Disciplinary - Our Tesco


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Disciplinary April 2016

Internal, Disciplinary, Version2, Page 1 of 11 April 2016

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Internal, Disciplinary, Version2, Page 2 of 11 April 2016



if you could perform better but will not, it would be considered misconduct; if you can’t perform better no matter how hard you try, it would be considered incapability and we’ll work with you on this through our Supporting Your Performance process.

We aim to create a great place to work, where we treat everyone how they like to be treated. We want Tesco to be a happy, honest and inspiring place, where relationships are based on shared values and respect.



However, we recognise that at times, standards of conduct (behaviour) and capability (performance) may not be met, and in this situation, we will investigate why this has happened and decide on the best approach to take.

Gross Misconduct is conduct so severe that even a oneoff incident could result in your dismissal (without notice) from the Company.

This policy is applicable to you if you work within Tesco Stores, offices, customer fulfilment centres or customer engagement centres and are suspended or facing an investigation, disciplinary or appeal. This doesn’t apply to attendance issues which are handled through our Supporting Your Attendance process. This policy explains the disciplinary process, including the right to representation, timeframes, and your right of appeal. If you work in a distribution centre, please refer to the disciplinary procedures within your Site Agreement. Speak to your People Manager or Trade Union Representative for guidance on the disciplinary procedure applicable to you.

We want you to maintain certain standards of conduct (behaviour) and capability (job performance) in line with our Values and our core purpose of serving Britain’s shoppers a little better, every day. If you’re not doing this then we need to consider why, and decide if following a disciplinary approach could improve your conduct/capability.

We believe that talking to each other openly, honestly and respectfully is the best way of resolving the vast majority of problems at work, and we are committed to finding effective solutions to solve problems at the earliest opportunity. Because of this, in many situations, your manager will discuss with you any areas of concern informally. This means that they will:  talk to you regularly and honestly about your conduct and performance, identifying where there are opportunities for you to improve and learn  do all they can to support you in identifying the most appropriate solution to help you  work with you to understand why there has been a decline in your capability or conduct (where applicable) so that together you can identify what can be done to bring your performance or conduct back to the required level; and  provide coaching, or a ‘buddy’ or training where needed. The improvement needed, how this will be measured and monitored should be explained to you as well as the period of time over which you should be able to achieve the required standard/improvement. Any timescales, next steps and outcomes may be written on a ‘Let’s Talk’ form.

When your conduct (behaviour or actions) falls below our standards, e.g. you behave unreasonably, unacceptably, against policy, or you don’t comply with the Code of Business Conduct, we consider this to be misconduct. If you can’t perform better, no matter how hard you try, you may be considered incapable of fulfilling your role. We’ll consider whether the issues are misconduct, incapability or a mix of both e.g. if a job is not done correctly, is it because you are purposely not performing (misconduct) or is it because you are not capable of performing (incapability). In this situation, the difference is the level of control that you have over your actions:

The formal Disciplinary Procedure will be used when we don’t feel an informal approach is suitable or will be of any further benefit. For reference purposes only, the Let’s Talk’ form will be placed in your personnel file.

Internal, Disciplinary, Version2, Page 3 of 11 April 2016

We will ensure that any information, such as notes from meetings, statements or letters are handled confidentially and responsibly. Anyone involved in any stage of these procedures must treat all matters discussed with the strictest confidence. In certain circumstances it may be necessary to protect a witness by withholding their identity if we feel that there is a real risk of serious repercussions against them. However, this is quite rare and your People Manager/Partner will take advice before deciding to do this.

If you’re facing an investigation, we appreciate that this can be a cause of some concern. We encourage you to continue with the investigation process until a conclusion is made, as delaying the decision can add additional pressure, which is not helpful for your long-term health. We may decide to refer you to Occupational Health if you are signed off from work.

