Parishes should have a disciplinary and grievance policy in place, and this should be referenced in the employees’ contract of employment. ACAS provides comprehensive guidance on what the policy should include.

Due attention should be given to the guidance as, were the worst to happen and you are taken to an employment tribunal, the judgment will take into account whether the guidance was followed and can apply an increase of up to 25% to any award in cases where it is found that an employer unreasonably failed to follow the guidance.

Fairness and transparency should be at the centre of everything an employer does with regards to disciplinary or grievance processes. It is advisable to keep notes of all discussions relating to disciplinary and grievance concerns, even when dealing with them informally. These notes should also be agreed with all parties in order to be a true reflection of the meetings.