We sincerely hope never to have a situation where we need a disciplinary procedure. But just in case we do, here it is…
Our disciplinary procedure is designed to help maintain our code of conduct and create an orderly and fair working environment. It also helps to maintain consistency should we have to deal with allegations of misconduct or poor performance. It applies to all team members, except freelancers and contractors.
We aim to resolve all minor issues of conduct or performance informally. If you’re found to be behaving in a manner that’s disruptive, offensive, unprofessional, or that goes against Wholegrain policies, one of the Directors will sit down with you and have a chat to ensure it never happens again. The same goes for issues involving poor performance or a general lack of care and attention to your work. We appreciate that we’re all human and therefore all capable of mistakes. So we aim to talk things through, where possible.
If you keep repeating the same mistakes and we can’t resolve them through dialogue, then we’ll move onto the formal disciplinary procedure.
For more serious issues of misconduct or poor performance, or if you’re a persistent repeat offender, we’ll invite you for a disciplinary hearing. Before the hearing, we’ll conduct any necessary investigations to establish the facts, as far as possible.
We’ll give you written notice of the hearing, detailing the poor performance or alleged misconduct against you, and we’ll set out the possible consequences. This will help you to prepare and you can also decide whether you wish to bring anybody with you for support. Please let us know if you’re bringing somebody with you and if you have any documentation you’d like us to see beforehand.
The disciplinary hearing will be with The People and Office Manager and at least one of the Directors. We’ll discuss all the documentation and listen carefully to your point of view. Then we’ll adjourn to make a decision. We aim to advise you of the outcome within a week of the hearing.
Possible Outcomes of a Disciplinary Hearing
There are various outcomes of a disciplinary hearing, depending on the severity of the misconduct or poor performance.
Stage One: First written warning. If there are no active written warnings on your record, you could be issued with a first written warning. This will state the reason for the warning, give you a time deadline for improvement (usually between one and three months), and we’ll support you through this period. A first written warning is usually active on your record for six months.
Stage Two: Final written warning. If you’ve failed to improve following a first written warning or there’s been a further incident of misconduct or poor performance, we could issue you with a final written warning. In more serious cases of misconduct or poor performance, we could jump straight to this stage. We’ll outline the reason for the warning, any improvements you need to make, and it will remain active on your record for one year.
Stage Three: Dismissal. If you have an active final written warning on your record and you’ve failed to improve or there has been a further incident of misconduct, you could be dismissed. You could also be dismissed outright in cases of gross misconduct, which are outlined below.
In the event that you do something that causes significant harm to the company, an individual team member or the Wholegrain Digital team as a whole, then you could be dismissed without warning and without payment in lieu of notice.
Examples of gross misconduct include (but are not limited to):
- Serious misuse of Wholegrain property or name
- Providing misleading or deceptive information about Wholegrain business
- Theft or fraud
- Bullying or physical violence
- Discrimination or harassment
- Bringing our name into disrepute
- Serious incapability through alcohol or drugs
- Serious insubordination
- Causing loss, damage or injury through serious negligence