15 May 2015: Whether to Suspend a Disciplinary hearing to hear a Grievance first:
It is quite common for employees to submit grievances in response to disciplinary proceedings. Sometimes this is done strategically to slow down the disciplinary process.
In Jinadu v Docklands Buses reported this month, the EAT held that the employer was not obliged to put a disciplinary process on hold whilst they dealt with Ms Jinadu’s grievance first.
Ms Jinadu was a bus driver on a disciplinary charge due to poor driving. She then made certain allegations about the managers involved, but Docklands Buses continued with the disciplinary action and then dismissed her.
The EAT rejected the argument that that the Respondents were obliged to put the disciplinary investigation on hold until they had dealt with Ms Jinadu’s grievances or that the managers about whom the grievance was made should not be involved in the disciplinary process; neither was the hearing officer.
Frequently such grievances will relate to an aspect of the disciplinary allegations or process. In that case it may be appropriate to consider arguments on both issues at the same hearing.
For advice on disciplinary or grievance hearings, call one of our employment solicitors today. See our other posts on our website.