Purpose and scope
The disciplinary procedure, which applies to all members and employees, is the club’s way of formally letting you know that your conduct or performance has fallen below the required standards. The procedure takes full account of the recommendations of the Acas Code of Practice.
The procedure is designed to help and encourage all members and employees to achieve and maintain standards of conduct, attendance and performance. It provides a framework to ensure fairness and timely action in the handling of anyone considered to be falling below acceptable standards.
The disciplinary rules are intended to encourage an improvement in conduct and performance using discussion, advice and positive action. Where appropriate, you may be coached or counselled prior to any formal disciplinary action. The decision whether to counsel or not will depend on the circumstances and will obviously not be appropriate in cases that may be considered as serious or constitute gross misconduct.
As an employee of Trafford MV RFCC, you have a responsibility to understand and follow your conditions of employment, maintain acceptable results and conduct, and comply with the club’s rules. Should you disregard this responsibility, you may be subject to disciplinary action, which could lead to your dismissal. The club rules are contained in the documents issued to you by Trafford MV RFCC.
The aim of the procedure is to establish the facts quickly, and to deal consistently and fairly with disciplinary issues. No disciplinary action will be taken until the matter has been fully investigated. The club will make every effort to resolve the matter through informal discussions with you.
At each stage, you will be given the opportunity to state your case and be accompanied, if you wish, by a work colleague of your choice or a trade union representative.
You will not be dismissed for a first breach of discipline, except when the breach constitutes gross misconduct, in which case, you will normally be dismissed without notice and without pay in lieu of notice or have your membership reccended
You have the right to appeal against any disciplinary action at each stage of the procedure.
Whenever there is any breach of discipline, your line manager will start by gathering all the facts. He or she will then take one of three actions:
1. Take no action – there may be no case to answer or the matter may be so trivial that it is better to overlook it.
2. Arrange counselling or take informal action – a meeting will be arranged to discuss the problem with you and a plan agreed on how to make improvements to conduct or performance. A note may be made of the outcome, but this will not result in any disciplinary action on your personnel record.
3. Arrange a disciplinary interview – this is necessary when the matter is more serious.
How offences are classed
Breaches of discipline fall into three main categories: minor offences, serious offences and gross misconduct.
The following lists are not complete, but will give you an idea of how various breaches are considered.
Examples of minor offences are:
• A minor breach of the club’s policies or procedures.
• Punctuality and attendance problems.
• Shortcomings in work performance and quality.
• Disruptive behaviour.
Examples of serious offences are:
• Repeated minor offences.
• Negligence resulting in minor loss, damage or injury.
• Unsatisfactory personal conduct.
• Failure to comply with a specific instruction.
• Sending abusive or offensive material via email or other means of communication.
• Substantial performance failures, particularly by more senior staff.
• Breach of the club’s health and safety rules.
Examples of gross misconduct are:
• Theft and unauthorised possession of club property.
• Deliberate falsification of records or any other form of dishonesty.
• Wilfully causing harm or injury to another member of staff or other person on the premises.
• Performing an action that is likely to cause injury to other people or damage to club property.
• Breach of the club’s confidentiality, competition and non-solicitation policies.
• Gross insubordination, for example, wilful refusal to obey a reasonable instruction.
• Incapacity due to alcohol or drugs.
• Discrimination or harassment of any kind.
• Unacceptable, abusive or violent behaviour to members of staff, customers, clients or other persons who have cause to have contact with the club.
• Any act, conduct or omission, which the club considers being in breach of the club contract or which brings the club into disrepute.
• Blatant disregard of health and safety issues.
Procedure for disciplinary action
The following procedure will be followed prior to a disciplinary interview:
1. Disciplinary investigation
Your line manager will carry out a full investigation to establish the facts. If your manager then believes there is a reasonable case to answer, he or she can initiate a disciplinary interview.
2. Preparation for the disciplinary interview
Before you are interviewed (other than for any oral warning), you will be:
i. Informed of the alleged conduct or other breach in writing.
ii. Given copies of statements and other documents that will be presented at the disciplinary interview. You should prepare your own statements and evidence.
iii. Given advance notice of the date and time of the interview to enable you to prepare.
iv. Offered the opportunity to be accompanied by a work colleague (although he or she has the right to ask questions on your behalf, he or she does not have the right to answer questions on your behalf at the meeting).
v. Advised of the procedure to be followed.
3. Disciplinary interview
You will be given the opportunity to state your case, seek further explanation of the allegations and challenge any evidence. You may also state any mitigating circumstances you wish to be taken into account.
All facts will be closely checked, including even minor discrepancies.
After hearing all the evidence, the line manager will adjourn the meeting to consider all the facts, including any previous warnings, and decide whether any action will be taken and what it should be. The interview will be reconvened and the decision given to you.
4. Disciplinary action
If the club feels that formal disciplinary action is required, you will receive one of the following:
5. Verbal warning
You will be warned that any repetition might result in further disciplinary action. A record will be placed in your personnel file, but disregarded after six months’ satisfactory conduct.*
6. First written warning
If the offence is serious, if performance is still unsatisfactory or a further offence occurs, you will be given a written warning, which will include the reason for the warning and a note that, if there is no improvement after an agreed period, this will result in dismissal. This will be disregarded after 12 months’ satisfactory service.*
7. Final written warning
If your conduct or performance is still unsatisfactory, where a serious offence has aggravating factors or a further offence occurs, a final written warning will be given, making it clear that, if there is any recurrence of the offence, or if other serious misconduct occurs within an agreed period, this will result in dismissal. This will be disregarded after 12 months’ satisfactory service.*
If there is no satisfactory improvement or if further serious misconduct occurs, you will be dismissed.
All warnings will be confirmed in writing to you, with a copy placed in your personnel file for future reference.
9. Gross misconduct
If you commit an offence classed as gross misconduct, you may be suspended by senior management pending investigations. Such suspension does not indicate guilt and may be with pay. If you are sick while suspended, the normal sick-pay arrangements apply.
If it is confirmed that you have committed an act of gross misconduct, you will normally be dismissed without notice. Any decision to dismiss will only be taken after a full investigation and a properly-conducted disciplinary interview. You will have the right of appeal to any decision.
Spent warnings will only be taken into account when it is proven to the satisfaction of the manager that you are ‘playing the system’ (taking advantage of it), for example, successive verbal warnings for lateness every 7 to 13 months or when examining aggravating and mitigating circumstances at a disciplinary interview.
* A spent warning is a warning that has expired without further disciplinary action. While such a warning will remain on your record for other reasons, for example, redundancy selection, it will not normally be taken into account if a further offence is committed.