Whilst a failure to follow a full procedure does not make any dismissal automatically unfair (nor will it automatically give an employee with a grievance grounds to claim constructive dismissal), it may render any final disciplinary or grievance decision unfair or unreasonable. If a claim is successful against an employer at the employment tribunal, any compensation can be increased by between 10-25% for failure to follow the Acas Code of Practice. It is therefore very important to ensure that a fair and reasonable procedure is followed when dealing with any disciplinary or grievance issue.
Problems inevitably arise between employee and employer and, although best resolved informally, often need to be dealt with on a more formal basis.
As an employer, you should have properly-drafted disciplinary and grievance procedures in place, to clearly set out how you would deal with such an issue. If no procedures exist, the employer should follow the Acas Code of Practice.