BRADFORD & AIREDALE CCG TRUST

ashcroft surgery,
bradford

Newlands Way, Eccleshill, Bradford, BD10 0JE, West Yorkshire, UK

Useful Numbers

  • CALL 111 –  open 24 hours for help with medical problems of short duration and sudden onset
  • ANY LOCAL PHARMACIST for good advice about medicines, minor illness
  • DISTRICT NURSES: 01274 256 131 for wounds, dressings, elderly people
  • HEALTH VISITORS: 01274 221 223 for advice about babies and children
  • MIDWIVES: 01274 623 952 if you’re pregnant
  • National Coronavirus Support Line 0333 880 6619

Staff Disciplinary & Dismissal Procedure

ASHCROFT LEADS

  • Doctor:   Dr Ramesh Mehay 
  • Nurse: – 
  • Admin:  Chris Rushton & Carole Middleton

DATE REVIEWED:

20th June 2019

DATE OF NEXT REVIEW:

June 2020

The Policy/Protocol

The Practice’s aim is to encourage improvement in individual performance and conduct.  Employees are required to treat members of the public and other employees equally in accordance with the our Equal Opportunities and Non-discrimination Policy.  This procedure sets out the action which will be taken when disciplinary rules are breached.

THE EMPLOYMENT ACT

The Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004  came into force on 1st October 2004.  The Act established a standard dismissal and disciplinary procedure which we at Ashcroft Surgery will follow.  It will apply when the employer is contemplating dismissal including dismissal on grounds of

  • capability,
  • conduct,
  • redundancy,
  • non-renewal of a fixed term contract and
  • retirement.

The above list is not exhaustive.  We understand that failure to follow the procedure when it applies will make any dismissal automatically unfair.

The Principles

The procedure is designed to establish the facts quickly and to deal consistently with disciplinary issues.  No disciplinary action will be taken until the matter has been fully investigated.  At every stage employees will have the opportunity to state their case and be accompanied by a fellow employee of their choice at the hearings.  Only a Partner has the right to suspend or dismiss.  An employee may, however, be given a verbal or written warning by the Practice Manager.  An employee has the right to appeal against any disciplinary decision.  The list of rules below is not to be regarded as an exhaustive list.

The Rules

Breaches of the practice disciplinary rules which can lead to disciplinary action are:

  • failure to maintain professional registration required to do the job (e.g. GMC, NNC, Performer’s List, Defence Cover)
  • failure to observe a reasonable instruction;
  • failure to observe a health and safety requirement;
  • failure to observe confidentiality;
  • inadequate time keeping;
  • absence from work without proper cause;
  • theft or removal of the Practice property;
  • loss, damage to or misuse of the Practice property through negligence or carelessness;
  • conduct detrimental to the interests of the Practice;
  • incapacity for work due to being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • physical assault or gross insubordination;
  • committing an act outside of work or being convicted for a criminal offence which is liable adversely to affect the performance of the contract of employment and/or the relationship between the employee and the Practice
  • failure to comply with the Practice’s Equal Opportunities Policy: for example, discrimination against race, colour, culture, gender, sexual orientation, disability and so on.    Click here for the Non-discrimination policy: celebrating diversity and promoting equality.

The 3 Step Dismissal Process

The Manager and GP Partner must set out in writing the circumstances, which led them to contemplate dismissal of the employee. The letter must  invite the employee to attend a meeting with the Manager.  The meeting must be held before any action against the employee is taken.  The employee should also be advised that he/she has the right to be accompanied by a trade union official or other person at the meeting.

  • The employer must set out in writing the employee’s alleged conduct or characteristics, or other circumstances, which led them to contemplate dismissing or taking disciplinary action against the employee. 
  • The employer must send the statement or a copy of it to the employee and invite the employee to attend a meeting to discuss the matter.

The Manager/partner will meet with the employee concerned and explain on what basis the decision to dismiss is being made and the grounds given for it.   The employee will have an opportunity to ask  any questions in relation to the decision to dismiss.  The Manager/partner should advise the employee in writing of his/her decision not later than three working days after the meeting.  The letter must inform the employee of the right to appeal against the decision if they are not satisfied with it.

  • The meeting must take place before action is taken, except in the case where the disciplinary action consists of suspension.
  • The meeting must not take place unless:
    • the employer has informed the employee what the basis was for including in the statement under Step 1 the ground or grounds given in it; and
    • the employee has had a reasonable opportunity to consider their response to that information.
  • The employee and the employer must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting.
  • After the meeting, the employer must inform the employee of their decision and notify them of the right to appeal against the decision if they are not satisfied with it.

The employee decision to appeal must be made in writing to the Practice Manager within 10 working days of receiving the written decision (step 2) to dismiss.  The hearing should be held no later than 20 working days after receipt of the written notification of appeal.

