Disciplinary Procedures (Rules H1 to H20)

A disciplinary procedure is helpful to the proper and successful functioning of the University and in ensuring that individuals are treated fairly. The University has therefore agreed a detailed procedure that will be followed if an assistant should breach his or her conditions of employment, or if his or her general conduct is unsatisfactory. The assistant will be given an opportunity to state his or her case at each stage of the procedure.

The types of conduct which may lead to disciplinary action being taken according to the procedures detailed below are as follows:

  1. Wilful failure to perform the duties of the post.
  2. Refusal to comply with reasonable requests from the job supervisor.
  3. Persistent unsatisfactory timekeeping.
  4. Unauthorised absence from work.
  5. Incapacity to perform the duties of the post effectively due to drunkenness or unauthorised drug-taking.
  6. Acts of discrimination against any member of the University community on the grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age.
  7. Bullying or harassment of any member of the University community.
  8. Malicious accusations of bullying or harassment against another person.
  9. Breach of confidentiality.
  10. Breach of University or departmental safety regulations or rules.
  11. Breach of other University or departmental regulations or rules.
  12. Breach of any other conditions of employment.

This is not an exhaustive list.

Where an employee fails to perform the work expected of them to the required standard consideration should be given to the Capability Policy which addresses these situations. Capability may be assessed by reference to an employee's skill, aptitude, health or other physical or mental quality in relation to the job they are employed to do. Advice should be sought from the HR Division if it is unclear which procedure is appropriate.

Disciplinary Procedure for established assistants (Rules H3 to H7)

The first action will normally be that the job supervisor and/or the Head of Institution will informally warn the assistant and will offer advice on how to remedy the situation.

First formal warning

If the informal warning fails to have any effect, the Head of Institution will see the assistant with the job supervisor. The assistant may choose to be accompanied by a representative, who should be an accredited trades union representative or another member of the Assistant Staff, and the Head of Institution may ask a representative of the HR Committee to be present at the interview. At the end of the interview, if it is considered necessary the Head of Institution will formally warn the assistant and then write to the assistant confirming the warning and the reason for issuing it and specifying when the matter will be reviewed. A copy of the letter will be sent to the Human Resources Division and the assistant will sign and return a copy of the letter to acknowledge its receipt.

Second formal warning

At the time specified for a review of the matter, the Head of Institution will again see the assistant with the job supervisor. The assistant may choose to be accompanied by a representative, who should be an accredited trades union representative or another member of the Assistant Staff. A representative of the HR Committee will also be present at the interview. At the end of the interview the Head of Institution will either:

  1. Inform the assistant that the matter is resolved and that the first formal warning is cancelled.
  2. Extend the period of the first formal warning and specify a time at which the matter will again be reviewed.
  3. Formally warn the assistant a second time and state when the matter will again be reviewed and the action that may be taken if the unsatisfactory behaviour continues.
  4. In each case the Head of Institution will confirm the decision and the reasons for it in writing and send a copy of the letter to the Human Resources Division. The assistant will sign and return the copy of the letter to acknowledge its receipt.

Review of the case

The case will be reviewed at the specified time and this review will be not less than four clear working weeks after the second formal warning. The Head of Institution will see the assistant who may choose to be accompanied by a representative, who should be an accredited trades union representative or another member of the Assistant Staff. A representative of the HR Committee will also be present at the interview. The assistant and/or his/her representative will be given the chance to make representations. Following the meeting, the Head of Institution will consider the facts of the case and consult the Director of Human Resources. The Director of Human Resources, on behalf of the HR Committee, will advise the Head of Institution on the action to be taken and, where appropriate, inform the assistant's representative of the decision and the action to be taken.

Final interview

The Head of Institution will inform the assistant of the decision. The assistant and his or her representative will be given the chance to make representations. A representative of the HR Committee will be present at the interview. At the conclusion of the interview the Head of Institution will confirm in writing the decision that has been taken.

Procedure for unestablished assistants (Rules H8 to H11)

The first action will normally be that the job supervisor and/or the Head of Institution will informally warn the assistant and will offer advice on how to remedy the situation.

Formal warning

If the informal warning fails to have any effect, the Head of Institution will see the assistant with the job supervisor. The assistant may choose to be accompanied by a representative, who should be an accredited trades union representative or another member of the Assistant Staff, and the Head of Institution may ask a representative of the HR Committee to be present at the interview. At the end of the interview, if it is considered necessary the Head of Institution will formally warn the assistant and then write to the assistant confirming the warning and the reason for issuing it and specifying when the matter will be reviewed. A copy of the letter will be sent to the Human Resources Division and the assistant will sign and return a copy of the letter to acknowledge its receipt.

