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1.1 Explain the difference between a discipline case and a grievance case and the implications for their management

Unit 20: Discipline and Grievance Management

Unit reference number: A/506/1981 QCF level: 4

Credit value: 3

Guided learning hours: 26

Unit type: Competence

Unit summary

In this unit, you will learn how to manage both a disciplinary and a grievance case. In order to do this you will gain an understanding of the importance of following the ACAS Code of Practice and the difference between a disciplinary case and a grievance case.

You will learn that the disciplinary and grievance procedures are frameworks which provide clear and transparent structures for dealing with difficulties which may arise as part of the working relationship from either the employer’s or employee’s perspective. Employers must be compliant with current legislation and most will have their own procedures that comply with the ACAS code. You will examine the consequences for the organisation and the employee of poorly managed cases.

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

To pass this unit, the learner needs to demonstrate that they can meet all the learning outcomes for the unit. The assessment criteria outline the requirements the learner is expected to meet to achieve the unit.

Learning outcomes

Assessment criteria

1 Understand the principles supporting the management of discipline and grievance cases

1.1 Explain the difference between a discipline case and a grievance case and the implications for their management

1.2 Explain sources of advice and expertise on discipline and grievance

1.3 Explain the legal obligations of employers and the rights of employees in relation to discipline and grievance cases

1.4 Explain organisational procedures for the management of discipline and grievance cases

1.5 Explain the communication techniques to be used in the management of discipline and grievance cases

1.6 Explain the types of behaviours that are likely to result in disciplinary proceedings

1.7 Explain the types of actions that are likely to lead to a grievance

1.8 Explain how to carry out investigations into discipline and grievance cases

1.9 Analyse the effect of well managed and poorly managed discipline and grievance cases

1.10 Explain how the outcomes of discipline and grievance cases can be managed

Learning outcomes                                      Assessment criteria

2 Be able to manage a disciplinary case

2.1 Inform an individual that they are subject to disciplinary proceedings within agreed timescales

2.2 Explain to an individual the reasons why they are subject to disciplinary proceedings

2.3 Provide evidence that supports the case for disciplinary proceedings

2.4 Develop a case to support an individual who is subject to disciplinary proceedings

2.5 Keep detailed and accurate records of agreements, actions and events for disciplinary cases

2.6 Adhere to organisational policies and procedures, legal and ethical requirements when managing a disciplinary case

3 Be able to manage a grievance

3.1 Identify the nature of a grievance

3.2 Investigate the seriousness and potential implications of a grievance

3.3 Adhere to organisational procedures when managing a grievance

3.4 Evaluate the effectiveness of how a grievance has been managed

3.5 Agree measures to prevent future reoccurrences of grievances

Unit amplification

AC1.1: Explain the difference between a discipline case and a grievance case and the implications for their management
  • Discipline: misconduct or unsatisfactory performance
  • Grievance case: definition of grievance; causes e.g. bullying and harassmentdiscrimination, new working practices, organisational change
  • HR Department: organisational policies and procedures
    • ACAS – Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service: mediation service, information, advice, training, dealing with employment disputes
    • Government Equalities Office: develops government strategy and legislation about equality
      • CIPD – Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: provides factsheets and guidance
      • Employers Direct: advice about employment law based on the ACAS Code of Practice
      • Employment tribunals: decide claims about unfair treatment in the workplace
      • Legislation: The Employment Act 2008; The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2008;
      • Employer legal obligations: e.g. follow the ACAS Code of Practice; inform employee of the basis of the problem; provide opportunity for employee to respond before formal decisions; appeals
        • Employee legal rights: e.g. to be accompanied to a formal disciplinary or grievance meeting
        • Disciplinary procedure: purpose, e.g. deals with discipline issues and underperformance; ensures rules and standards are maintained; format, i.e. ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures; mediation
        • Grievance procedure: definitionpurpose; format i.e. ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
        • Communication techniques: e.g. open, consistent and fair communication; formal communication; discuss the issue with the employee; in line with the ACAS Code of Practice
        • Conduct: e.g. timekeeping; health and safety breaches; discrimination or bullying; theft; fraud; unlawful behaviour
        • Terms and conditions of employment, breaches and changes
        • Workplace treatment: e.g. discrimination; bullying
        • Working environment: e.g. equipment; health and safety
        • Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
          • Establish facts: without delay; informal action e.g. mediation; formal action; prior to disciplinary hearing; investigatory meeting; employee notified in writing; employee case; decision made on disciplinary case
          • Well managed: behaviour improved; problems resolved promptly; fair and consistent; employees clear on expectations;
          • Poorly managed: unfair dismissal; employee unclear of expectations throughout process; facts not established
            • Inform employee in writing; allow for appeal; any action disregarded for disciplinary purposes after specified period
            • Grievance case outcomes: action set out in writing; right to appeal; issues relating to policies, procedures or conduct addressed
            • No action necessary: e.g. employee unclear of expectations; agree to resolve issue; additional support or counselling
            • First formal action - unsatisfactory performance: improvement note
AC1.2:     Explain sources of advice and expertise on discipline and grievance
AC1.3:     Explain the legal obligations of employers and the rights of employees in relation to discipline and grievance cases
AC1.4:     Explain organisational procedures for the management of discipline and grievance cases
AC1.5:     Explain the communication techniques to be used in the management of discipline and grievance cases
AC1.6:     Explain the types of behaviours that are likely to result in disciplinary proceedings
AC1.7:     Explain the types of actions that are likely to lead to a grievance
AC1.8:     Explain how to carry out investigations into discipline and grievance cases
AC1.9:     Analyse the effect of well managed and poorly managed discipline and grievance cases
AC1.10: Explain how the outcomes of discipline and grievance cases can be managed

e.g. problem, required improvement, review date; first written warning; can lead to final written warning/dismissal

