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HR Tip: Failure to attend a disciplinary hearing

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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Q: One of our employees was given a letter summoning him to a formal disciplinary hearing but he has not turned up for work since. What should we do?

A: Write to the employee’s last known address. Either deliver it yourself or get a witness to oversee postage by first class mail. Detail the postponement of the hearing and ask the employee to make urgent contact if they are unable to make it on the proposed date. If the employee fails to respond or turn up for that meeting, post another letter in the same way but this time say that a further disciplinary meeting is to be held in a few days time to deal with the employee’s unauthorised absence. Ensure that it is clearly stated that a failure to communicate a reason for not attending or a failure to turn up will not prevent the hearing taking place. If the employee fails to turn up for that meeting, ensure that a representative attends in their interest. Unless someone produces evidence to show that the employee has good reason for not attending or communicating, you will be entitled to infer gross misconduct and therefore dismiss summarily. You should send a letter of dismissal to the employee.

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Annie Hayes

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