Review of the case

The case will be reviewed at the specified time and this review will be not less than four clear working weeks after the formal warning. The Head of Institution will see the assistant who may choose to be accompanied by a representative, who should be an accredited trades union representative or another member of the Assistant Staff. A representative of the HR Committee will also be present at the interview. The assistant and/or his/her representative will be given the chance to make representations. Following the meeting, the Head of Institution will consider the facts of the case and consult the Director of Human Resources. The Director of Human Resources, on behalf of the HR Committee, will advise the Head of Institution on the action to be taken and, where appropriate, inform the assistant's representative of the decision and the action to be taken.

Final interview

The Head of Institution will inform the assistant of the decision. The assistant and his or her representative will be given the chance to make representations. A representative of the HR Committee will be present at the interview. At the conclusion of the interview the Head of Institution will confirm in writing the decision that has been taken.

Procedure in the case of alleged serious misconduct (Rules H12 to H15)

This procedure will be used if it is alleged that an assistant has committed any of the following acts:

  1. Theft or misappropriation of University property, or the property of any member, employee, or visitor to the University.
  2. Forgery.
  3. Threatening or using physical violence against any member or employee of the University or any person legitimately present within the University premises, or against University property.
  4. Wilful refusal to carry out the duties of the post.
  5. Wilful and serious breach of confidentiality of work.
  6. Wilful and serious breach of University safety regulations or rules.
  7. Behaviour resulting from drunkenness or unauthorised drug-taking which endangers the health and safety of the assistant and/or others.
  8. Serious acts of discrimination against any member of the University community on grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age.
  9. Serious acts of bullying or harassment of any member of the University community.
  10. Any other act of serious misconduct.

This is not an exhaustive list.

Suspension

In the case of alleged serious misconduct, the Head of Institution may suspend the assistant from duty with pay, and the assistant should not then attend for work until instructed otherwise. The Head of Institution will immediately inform the HR Committee of all the relevant facts. Suspension is not a disciplinary decision and does not imply that any decision has been made about whether or not the assistant has committed a disciplinary offence. It is simply a way of allowing time for an investigation to take place.

Investigation

The Head of Institution, after consultation with the Director of Human Resources, will see the assistant to investigate the matter. The assistant may choose to be accompanied by a representative, who should be an accredited trades union representative or another member of the Assistant Staff. A representative of the HR Committee will also be present at the interview.

Decision

Following the meeting, the Head of Institution will consider the facts of the case and consult with the Director of Human Resources. The Director of Human Resources on behalf of the HR Committee will advise the Head of Institution of the action to be taken. The Head of Institution will notify the assistant and where appropriate the assistant's representative, of the decision. Subsequently the Head of Institution will confirm this decision in writing.

Rights of appeal (Rules H16–H19)

Appeal against dismissal

All assistants have the right of appeal to the University and Assistants Joint Board under the Individual Grievance Procedure (see Rule G4) provided that an appeal is submitted in writing to the Director of Human Resources within five working days of the date upon which he/she is notified of dismissal.

This right of appeal shall not apply to any assistant whose employment is supported by funds from outside the University and who has been so informed in his/her terms and conditions of employment, if employment has been ended on the expiry date of the contract of employment and only because the outside support for it has ceased.

An established assistant has the further right of appeal to the Council against the ending of his or her employment, providing that an appeal has been submitted to the University and Assistants Joint Board under the Individual Grievance Procedure (Rule G4), and this appeal has been heard and not resolved, and written notice of such an appeal is lodged with the Director of Human Resources within five days of being informed of the decision made under Rule G4.

This right of appeal shall not apply to any assistant whose employment is supported by funds from outside the University and who has been so informed in his/her terms and conditions of employment, if employment has been ended on the expiry date of the contract of employment and only because the outside support for it has ceased.

Appeal against disciplinary decisions

Any assistant who is dissatisfied with any disciplinary decision affecting him or her, including the issue of any formal warning, may apply to the Director of Human Resources for consideration of the case, provided that he or she submits his or her application in writing within ten working days of being notified of the decision. The Director will then place the matter before the HR Committee for consideration.