  • First formal action – misconduct: required change in behaviour; can lead to final written warning
  • Final written warning: misconduct serious; does not justify dismissal; for a specified period; can lead to dismissal
  • Dismissal or sanction: unsatisfactory performance/misconduct following written warning; disciplinary penalty e.g. disciplinary transfer, demotion, loss of increment; dismissal with or without notice; gross misconduct

 

Information for tutors


 

Suggested resources

 

Books

Armstrong, M. – Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice (12th edition) (Kogan Page, 2012) ISBN 9780749465506

Bratton, J., Gold, J. – Human Resource Management: Theory & Practice (5th edition)

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) ISBN 9780230580565

 

Websites

www.acas.org.uk – the ACAS website, providing current ACAS leaflets and publications, advice, training and other employment information

www.cipd.co.uk – the CIPD website, providing information about recruitment, selection and employment practices

www.employersdirect-uk.org – the free advice service for employers website, including disciplinary information

www.peoplemanagement.co.uk – the online magazine of the CIPD, providing the latest HR news, including articles on discipline and grievance management

Assessment

This unit is internally assessed. To pass this unit the evidence that the learner presents for assessment must demonstrate that they have met the required standard specified in the learning outcomes and assessment criteria and the requirements of the Assessment Strategy.

To ensure that the assessment tasks and activities enable learners to produce valid, sufficient, authentic and appropriate evidence that meets the assessment criteria, centres should apply the Unit Assessment guidance and the requirements of the Assessment Strategy below.

Wherever possible, centres should adopt a holistic approach to assessing the units in the qualification. This gives the assessment process greater rigour and minimises repetition, time and the burden of assessment on all parties involved in the process.

 

Unit assessment requirements

Simulation is allowed for this unit and so the unit may be assessed either under real workplace conditions or in a Realistic Work Environment (RWE). Please refer to the Skills CFA Assessment Strategy for Business Administration, Customer Service and Management and Leadership, in Annexe A for further guidance on the use of simulation and RWE.

 

Unit assessment guidance

This guidance supports assessors in making decisions about how best to assess each unit and the evidence needed to meet the assessment requirements of the unit. Centres can adapt the guidance for learners and the particular assessment context, as appropriate.

Evidence to achieve this unit should come from the learner’s work activities in managing disciplinary cases and grievances.

Evidence to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes 2 and 3 is likely to come from a combination of reviewing the learner’s work products, witness testimony and professional discussion or reflective account. The learner’s work products could include appropriately anonymised written communications informing an individual that they are subject to disciplinary proceedings, with evidence that this was done within agreed timescales (AC2.1), supporting documentation for a case to support an individual who is subject to disciplinary proceedings (AC2.4) and copies of records of agreements, actions and events kept by the learner in relation to a disciplinary case (aware of issues of confidentiality) (AC2.5). The work products should be reviewed by the assessor and used to support the professional discussion to evidence the knowledge and understanding underpinning the learner’s performance. Within the professional discussion, the learner could discuss the process for investigating the seriousness and potential implications of a grievance (AC3.2), organisational procedures related to the management of a grievance and how these should be adhered to (AC3.3) and the process for evaluating the effectiveness of how a grievance has been managed (AC3.4). Alternatively a reflective account could be used in a similar manner to assess the underpinning knowledge and understanding. Witness testimony from colleagues and the line manager should also be used to confirm that the learner has consistently met the requirements over a period of time, as well as met organisational requirements.

Due to the cognitive demand of the assessment criteria in learning outcome 1, the evidence to confirm achievement would best come from a reflective account. If a reflective account is used for learning outcomes 2 and 3, then the assessment of this learning outcome should be integrated, giving the learner opportunity to link and apply their knowledge to workplace activities. For example, the learner could reflect on a range of sources of advice and expertise on discipline and grievance which they have used (AC1.2), their organisation’s procedures for the management of discipline and grievance cases and how they have applied these when managing a disciplinary or grievance case (AC1.4) and the processes they have used to manage the outcomes of discipline and grievance cases (AC1.10). The learner’s reflective account to meet the requirements of AC1.1 to AC1.10 must be in sufficient depth and breadth to meet the level of demand of the operative command verbs.

Evidence of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can also be used within the unit to confirm competence. Wherever possible, the learning outcomes in this unit should be assessed holistically across the qualification

Unit 20: Discipline and Grievance Management


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