Dismissal checklist

This checklist will make sure you don't miss out any relevant part of the disciplinary process.

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 1.

Tell everyone involved in the process of the need for confidentiality.

 
 2.

Decide whether to suspend the employee. If you decide to do so, consider sending a suspension letter.

 
 3. 

Decide what to say to anyone who hears of the investigation/suspension.

 
 4. 

Appoint someone to carry out an investigation of the facts.

 
 5. 

Identify the relevant witnesses/evidence. Ask the accused employee about this, too. For more information, read our Quick Guide on the Disciplinary process.

 
 6. 

Put in place the appropriate privacy and data protection safeguards.

 
 7.  

Search for relevant documents/emails as soon as possible, whilst abiding by your communications and use of equipment policy. Make sure you capture time-sensitive evidence (e.g. auto-deleted emails, CCTV).

 
 8. 

Interview witnesses as soon as you can, with someone to take notes.

 
 9. 

Prepare signed witness statements/interview notes straight away. 

 
 10. 

Think about interviewing the accused employee. Read How to run a disciplinary hearing for more information.

 
 11.

If you do interview the accused employee:

  • Let them know it's NOT a disciplinary hearing;
  • Have someone else in the room to take notes;
  • Type up interview notes straight away.

Read How to run a disciplinary hearing for more information.

 
 12.

Look at all the evidence and decide if there’s a case to answer. If there is, go to Step 13. If not, tell them that's the end of it and, if you've suspended them, then they can come back to work. You can consider using a disciplinary outcome letter for misconduct if the matter relates to misconduct and a disciplinary outcome letter for poor performance if the matter relates to poor performance.

 
 13.

Set up a disciplinary hearing with the chairperson/decision-maker, note taker and an HR representative. Read How to run a disciplinary hearing for more information.

 
 14.

Write to the employee, giving details of the allegations and a hearing date, as well as copies of evidence and your disciplinary policy. Tell them they have a right to bring someone with them. You can consider using an invitation letter to a disciplinary hearing for misconduct if the matter relates to misconduct or an invitation letter to a poor performance hearing if the matter relates to poor performance. Read How to run a disciplinary hearing for more information.

 
 15.

At the disciplinary hearing:

  • The chairperson should begin by introducing everyone present. They should then explain the allegations and present the evidence.
  • The employee should state their case and answer the allegations. Let them ask questions, present evidence, call witnesses and raise points about the evidence.
 
 16.

Then EITHER: Give the outcome orally at the end of the meeting OR adjourn the meeting, if you need more time to investigate/consider. Then re-convene and give the outcome orally. 

 
 17.

Write to the employee, letting them know what the decision is, what the penalty is and that they have a right to appeal. You can consider using a disciplinary outcome letter for misconduct if the matter relates to misconduct and a disciplinary outcome letter for poor performance if the matter relates to poor performance.

 
 18.

If they appeal, write back to the employee letting them know when the appeal will be and that it will be chaired by a different decision-maker. You can consider using an invitation letter to a disciplinary appeal hearing for misconduct if the matter relates to misconduct or an invitation letter to a poor performance appeal hearing if the matter relates to poor performance. Read Disciplinary appeals for more information.

 
 19.

Decide whether to have a review or full re-hearing

 
 20.

Once the appeal is over, write to the employee with the appeal decision and tell them that they don’t have any more right to appeal. 

 
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Create your Suspension letter

Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest