Do you ever wonder how your experience of disciplinary action and/or grievance issues measures up to the wider profession? XpertHR asked 166 employers over a two year period how often each of the following issues were the subject of disciplinary action. The respondents in the survey could answer “never”, “occasionally” or “frequently”. The results were as follows: – 

Disciplinary Offence Frequently Occasionally Never
General Misconduct 43% 50% 7%
Poor Performance/Capability 87% 13%
Poor Timekeeping 16% 59% 25%
Unauthorised Absence 70% 30%
Misuse of Email, Internet or Social Media 4% 58% 38%
Bullying and Harassment 3% 53% 44%
Theft or Fraud 7% 40% 53%
Health & Safety 7% 42% 51%
Violence 0% 27% 73%
Substance Misuse 1% 25% 74%
Discrimination 0% 19% 81%

So what do we learn? We can confirm that the figures themselves don’t really say anything too surprising. The most common queries we receive from our clients come from the top three on this list i.e. misconduct, capability and poor time keeping. The key to dealing with all these issues is to ensure fair treatment. This can be achieved by following the procedures set down in your handbook, which should be in accordance with the ACAS guidelines. By dealing with these matters in a proactive and consistent manner, you set down a clear standard of behaviour which should prevent future issues.

If you need any guidance on any of the issues raised in this article then BHW can help. We have a range of Employer Schemes designed to suit your needs or if preferred, we can assist on a more ad hoc basis. Whatever your issue, our employment team is here to help.

Katie Stephenson is a Solicitor in the Employment Department at BHW Solicitors in Leicester. Katie can be contacted on 0116 281 6227 or by email at

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