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Disciplinary procedures and dismissal

Advice on appropriate and fair procedures for handling disciplinary situations in the dental practice, including the formal written disciplinary procedure.


You must have a formal written disciplinary procedure that describes your approach for handling disciplinary situations and that follows the basic principles of fairness. Employment tribunals can adjust any compensation awards by up to 25% where these principles are not followed.

Your procedure and any correspondence relating to a disciplinary matter will be used to assess whether you have acted fairly. Disciplinary letters to an employee should be objective; they will provide evidence that you have been reasonable and fair and have followed your practice procedure.

Key learning points

This advice will help you to establish appropriate and fair procedures for handling disciplinary situations (as described in the ACAS Code of Practice):

  • To raise and deal with issues promptly and not unreasonably delay meetings, decisions or confirmation of decisions
  • To act consistently
  • To carry out any necessary investigations to establish the facts
  • To inform employees of the problem and give them an opportunity to respond before you decide
  • To hold a meeting with the employee to discuss the problem and allow them to be accompanied
  • To allow an employee to appeal against a decision.