Disciplinary Policy and Procedure

EDLounge Apprentice Disciplinary Policy & Procedure

Scope

The aim of the EDLounge disciplinary procedure is to provide a framework within which senior management, tutors and assessors can work with Apprentices to maintain satisfactory standards of performance and conduct and encourage improvement where necessary. This policy/procedure is between EDLounge and the apprentice. The apprentice’s employer will have their own disciplinary policy/procedure for issues arising in the work place.

Purpose

It is the aim EDLounge to encourage high standards of individual behaviour, conduct and performance. EDLounge are committed to dealing promptly and fairly with any conduct and poor performance issues which may arise during an apprenticeship. This procedure is designed to provide the framework to facilitate that process by ensuring that the facts of each case are investigated fully and quickly, and that consistent and reasonable sanctions are applied.

Issues which may constitute misconduct include (but are not limited to):

  • Poor time keeping
  • Unauthorised absence or misuse of EDLounge. absence procedures
  • Poor attendance record with no good reason
  • Damage to or misuse of EDLounge or workplace property or systems
  • Failure to follow EDLounge or Company procedures for Health & Safety.
  • Abusive behaviour or other unacceptable conduct
  • None progression of set Apprenticeship agreed targets
  • Not Meeting the requirements of the Apprenticeship commitment statement.
  • Refusal to follow a reasonable instruction from a manager or tutor /assessor
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Poor performance

At all informal and formal investigation and disciplinary meetings Apprentices will have the opportunity to state their case. The timescales referred to in these procedures should be regarded as a guideline and may be varied if a situation requires this. Confidentiality must be respected always by all parties involved in operating these procedures. Any breaches of confidentiality may themselves be dealt with as a separate disciplinary matter.  All records of disciplinary matters will be kept in accordance with GDPR.

The Informal Process

The formal stages are not intended to replace the normal problem-solving dialogue which takes place on a day-to-day basis between Apprentices and tutors/assessors. Nor are they designed to resolve trivial or frivolous issues which can be dealt with through sensible and reasonable discussions.

Consequently, Apprenticeship managers may discuss conduct or performance concerns with Apprentices firstly on an informal and confidential basis, involving the Apprentices employer if necessary, to resolve any minor conduct or performance issues via an informal route.

The policy is in two sections as Apprenticeship manager should follow a different process when dealing with capability or performance issues.

Investigation

If the matter has not been resolved through informal means, or if the matter is of a more serious nature, the Apprenticeship Manger will promptly and thoroughly investigate all the issues involved.

The Apprentice concerned may be invited to an investigatory meeting with a representative from their employer to attend as support. The Apprentice will be informed of the matter and be invited to give their initial account of events, submit any relevant documents and put forward the names of any individuals who may be able to comment on the matters.

Where the Apprentice Manager believes it to be appropriate, the Apprentice may be immediately suspended from the apprenticeship whilst the investigation is taking place. The suspension is not a disciplinary sanction in itself. If initially given verbally, the decision to suspend will be followed up in writing the Apprentices employer and Parents/Guardians if appropriate.

Disciplinary Hearing

On completion of an investigation where there are reasonable grounds to believe that an employee has committed an act of misconduct, the Apprentice will be invited to attend a disciplinary hearing. An apprentice will be able to take a colleague, a union representative, or parent/guardian (if aged under 18) with them for support.

EDLounge will normally:

  • Give the Apprentice 48 hours’ notice of any such hearing
  • Inform the Apprentice that it is a disciplinary hearing
  • Issue the Apprentice details of his/her alleged misconduct
  • provide the Apprentice with any documentation or other information required (including any statements if these are yet available) 
  • The Apprentice will be advised that disciplinary sanctions could be applied up to and including dismissal

The Apprentice may postpone the meeting if their chosen companion cannot attend or there is another good reason, but the Apprentice must make all reasonable attempts to attend. The Apprentice may be offered an alternative date for the hearing and will be expected to attend this hearing, finding an alternative person to accompany them if their first choice cannot attend.