Suspension is when you are asked not to attend work for a period of time, but are paid full contractual pay. You could be suspended for a number of reasons such as: 

If an allegation has been made against you, or if there are areas of concern regarding your conduct or performance, this will be looked into, either by your manager or another manager. This is called an investigation. We will always carry out a thorough investigation and agree the most appropriate steps to address any issues that we identify. We’ll do this within a reasonable timeframe to allow for the most thorough investigation possible, usually taking no more than 14 days unless both parties mutually agree an extension, or if it’s reasonable to extend this timeframe to allow further investigation. The investigating manager will need to ask you questions, and it is important that you cooperate, as you will be given the full opportunity to explain your point of view and any mitigating circumstances. To establish the whole story, the investigating manager may also look at other information such as CCTV footage, stock reports or customer complaints, and may also need to interview some of your colleagues. Once the investigation is complete, the investigating manager will make a decision, based on the evidence they have gained, as to whether they believe your behaviour or performance warrants you being invited to a disciplinary hearing. Often, when weighing up the evidence, a decision will be made by considering any conflicting evidence and making a decision as to what version is the most credible/plausible - this is called the "balance of probability".

  

to protect you, the company or another colleague; there is evidence to suggest that you have committed an act of gross misconduct - see section 11; to provide you or another colleague with a cooling off period if a situation has become heated; concerns over your right to work in the UK (visa restrictions – this suspension is unpaid); or to provide time for a full and fair investigation to be carried out.

If it’s decided that you should be suspended, you will be suspended for as short a period of time as possible, although this will vary depending on the individual circumstances of your situation. While suspended you are not allowed to enter your workplace or discuss the reasons for your suspension with your colleagues, unless you are told otherwise. Suspension is not a disciplinary sanction itself, and if you are suspended, this is not an indication that disciplinary action will be taken against you.

If you are suspended, we expect you to comply with any reasonable instructions, which could include attending meetings, or discussing something over the phone. If you don't, you will be considered as absent without authorisation, and your pay will be stopped in line with our AWOL policy and process. If you have any pre-booked holidays during the suspension period then you can choose to postpone your holiday to make yourself available for any investigation/disciplinary meetings. Or you can choose to take your pre-booked holiday and your suspension will resume on your return.

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The manager who suspends you may be the same manager who investigates the allegations against you. A suspension can be carried out by any member of management within your store or function, including the:   

Duty Manager Your manager People Manager

At your suspension meeting, you will be advised of why you’re being suspended but you won’t be asked any questions at this stage. A note taker will be present to write down what is said, for our records.

recognised representative, we will ask for a parent or guardian to accompany and support you. In instances where you need an interpreter to fully understand the process, you can ask for an additional person to accompany you, and where possible this should also be a Tesco employee. The interpreter’s role is in addition to the recognised representative and they are there to provide language support only. If you would like to be accompanied by someone who is not available for the meeting, then it can be postponed for up to seven days to allow your representative time to make themselves available. If your representative is not available within seven days, or the second time the hearing is rescheduled, you will normally be asked to find another representative to accompany you.

The meetings will be chaired by a Tesco manager. The Tesco manager will be accompanied by a note taker who will be as follows: You can have either a colleague or Trade Union Representative accompany you to any investigation, disciplinary or appeal hearings. If your store/business function doesn’t have an USDAW/Sata Representative, and you are a member of USDAW/Sata, then the People Manager/Partner will arrange one for you. USDAW Representatives have the right to be represented by their local Area Organiser, and the People Manager will contact them to agree a convenient date. Representatives;        

have reasonable paid time to help you prepare for meetings; review relevant documentation; represent and speak on your behalf; give support throughout the process; witness and take notes of the procedure; confer with you during the meeting; adjourn the meeting at any point if they need to consult with you or seek advice; and call on the legal advice of USDAW (where applicable).

Large stores - Team Managers, Lead Managers, People Managers and Store Managers. Options trainees on placement can take notes in investigation and grievance meetings, providing they have attended and been accredited through the note-taking training. Convenience – Selected Team Leaders and Options colleagues on placement (who have attended and been accredited through the note taking training) Duty and Deputy Managers, People Managers and Store Managers. Customer Fulfilment Centres – Team Managers, Lead Managers, People Managers and Centre Managers can take notes. Options trainees on placement can take notes, providing they have attended and been accredited through the note-taking training. Customer Engagement Centres – Team Leaders, Operations Managers, Site Managers and People Managers can take notes. The Office - Managers and members of the People Team can take notes. The note taker may be the same person who attended

During the meeting, your Representative has the right to speak on your behalf, put your case forward and to respond to any points. However, Representatives are not allowed to answer questions that are directed to you.

previous meetings, but they play no part in any decision

You are not entitled to be accompanied by legal representatives or family members (unless they also work for Tesco), with the exception of employees under 16 years old or those with a specific need for such a representative (e.g. those with special needs or learning difficulties). In these circumstances and in addition to the

appropriate company note takers.

making. USDAW Representatives and family members are not

Because we have a note taker in these meetings, we don’t allow any form of sound recording.

