2. Legal Requirements
Legal Requirements and Essential Policies
Under Section 1, Employment Rights Act 1996, you are required to have a written Disciplinary Procedure and a written Grievance Procedure:
The disciplinary procedure will explain what will happen in a situation where disciplinary action may need to be considered. This will be in situations where there has been a breach of the rules (misconduct) or where there is poor performance (capability). A similar procedure may also be followed in cases of absence (short and long term absence).
There is a legal requirement to have a written Grievance Procedure. The procedure explains how an employee can raise a concern about their employment and how this will then be handled.
Equal Opportunities (and Harassment and Bullying)
While there is not a legal requirement to have a written Equal Opportunities Policy, there is a legal requirement not to discriminate against workers on prescribed grounds. A policy will confirm that you will not unlawfully discriminate and also acts as a 'statutory' defence in any situation where one of your employees may discriminate (i.e. you can confirm that you do not condone such behaviour and that the employee is in breach of your policy).