Disciplinary and Capability Procedure

At Human Made our disciplinary and capability procedure is intended to help maintain standards of conduct and performance and to ensure fairness and consistency when dealing with allegations of misconduct or poor performance.

Minor conduct or performance issues can usually be resolved informally with your line manager. This procedure sets out formal steps to be taken if the matter is more serious or cannot be resolved informally.

This procedure applies to all humans regardless of length of service. It does not apply to ad-hoc freelancers and contractors.

This procedure does not form part of any of our human’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.


Before any disciplinary hearing is held, we will investigate matters in a timely and confidential manner. Any meetings and discussions as part of an investigation are solely for the purpose of fact-finding and no disciplinary action will be taken without a disciplinary hearing, which will be carried out internally.

In some cases of alleged misconduct, we unfortunately may need to suspend you from work while we carry out the investigation or disciplinary procedure (or both). While suspended, you should not log in to any of our tools or contact any of our clients, customers, suppliers, contractors or staff, unless authorised to do so. Whilst investigations into alleged misconduct can be stressful, please rest assured that suspension is not considered to be disciplinary action.


We will give you written notice of the hearing, including plenty of information about the alleged misconduct or poor performance and its possible consequences, to assist you in understanding the allegations and preparing for the hearing. You will normally be given copies of relevant documents and witness statements.

We understand that you may not wish to attend the hearing alone, therefore you may be accompanied at the hearing by a trade union representative, support person or a colleague (who will be allowed reasonable paid time off to act as your companion).

If there are any relevant witnesses you would like to attend the hearing or any documents or other evidence you wish to be considered, you should let us know as early as possible.

We realise that the disciplinary and capability process can be very stressful for our humans, therefore we will inform you in writing of our decision, usually within one week of the hearing.


The usual consequences for misconduct or poor performance are:

Stage 1: First written improvement warning. Where there are no other active improvement warning on your disciplinary record, you will usually receive a first improvement warning. It will usually remain active for six months.

Stage 2: Final written warning. In case of further misconduct or failure to improve where there is an active first improvement note on your record, you will usually receive a final written warning. This may also be used without a first improvement note for serious cases of misconduct or poor performance. The warning will usually remain active for 12 months.

Stage 3: Dismissal or other action. You may be dismissed for further misconduct or failure to improve where there is an active final written warning on your record, or for any act of gross misconduct. Examples of gross misconduct are given below. You may also be dismissed without a warning for any act of misconduct or unsatisfactory performance.

As all circumstances are different, we may consider other sanctions short of dismissal, including demotion or redeployment to another role (where permitted by your contract), and/or extension of a final written warning with a further review period.


If, at any time, you feel that a disciplinary action taken against you is wrong or unjust, you may appeal in writing within one week of being told of the decision. You must submit your appeal to one of the Partners of the company.

The appeal hearing will, where possible, be held by someone [senior to OR other than] the person who held the original hearing. You may bring a colleague or trade union representative with you to the appeal hearing.

We will inform you in writing of our final decision as soon as possible, usually within one week of the appeal hearing. Unfortunately, there is no further right of appeal.


Gross misconduct will usually result in dismissal without warning, with no notice or payment in lieu of notice (summary dismissal).

The following are examples of matters that are normally regarded as gross misconduct:

  • theft or fraud;
  • physical violence or bullying;
  • deliberate and serious damage to property;
  • serious misuse of the organisation’s property or name;
  • deliberately accessing internet sites containing pornographic, offensive or obscene material;
  • serious insubordination;
  • unlawful discrimination or harassment;
  • bringing the organisation into serious disrepute;
  • serious incapability at work brought on by alcohol or illegal drugs;
  • causing loss, damage or injury through serious negligence;
  • a serious breach of health and safety rules;
  • a serious breach of confidence.

This list is intended as a guide and is not exhaustive.