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Topic: Disciplinary, capability and dismissal

employee disciplinary record
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Employee disciplinary record

Employee disciplinary record

It’s advisable to keep a brief summary of an employee’s disciplinary history on file, even if full details of the disciplinary case have been removed because the warning is time-expired. Use our employee disciplinary record to do this. 

A summary sheet

When you discipline an employee for an act of misconduct, you will have put together a file of relevant paperwork which probably comprises the notification of disciplinary hearing letter, copies of all the evidence and witness statements, minutes of the hearing, the warning letter issued, etc. As that’s a lot of paperwork to go through if you need to refer to it again during the validity period of the warning, we recommend you also transfer the pertinent details to a summary sheet. This is where our Employee Disciplinary Record comes in. It enables you to summarise the date that the disciplinary sanction was imposed, the type of sanction imposed (written warning, final written warning, etc.), the date the sanction will expire and the reason why disciplinary action was taken, together with details of any appeal exercised by the employee. That way, you can see at a glance what the employee’s disciplinary record comprises.  This is particularly useful if the employee commits a further act of similar misconduct during the currency of a previous warning and you want to move to the next stage or level of the disciplinary process, e.g. from a written warning to a final written warning or from a final written warning to dismissal.

Time-expired warnings

Once a warning has expired, in order to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), you should then remove the disciplinary paperwork from the employee's personnel file and permanently and securely destroy it. This is because one of the data protection principles states that personal data must not be kept (in a form which permits identification of the employee) for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed. However, there is nothing to stop you destroying all the paperwork but using the record to briefly summarise the disciplinary action and sanction. This is because it could still have some future relevance. Whilst the existence of time-expired or lapsed warnings should not generally be a factor in deciding future disciplinary sanctions, this is not an absolute rule. For example, if the employee has a history of lapsed disciplinary sanctions (i.e. they commit further misconduct after a warning has recently expired), this could potentially be relevant in determining how you judge the current act of misconduct - it may justify you jumping straight to a final written warning on this occasion, or giving a warning a longer validity period this time.


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