be paid as normal.
Your manager will review your suspension at least every month.
A suspension is not a punishment. It gives your manager and HR time to investigate your situation further.
Your manager will investigate your situation in more detail. They will tell you what they are looking into and why, unless this has something to do with children, young people or adults with care and support needs which is dealt with in a different way.
Your manager will meet with you in a preliminary investigation – a senior manager or director may decide if the investigation has to be formal. Your manager will then write to tell you the details of the investigation – for example, why you are being investigated and how long it will take.
They will tell you:
- About the Investigating Officer who will look into your case and will always be impartial and independent from your situation
- About your rights
- If you are going to be suspended
- Other support available – for example, from your union
The investigating officer is there to establish the facts. They will find out what has happened and take a balanced view of all the information.
- Talk to all the relevant people related to your case
- Read any statements and other information
- Keep notes and records of everything that is said
You must cooperate with the investigation as much as you can. You can take a union representative or work colleague with you to any formal meetings.
After the investigation, a decision on next steps will be made. You may be asked to attend a disciplinary hearing.
You can choose to give evidence yourself or ask a representative to do this for you. The hearing will be chaired by the Hearing Officer. Someone from HR and a note taker will be there.
You will need to answer questions clearly and honestly. In some cases, it might be possible for your evidence to be recorded and shared in the hearing, or a presenting officer might present your evidence.
Once the hearing is over, your manager will make a decision, decide the penalty and let you know what’s decided.
The penalty could include a written warning or being dismissed from the council.
You have the right to appeal against the outcome of your hearing. You must do this in writing within 5 working days of the appeal decision and give a written statement to your manager.
Your appeal will be reviewed and might lead to an appeal hearing. Depending on how serious the outcome is from your hearing, a different manager or senior manager will let you know what happens next. Once the appeal decision is made then this is final. Your manager will confirm the appeal decision in writing.