Disciplinary and Dismissal Hearings

The purpose of the disciplinary procedure is to support effective management by enabling the quick, cost-effective resolution of problems in the workplace and hopefully avoiding the need to go to Tribunal.

Prior to any investigation, an employer should ensure that they are familiar with the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary Procedure and Grievance Procedures, the need to identify a potentially fair reason for dismissal and need to act reasonably when carrying out disciplinary investigation or hearing.

The purpose of the ACAS Code of Practice is to provide guidance for employers and employees when involved in investigations or hearings in relation to poor performance. The ACAS Code of Practice highlights that disciplinary procedures must be conducted fairly, impartially and provide the employee under investigation with the opportunity to be accompanied.

A decision to dismiss is not automatically unfair due to a failure to follow the ACAS Code of Practice; however a Tribunal will take it into account when considering whether an employer has acted reasonably.

For a dismissal to be for a potentially fair reason it must fall within one of the following categories: 

  • Conduct
  • Capability
  • Redundancy
  • Illegality
  • Some other substantial reason


The burden of proof falls on the employer to establish the reason for the dismissal and that the reason falls within one, or more, of the potentially fair reasons for the dismissal. It is a question of fact for the Tribunal to determine whether the employer acted reasonably in dismissing the employee. They will consider whether the employer’s actions in deciding to dismiss fell within the range of reasonable responses having regard to:

The side and administrative resources of the employer: 

  • Equity
  • Substantial merits
  • Sufficient of reasons
  • Fair procedure followed


With the aid of our experienced employment law solicitors you can find out where you stand legally. Our Liverpool employment law solicitors have a wealth of knowledge and experience in representing clients at disciplinary/dismissal hearings. Call us on 0151 735 1000 and speak to one of our employment law specialists today.



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