Internal, Disciplinary, Version2, Page 5 of 11 April 2016

We will not take disciplinary action against you, until an investigation has been completed. If, after the investigation, it is believed that you should face disciplinary action, an impartial, appropriate manager will be appointed to chair the disciplinary hearing, consider the evidence and decide what the outcome will be. This is usually a different manager from the person who interviewed you during the investigation stage. You will be invited to a hearing in writing, and should receive this letter at least 24 hours before the disciplinary hearing is due to take place. This is to give you time to prepare. The invite will:   



provide you with a date, time and location for the hearing; explain who will be holding the disciplinary hearing; explain what allegations will be discussed; contain a copy of any paperwork/evidence relating to the disciplinary (sometimes this is sent separately); and inform you of your right to be accompanied (either by a Trade Union Representative or a colleague. If you are under 18 or disabled, you may be accompanied by a parent or guardian).

You should make every effort to attend a disciplinary hearing, as you then have the opportunity to fully present your version of events to an impartial manager who will make a decision as to whether you will receive any disciplinary action. If you fail to attend, this manager may decide to make a decision on the basis of the information they have, without taking your viewpoint into consideration. As with investigations, all disciplinary hearings are treated with the utmost confidence and handled with sensitivity. The manager will ask you questions and may challenge your perception of events – this is what they need to do to form a clear understanding.

The stages described below can be followed in sequence, however if the offence is sufficiently serious, disciplinary action can be taken at any of the stages. At every stage, you can appeal against any disciplinary action taken. If you have a live disciplinary warning, further offences may be linked together. This means that you could go from a verbal warning to a first written warning for unrelated matters, if they are all matters of conduct or all matters of capability. You will be provided with a letter confirming the outcome of the disciplinary hearing and your right to appeal. If appropriate, the letter will also advise you of what performance/behaviour improvement is required, and the timescale for those improvements. The level of sanction you receive will depend on:   

the severity of the issue(s); whether you have received previous warnings about related issue(s); how much relevant training you have received; and your attitude, conduct or honesty during the disciplinary hearing.

The disciplining manager may decide that there is "no case to answer" which means they feel no formal disciplinary action is necessary and the case against you will be dismissed. They may however, issue a warning as follows:

Verbal warning If, despite informal discussions and guidance, your conduct or performance e.g. lateness does not meet the required standard, you may be given a formal verbal warning. A verbal warning remains live on your record for a period of eight weeks.

You and your Representative can also ask questions, you can ask for specific colleagues to be interviewed or any other evidence to support your case to be obtained. You or your Representative may call an adjournment to the meeting at any time, for example if you need to discuss the matter with your Representative or clarify an issue or seek further advice. At the end of the meeting, you may be asked to read and sign the notes that have been taken to check that they are an accurate reflection of what was said during the meeting. A copy of these notes should be given to you once the investigation or disciplinary hearing is complete, and prior to any further meetings. Internal, Disciplinary, Version2, Page 6 of 11 April 2016

In any situation, the Disciplinary Manager may decide to offer where appropriate:-

First Written Warning If, despite a verbal warning, your conduct or performance has not improved or still does not meet the required standard, you may then receive a first written warning. If the offence is more serious, you may receive a first written warning without having any previous warnings. A first written warning remains live on your record for a period of 13 weeks.

Final Written Warning

  

coaching; training; and adjustment to working times/work environment.

All disciplinary decisions are made without discrimination. In addition, the Disciplinary Manager will endeavour to make fair and consistent decisions, while bearing in mind that no two cases are ever exactly alike. The disciplinary manager will not pre-judge a disciplinary hearing before it takes place.

If there is still no improvement in conduct or performance or the required standard has still not been met, you may receive a final written warning.

If you don’t agree with the outcome of a disciplinary hearing, you can appeal in writing, explaining why you are dissatisfied, within seven days of receiving the written outcome (if you prefer, you can complete an Appeal Form which is available from OurTesco, your People Manager or your USDAW representative).

If the offence is more serious, you may be issued a final written warning for a first offence.

You can appeal for any reason, for example if you feel:-

A final written warning will remain live on your record for a period of 26 weeks.

