What should you include in a misconduct warning letter?

What should employers include in a misconduct warning letter?


Whenever an employer is taking disciplinary action against an employee, it is vital that a fair procedure is followed.

If the correct procedures are not followed when issuing a misconduct warning letter, it could mean that any future dismissal is unfair.

Despite this, employers often fail to give guidelines to staff on what should be including in a misconduct warning letter.

In our latest article, the expert employment law solicitors at LawforEmployers have set out the basic steps that need to be followed when issuing a misconduct warning letter to an employee.

Following the right procedures in a misconduct hearing

Put the decision in writing

After the misconduct hearing an employer should confirm its decision in writing as quickly as possible.

It is not enough to simply tell the employee that you are issuing a formal warning, even if it is an oral warning.

The Acas Code of Practice states that an employee should be informed in writing of any action that will be taken after a meeting to discuss a disciplinary issue.

Inform the employee of the nature of the misconduct

Any misconduct warning letter should make the nature of the misconduct clear. This should include a summary of the misconduct including when the offence occurred and the impact the offence had.

The misconduct warning letter should also explain what the employee should do, or avoid doing, to meet the expected standards of conduct.

Detail the consequences of a failure to improve

An employer should make clear what will happen if the employee fails to improve their conduct within the agreed timescale.

This should detail what the next steps of the disciplinary process will be and what sanctions will be triggered.

If the misconduct warning letter does not inform the employee that they could face dismissal if they fail to improve their conduct, a dismissal could be deemed unfair by an employment tribunal.

Confirm the employeeâ??s right of appeal

Any misconduct warning letter should confirm the employeeâ??s right to appeal and the steps they should take if they wish to appeal the decision.

This should include:

  • Who the appeal should be made to
  • The time frame in which the appeal should be made
  • What the appeal will need to cover

Keep a record of the misconduct warning letter

The warning letter should be kept on the employeeâ??s file for as long as the warning remains current.

By asking the employee to sign and return a copy of the misconduct warning letter, an employer will also have a record that the letter has been received by the employee.

This will mean that if there are any further offences committed in this time, the employer will have access to all the relevant facts, even if the person who carried out the original disciplinary procedure has left the company.

Get the right procedures in place with our SafeGuard packages

By speaking the expert employment law solicitors at LawforEmployers, you can ensure that you have the right procedures in place to protect your business from facing unfair dismissal claims.

Our SafeGuard employment packages provide an audit of your policies and procedures and regular updates on changes employment law, keeping your business up to date and compliant.

For a free consultation with an expert solicitor, call us on 01282 695 400.

Or, you can book your free consultation by completing our quick online contact form.

For more advice from our expert employment law solicitors, find out how we can help you follow a fair disciplinary process.