Any documents that  may  be used in evidence should be despatched to the employee with the letter informing his/her of the date of the appeal hearing.  The employee should be advised that if he/she wishes to produce any document(s) in evidence or references/testimonials, then these should be forwarded to his/her Manager at least three working days in advance of the appeal hearing.  The employee should also be advised that he/she has the right to be represented by a trade union official or other person.

  • If the employee wishes to appeal, they must inform the employer.
  • If the employee informs the employer of their wish to appeal, the employer must invite them to attend a further meeting.
  • The employee and the employer must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting. 
  • The appeal meeting need not take place before the dismissal or disciplinary action takes effect.
  • Where possible, the appeal should be dealt with by a more senior manager than attended the first meeting (unless the most senior manager attended that meeting).
  • After the appeal meeting, the employer must inform the employee of their final decision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

(a)       Oral warning
If conduct or performance is unsatisfactory, the employee will be given a formal oral warning, which will be recorded.  The warning will be disregarded after six months satisfactory service.

(b)       Written warning
If the offence is serious, or no improvement in standards, or if a further offence occurs, a written warning will be given which will include the reason for the warning and a notice that, if there is no improvement after three months, a final written warning will be given. The warning will be disregarded after twelve months satisfactory service.

(c)        Final written warning
If conduct or performance is still unsatisfactory, or if a further serious offence occurs within the six month period, a final warning will be given making it clear that any recurrence of the offence or other serious misconduct within a period of twelve months will result in dismissal. This final written warning period will also include any contractual notice of termination of employment should dismissal be invoked. The warning will be disregarded after eighteen months satisfactory service.

(d)       Dismissal
If there is no satisfactory improvement or if further serious misconduct occurs, the employee will be dismissed, usually without payment in lieu of contractual notice, as this has been served concurrently with the final written warning period.

If, after investigation, it is confirmed that an employee has committed an offence of the following nature (considered as gross misconduct; the list is not exhaustive) then the normal consequence will be dismissal:

  • theft or damage to the Practice’s property;
  • breach of patient confidentiality;
  • incapacity for work due to being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • physical assault;
  • gross insubordination;
  • discrimination or harassment contrary to the Practice’s Non-Discrimination Policy

While the alleged gross misconduct is being investigated the employee may be suspended, during which time he or she will receive their normal basic pay.  Any decision to dismiss will be taken by the employer only after a full investigation.

An employee who wishes to appeal against any disciplinary decision must do so to the Practice Manager within 10 days of the decision.  The employer will hear the appeal and decide the case as impartially as possible through a hearing. 

The aim of the hearing is to determine

  • whether the incident occurred based on the probability from the information available – a balance of probability like a civil not criminal court requirement.
  • whether disciplinary action is required to improve a persons behaviour and lesson risk of future re-occurrence.

A Partner will hear the appeal. Under no circumstances will it be the Manager/Partner who took responsibility for conducting the Stage 2 Meeting.   The appeal hearing will follow the ‘principles’ of the disciplinary appeal hearing.

Action Available to the Partner hearing the Appeal

The  Partner may  decide to:

  • uphold the appeal, or
  • confirm the original decision

Notification of decision

  • The Partner will be responsible for conveying his/her decision to the employee.
  • The decision will be conveyed in writing within 3 working days

The standard (three-step) dismissal and disciplinary procedure will be used when dismissal consists of the non-renewal of a fixed term contract.

Fixed-term and permanent employees will be treated equally, as required by the Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002, unless differences in treatment can be objectively justified. Therefore, the statutory procedures will apply to both fixed term and permanent employees. In the case of fixed-term contracts of less than one year’s duration, however, an employee will normally have no right to claim unfair dismissal if the contract is not renewed, as the one year qualifying period will continue to apply.

Neither Managers/partners nor employees need to go through the procedure if they believe that by doing so they might be exposed to violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour. There will always be a certain amount of stress and anxiety for both Managers and employees when dealing with dismissal.  This exemption will only apply where the employer or employee reasonably believes that they would come to some serious physical or mental harm, their property or some third party is threatened or the other party has harassed them.

Equally, the  procedure does not need to be followed if circumstances

  • beyond the control of either party (for instance long-term illness or a long
  • period of absence of an employee abroad) prevent one or more stages being followed. However, various stages can be held in the employee absence if they refuse to attend or are unable to attend and reasonable steps have been taken – i.e. offering an alternative date.

You have some obligations under your employment contract to provide the practice with data. In particular, you are required to report absences from work and may be required to provide information about disciplinary or other matters under the implied duty of good faith. You may also have to provide the practice with data in order to exercise your statutory rights, such as in relation to statutory leave entitlements. Failing to provide the data may mean that you are unable to exercise your statutory rights.

Certain information, such as contact details, your right to work in the UK and payment details, have to be provided to enable the practice to enter a contract of employment with you. If you do not provide other information, this will hinder the practice’s ability to administer the rights and obligations arising as a result of the employment relationship efficiently.

Employment decisions are not based on automated decision-making.

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