 

Dismissal, Demotion, Unpaid Disciplinary Suspension If there is still no improvement in conduct or performance, or the required standard has still not been met, you may be dismissed. If the offence is so serious in itself, for example gross misconduct, you may be dismissed. In exceptional circumstances, the Disciplinary Manager may instead decide that a demotion or an unpaid disciplinary suspension of no more than 5 days is more appropriate. Where an unpaid disciplinary suspension or demotion is issued, it will remain live on your record for a period of 52 weeks.

   

the outcome was too harsh; the outcome was inconsistent with action taken in previous, similar cases; the investigation was not complete; you were not given a fair hearing; you wish to bring forward more evidence that you didn't feel was relevant or available previously; you feel your version of events wasn't adequately considered.

Discuss the outcome of the disciplinary with your USDAW representative and identify the reason(s) for your appeal. Submit your appeal within the timescales, giving as much detail as possible as this helps the Appeal Manager consider your points before they meet with you. An appropriate manager will be instructed to meet with you, and hear your appeal. Appeal received Verbal Written Final Written

Within seven days of receiving your warning

Stage 4

Appeal heard Within seven days of receiving your appeal Within 14 days of receiving your appeal Within 21 days of receiving your appeal

Outcome notified

Within seven days of hearing your appeal

Internal, Disciplinary, Version2, Page 7 of 11 April 2016

Exactly the same rights as before apply to you. The Appeals Manager is authorised to make a different decision if they feel it is appropriate e.g. they can:







  

uphold your appeal and reduce the level of disciplinary warning or no warning; uphold your appeal and reinstate you if you were dismissed, giving you a lower level of warning; uphold your appeal and reinstate you if you were dismissed, giving you no warning; or agree that the disciplinary sanction was correct in all the circumstances.

This is then the final stage of our disciplinary process.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of serious breaches of Tesco rules/standards that are likely to constitute gross misconduct:  

              

Theft of Tesco’s, colleagues’ or customers’ property; Fraud, including: - Stealing by deception - Stealing money or property by falsifying our processes or data - Using Clubcard points or vouchers intended for someone else - Completing customer questionnaires to falsely inflate store scores - Assault, including harmful or offensive contact with another person or threatening to harm someone Deliberate disregard/abuse of Tesco procedures e.g. - Misuse of the Privilegecard policy Falsification of Tesco or statutory documentation; Clocking a fellow colleague in or out; Refusal to comply with our Right of Search; Consumption of Tesco products without permission, including products due for disposal; Posting offensive and/or inappropriate material on any social networking sites, abuse of company email; Deliberate refusal to carry out a reasonable management instruction; A serious breach of the Code of Business Conduct; A serious breach of our Group Bribery policy; An act of discrimination, harassment or bullying (Dignity at Work); A serious and/or deliberate breach of Health & Safety procedures, including smoking in non-smoking areas; Any serious act outside work that brings Tesco into disrepute or affects internal relationships; Physical or serious verbal abuse of colleagues, managers or customers; Deliberate damage to Tesco or other colleagues’ name or property; Conviction of any legal offence considered damaging to Tesco or its employees;



  

Incapacity whilst on duty brought on by alcohol or by illegal drugs and dealing in such drugs; Serious breach of confidentiality e.g. passing on confidential company information; Serious negligence which causes unacceptable loss, damage or injury; Unauthorised entry to computer records; Inciting others to commit acts of gross misconduct; and Any other action which, on a common sense basis, is considered a serious breach of acceptable behaviour.

In addition, for Dotcom Drivers this would include the following:   

Driving at more than 20 miles over the speed limit; Smoking in a Dotcom van; and Refusal to take part in an alcohol test.

Any issues raised during the disciplinary process, regarding the investigation or any matters linked, will either be considered during the disciplinary hearing itself, or at an appeal hearing. If you raise a grievance about an investigation, disciplinary or appeal process, you will be asked to discuss these matters at the meetings/hearings already scheduled.

The following tables show which managers can hold which meetings. If a manager is stepping up, they are not considered to be in that role for the purposes of this policy.