Unless there are special circumstances mitigating against attending the first and any rearranged hearing, EDLounge reserves the right to conduct the rearranged hearing in the Apprentices absence, though the employee’s companion may still attend, and written submissions may still be made. 

The Apprentice will be given a full explanation of the alleged misconduct and be informed of the content of any statements. They will be given an opportunity to state their case and put forward an explanation of their conduct and explain, if appropriate, any mitigating circumstances.

Following the Disciplinary Hearing the employee will be advised in writing by the Apprentice Manager of the outcome (and any resultant disciplinary action) and the reasons for the decision normally within Five working days of the meeting.  On some occasions it may be difficult to adhere strictly to the timescale (for example, during any holiday or Christmas period) and if that is the case the employee will be notified of any delay and the outcome as soon as is practicable.

Apprentice Disciplinary Sanctions

Written Warning - Where a disciplinary offence has been committed, a written warning may be issued. This will set out the nature of the offence committed and specify the period for which the warning will remain ‘live’ (this maybe up to 12 months). The Apprentice may also be informed of any other conditions applied to the warning.

Final Written Warning - Where a serious offence has been found to be committed, or where further offence/s occur during a ‘live’ written warning a final written warning may be issued. This will set out the nature of the offence committed and specify the period for which the warning will remain ‘live’ (normally 12 months). The employee may also be informed of any other conditions applied to the warning.

Summary Dismissal - Where EDLounge establishes that an Apprentice has committed an act of gross misconduct the Apprentice may be summarily dismissed without notice.  Gross misconduct is misconduct of such a serious and fundamental nature that it breaches the contractual relationship between the Apprentice and EDLounge. Matters which EDLounge view as amounting to gross misconduct include, but are not limited to:

Breach of Company Security & Data Policies explicitly loss of personal data

  • Stealing from EDLounge Solutions, other stakeholders involved in the Apprenticeship               
  • Other offences of dishonesty or fraud
  • Falsification of qualifications, records, reports, examinations.
  • Sexual misconduct at work
  • Harassment or discrimination
  • Fighting or verbal/physical assault or bullying of members of the staff or public, or threat of the same
  • Serious damage to Company property.
  • Drunkenness or being under the influence of illegal drugs at work
  • Possession, custody or control of illegal drugs on EDLounge premises
  • Serious breach of Apprentice code of conduct and rules or procedures and/or gross insubordination
  • Breach of EDLounge Health and Safety procedures
  • Serious negligence
  • Conviction of a criminal offence that is relevant to an Apprentices Individual Learning Plan or puts other EDLounge Apprentices and staff at risk
  • Conduct which brings EDLounge into disrepute or violation of common decency or morality
  • Serious misconduct at Apprentices functions, including off-site and out of hours
  • Discrimination, victimisation or harassment of a fellow Apprentice or EDLounge staff member or other individual on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, race, nationality, disability, religious belief or age

programme 

Appeal Stage

The Apprentice has the right of appeal against any disciplinary sanction. The Apprentice will be required to state their reasons of appeal in writing to the Apprenticeship Manager. This appeal stage will be heard by the Apprenticeship Manager.

The right to be accompanied

You may bring a companion to any disciplinary or appeal hearing under this procedure. The companion may be either a work colleague, parent/guardian (if under 18) or a Trade Union Representative. You must inform the manager conducting the hearing who your chosen companion will be in good time before the hearing.  In some circumstances an Apprentices choice of companion may not be suitable, and we may ask you to choose someone else.

For example:

  • If in our opinion your companion may have a conflict of interest, or whose presence may prejudice the hearing
  • If your companion works at another location and someone reasonably suitable is available at the location where you work
  • If your companion is unavailable at the time that the hearing is scheduled and will not be available for more than five working days

We may, at our discretion, allow employees to bring a companion who is not a Trade Union representative, employer staff member or colleague (for example a family member) where this will help overcome a difficulty caused by a disability.  A companion will be required to provide ID to ensure they are eligible to accompany an Apprentice to any formal meetings.