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Discipline and Grievance



Disciplinary issues arise when an employer identifies problems of conduct or capability and then seeks to address them through recognised procedures.

According to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) code of practice, procedures are necessary for promoting fairness and order in the treatment of individuals and in the conduct of industrial relations. They also assist an organisation to operate effectively by:

  • setting standards of conduct at work
  • procedures to help ensure that acceptable standards are adhered to
  • providing a fair method of dealing with alleged failures to observe them.


In contrast, grievances are raised by individuals bringing to management’s attention concerns or complaints about their working environment, terms and conditions and workplace relationships. 
Where possible, grievances should be settled informally with a line manager but sometimes, this does not settle the dispute and formal procedures are available to individuals. By submitting a formal grievance means that your employer is given the opportunity to consider the nature of the dispute and deal with any issues fairly, consistently and quickly.

A BDA document about handling initial disciplinary interviews and the new April 2009 ACAS Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure are available to download below. 

If you would like further advice from a member of the Employment Relations team then please call 020 7563 4582 or email