Disciplinary Procedures

Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-1993

There is a legal obligation on all employers to supply all employees, not later than 28 days after commencing employment, with written procedures which the employer will observe before dismissing an employee. Any changes to the procedure must be notified to the employee within 28 days of the change being made.

The use of disciplinary procedures is strongly recommended to employers where an employee's conduct, attendance or performance is of concern. Failure to use or comply with procedures may be taken into account by the Employment Appeals Tribunal in awarding compensation.

Procedures should normally include a set of graduated steps from verbal and written warnings to suspension on pay and eventually dismissal. There is no set rule about how many warnings there should be in any case. The test is: what would a reasonable employer do? Such an employer notifies his staff of any shortcomings and suggests improvements. Such an employer listens to any response the worker has to make. In other words, the rules of natural justice apply. Legal advice should be taken.

In cases of serious misconduct, it may be appropriate to move to a later stage of the procedure much more quickly.if requested, an employer must give the reason(s) for dismissal in writing within 14 days of the request.

See Labour Relations Commission Code of Practice on Disciplinary Procedures and see LRC website (www.lrc.ie)

Industrial relations issues are dealt with under the Industrial Relations Acts 1946-1990.