Internal, Disciplinary, Version2, Page 8 of 11 April 2016

Store Managers Warning issued by

Customer Assistants and Team Leaders Warning issued by

Appeal heard by

Your Manager

My Manager’s Manager and People Manager

Verbal

Written

Final Written

Disciplinary suspension, demotion or dismissal

Your Manager’s Manager

Store Manager

Store Manager and People Manager Selected Lead Store Managers Store Operations Manager and a People Manager

Representative

USDAW Rep or colleague

USDAW Rep, Area Organiser or colleague

Stage 1: Verbal

Stage 2: Written Stage 3: Final Written

Appeal heard by

Area Organiser or colleague

SATA Rep or colleague

SATA Rep, Area Organiser or colleague

Area Organiser or colleague

Verbal

Your manager

Stage 3: Final Written Disciplinary suspension, demotion or dismissal

Representative

Customer Assistants and Team Supports/Leaders Warning Appeal heard by Rep issued by

Representative

Stage 1: Verbal

Stage 2: Written

Another Store Operations Manager and a People Manager

Selected Lead Store Managers Store Director and People Manager Group

Disciplinary suspension, demotion or dismissal

Line and Lead Managers Warning issued by

Store Operations Manager

Appeal heard by

Your Manager

Selected Lead Store Managers Store Operations Manager and a People Manager

USDAW Rep or colleague

USDAW Rep, Area Organiser or colleague

Your Manager

My Manager’s Manager and People Manager

Your Manager’ s Manager

Store Manager/Custome r Fulfilment Centre Manager and People Manager

Stage 2: Written

Stage 3: Final Written

Area Organiser or colleague Disciplinary suspension , demotion or dismissal

Store Manager/ Customer Fulfilment Centre Manager

USDAW Rep or colleague

USDAW Rep, Area Organise r or colleague

Lead Store Managers in Groups 42, 43, 44

Store Director /Customer Fulfilment Centre Operations Director and People Manager Group

Area Organise r or colleague

Internal, Disciplinary, Version2, Page 9 of 11 April 2016

Team/Line Managers & Lead Managers

Stage 1: Verbal

Stage 2: Written

Stage 3: Final Written

Disciplinary suspension, demotion or dismissal

Warning issued by

Appeal heard by

Your Manager (or Lead Manager if your manager is the Store Manager)

Store Manager /Customer Fulfilment Centre Manager & People Manager

Store Manager/ Customer Fulfilment Centre Manager

Rep

USDAW Rep or colleague

Stage 1: Verbal

USDAW Rep, Area Organiser or colleague

Area Organiser or colleague

Appeal heard by

A Manager (next Work Level)

My Manager’s Manager and People Partner

A Manager (next Work Level)

My Manager’s Manager and People Partner

A Manager (next Work Level)

My Manager’s Manager and People Business Partner

Stage 2: Written

Lead Store Managers in Groups 42, 43, 44

Store Director/ Customer Fulfilment Centre Operations Director & People Manager Group

Warning issued by

Stage 3: Final Written Disciplinary suspension, demotion or dismissal

Rep

USDAW Rep or colleague

USDAW Rep, Area Organiser or colleague Area Organiser or colleague

Store Managers Warning issued by

Appeal heard by

Rep

Stage 1: Verbal

Stage 2: Written Stage 3: Final Written

Disciplinary suspension, demotion or dismissal

Store Director/ Customer Fulfilment Centre Operations Director

Another Store Director and a People Manager Group

Retail Director (or a Lead Store Director if not available) & Regional People Manager

SATA Rep or colleague

SATA Rep, Area Organiser or colleague

Refer to the Disciplinary procedures contained within your Distribution Centre Site Agreement. Speak to your People Manager or Trade Union Representative for more information and guidance.

    

Grievance Bullying and Harassment Equal Opportunities Supporting Your Attendance AWOL

Area Organiser or colleague

Internal, Disciplinary, Version2, Page 10 of 11 April 2016

1 2

1st December 2015 th

24 April 2016

New policy Selected Team Leaders can be note takers in Convenience Managers can verbally agree at an investigation meeting, the date, time and venue of a further investigation meeting with no need to send a written invite Alternatives to suspension will be considered where appropriate We confirm suspension in writing once – no need to re-suspend at every meeting Lead Store Managers in key areas (as agreed with USDAW) can hear appeals against dismissals

This document shouldn’t be shared with anyone externally without permission from your Director. This policy and any associated documentation remains the property of Tesco and should be returned if requested.

Internal, Disciplinary, Version2, Page 11 of 11 April 2016