Right of Appeal
You have the right to appeal against any disciplinary action your employer takes against you following a disciplinary meeting. You can do this if the action is wrong or unfair.
Preparing to Appeal
Following the outcome of a disciplinary meeting, your employer should provide you a written summary of their decision and any accompanying sanctions: This should include:
- what you did wrong and the consequences of a recurrence of this issue.
- what improvement is expected of you and the period by which this is expected to be achieved
- what penalty they are imposing and, if appropriate, how long it will last
- the deadline for appealing against the decision
- how you should appeal.
If you are not provided with information about the appeals process, you can request a copy of your employers’ policy in relation to this. If no formal policy exists, you can refer to the ACAS Code of Practice as your employer must act within the parameters of this code. This information is essential in understanding if you have grounds for appeal, and also in preparing your case for appeal.
You should notify your employer of your intention to appeal, in writing, as soon as possible. Your IDU representative will assist you with this.
Grounds for appeal?
Often employees will disagree with their employers’ rationale for upholding disciplinary action. However, you must have legitimate grounds for entering an appeal if you are going to stand any chance of success.
The following are some examples of grounds for appeal:
- Breach of Internal Policy & Procedure – if your employer did not follow their own disciplinary policy
- Breach of the ACAS Code of Practice – your employers’ policy may not be aligned with current employment law
- Lack of Evidence – A charge may have been made against you, which cannot or was not actually substantiated, and yet was included as grounds for upholding the charges against you.
- Inconsistent Penalties – Your employer may have been more lenient in handling one of your colleagues who has committed the exact same act, and therefore, the disciplinary action they’re proposing for your case could be considered too harsh.
- New Evidence – Something may have been omitted from the hearing, which could have led to a different outcome, or a lesser penalty.
In the event you were represented by one of our officials during your disciplinary hearing, your representative will have a detailed understanding of your case, and whether the outcome presents grounds for appeal. In situations where you have a case for appeal, where possible the same Caseworker will usually handle your appeal. The next step will be for them to prepare your case for appeal with you.
However, if you have joined us after a hearing, and are looking to appeal a decision made by your employer, or are an IDU member, but you have chosen to attend a hearing unaccompanied – we will have to carry out a full assessment of your case, the hearing, and determine if we believe you have grounds for appeal.
When should you submit your appeal?
Your appeal should be submitted as soon as possible. Any delay’s may be interpreted as an acceptance of your employer’s decision.
How should you present your appeal?
You should give your employer the reasons for your appeal in writing. You should give them enough time before the meeting to consider them.
Who will deal with your appeal?
The appeal process should be impartial. Your appeal should be dealt with by a manager who has not been involved in your case before and who is senior to the manager who made the decision.
If there is no senior or other manager at your place of work, and the company you work for has other branches or sites, it may be possible to bring in a manager from somewhere else within the company.
This may not be possible, for example, if you work for a small employer and there is no other manager. If you work for a small charity and there is no other manager, the board of trustees could hear the appeal.
If your appeal is heard by the same manager, they must deal with it fairly and not punish you because you’re appealing. If your manager doesn’t deal with your appeal fairly, you can appeal against this.
If they uphold a decision to dismiss you without dealing with your appeal fairly, you may be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal.
Will the appeal look at your whole case again?
Depending on the reasons for your appeal, the appeal meeting may be either:
- a review of the disciplinary action against you with no further hearing, or
- a re-hearing.
The appeal meeting will only look at your whole case again if it is a re-hearing.
Can you bring anyone to the appeal meeting with you?
You have the right to be accompanied (include link to relevant section here) to the appeal meeting. This is the same as for the disciplinary meeting.
When will you hear the outcome of your appeal?
Your employer should inform you of the outcome of your appeal in writing as soon as possible after the appeal hearing concludes.
What can you do if you are still unhappy with the decision?
If you are still unhappy with the outcome of the disciplinary or appeal hearing, you may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal. Your IDU representative will assess your case and determine whether your case would have a reasonable chance of success at an Employment Tribunal.
- ACAS Code of Practice
- ACAS Guide ‘Discipline and Grievances in the work place’