Ladybird Pre-School Nursery disciplinary policy is a formal way to deal with an employee’s:
- Unacceptable or improper behaviour (‘misconduct’)
- Performance (‘capability’)
Although we anticipate that most disciplinary matters will be resolved quickly by an informal approach this policy is designed to provide a fair, effective and consistent method of dealing with all disciplinary matters.
Our Disciplinary Policy is available for all staff to access in our Policy Folder in the nursery foyer and on our website.
We consider the following issues to constitute gross misconduct:
- theft, fraud and deliberate falsification of records, expenses, qualifications and other offences of dishonesty
- physical violence
- serious bullying or harassment
- deliberate damage to property
- conviction of a criminal offence relevant to the employee’s role
- gross negligence
- serious negligence
- misuse of the nursery’s property or name
- misuse of electronic communications which defames individuals to bring the organisation into disrepute
- bringing the organisation into serious disrepute
- serious incapability whilst on duty brought on by alcohol or illegal drugs (including psychoactive substances, including those formerly known as “legal highs”) or any prescription drugs that have not been prescribed for the user
- serious negligence which causes or might cause unacceptable loss, damage or injury
- serious infringement of health and safety rules
- serious failure to comply with policies, procedures and legal requirements, including those that safeguard children
- serious breach of the nursery’s statutory policies
- serious breach of confidentiality (subject to the Public Interest (Disclosure) act 1998)
- defaming or bad mouthing the nursery on social networking sites
- serious breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation
- bribery and corruption
This is not an exhaustive list.
- The nursery manager will arrange to meet individually and privately with the staff member(s) involved and listen to individual points of view.
- Agree any improvements to be made that will avoid a repeat of the behaviour and together set up a training or development plan if necessary.
- Most disciplinary matters should be resolved amicably and informally at this stage.
If Stage 1 does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the matter reoccurs, the nursery manager along with the trustees should move to this stage of the procedure.
- The trustees will write to the employee confirming the outcome of Stage 1, outlining the disciplinary matter and invite them to attend a disciplinary meeting as soon as possible. This letter will also inform the employee that they have ‘the right to be accompanied’ by a work colleague or their recognised trade union representative to this disciplinary meeting. The employee is required to inform the trustees who will be their companion.
- The disciplinary meeting will be conducted by the nursery manager and at least one other trustee and wherever possible (and if appropriate) a member of the management committee. The employee will be informed which trustee(s) and member of the management committee will be attending. The meeting will be minuted.
- After the meeting (and in reasonable time) the employee will be informed in writing whether or not disciplinary or any other action is justified.
Stage 3 – Decision on appropriate action.
- If misconduct is confirmed or the employee is found to be performing unsatisfactorily it is usual to give the employee a written warning. A further act of misconduct or failure to improve performance within a set period would normally result in a final written warning.
- If the employee’s first misconduct or unsatisfactory performance is sufficiently serious, it may be appropriate to move directly to a final written warning. This might occur where the employee’s actions have had, or are liable to have, a serious or harmful impact on the nursery.
- A first or final written warning should set out the nature of the misconduct or poor performance and the change in behaviour or improvement in performance required (with timescale). The employee should be told how long the warning will remain current. The employee should be informed of the consequences of further misconduct, or failure to improve performance, with the set period following a final warning. For instance that it may result in dismissal or some other contractual penalty such as demotion or loss of seniority.
- A decision to dismiss should only be taken by the trustees who have the authority to do so. The employee should be informed as soon as possible of the reasons for the dismissal, the date on which the employment contract will end, the appropriate period of notice and their right to appeal.
- Some acts termed gross misconduct, are so serious in themselves or have such serious consequences that they may call for dismissal without notice for the first offence. But a fair disciplinary process will always be followed, before dismissing for gross misconduct.
- Disciplinary rules should give examples of acts which the employer regards as acts of gross misconduct. These may vary according to the nature of the organisation and what it does, but might include things such as theft or fraud, physical violence, gross negligence or serious insubordination.
- Where an employee is persistently unable or unwilling to attend a disciplinary meeting without good cause the employer should make a decision on the evidence available.
Opportunity to appeal
- Where an employee feels that disciplinary action taken against them is wrong or unjust they should appeal against the decision within 7 days of the date of termination letter. Appeals should be heard without unreasonable delay and ideally at an agreed time and place. Employees should let employers know the grounds for their appeal in writing.
- The appeal should be dealt with impartially and, wherever possible, by a trustee(s) and a member of the management committee who has not been involved in the case.
- Workers have a statutory right to be accompanied at appeal meetings.
- Employees should be informed in writing of the results of the appeal hearing as soon as possible.
- If an employee is charged with, or convicted of a criminal offence this is not normally in itself reason for disciplinary action. Consideration needs to be given to what effect the charge or conviction has on the employee’s suitability to do their job and their relationship with their employer, work colleagues and customers.
Ladybird Pre-School Nursery’s capability procedure is designed to ensure that cases of unsatisfactory performance are dealt with similarly and fairly, with the prime objective of improving an employee’s performance to the required level. This procedure seeks to establish whether a concern about work performance is a misconduct or capability issue.
- Performance concerns due to lack of knowledge or skills are normally addressed through the nursery’s Capability Policy
- Concerns about work performance due to carelessness, neglect or lack of effort will be dealt with through the nursery’s Disciplinary policy as misconduct.