10. Letter Rescheduling Disciplinary Hearing
This model letter can be used to reschedule a Disciplinary Hearing.
Please do not be too quick to refuse to reschedule, or decide not to attempt to reschedule a Disciplinary Hearing.
A refusal to postpone even an already rescheduled Disciplinary Hearing, can make a dismissal unfair.
We know from case law that an employer should put up with a delay in holding a hearing, in order for an employee’s companion or trade union representative to attend, even if that causes a delay of a number of weeks.
If an employee is genuinely unable to attend, you should always reschedule. How long you should wait for a sick employee to be well enough to attend, and how many times you should reschedule when a Hearing does not go ahead will depend on the circumstances. You must act reasonably.
It should only be as a final course of action, when all other attempts and options have failed that you hold a Disciplinary Hearing without the Employee whose conduct is in question. Consider obtaining consent to contact an employee’s GP for a report on when or whether an employee off sick can attend a Disciplinary Hearing. Sometimes a GP will be of the view that a person who is off sick from work is well enough to attend a Disciplinary Hearing for up to an hour and a half.
Where an employee cannot attend a Disciplinary Hearing within a reasonable time frame, consider obtaining the employee’s responses in writing instead, and having their companion or representative attend on their behalf, to represent them at the Hearing.
Never forget to offer the Employee the right to Appeal the outcome of the Disciplinary Hearing, whether they attend, or not.