Can I Just Give a Verbal Warning?

Can I Just Give a Verbal Warning?


We often talk to businesses who tell us they have issued a ‘verbal warning’ to employees but what they really mean is that they have given an informal verbal warning, which is very different in the eyes of employment law.

At the outset, in the event that an employee’s performance or conduct is unsatisfactory, the disciplinary procedure generally begins with an informal discussion where the employee’s shortcomings are explained, and the employee has a chance to explain their actions. This may result in you verbally outlining improvements, but this is not a formal warning.

If an informal discussion is insufficient to resolve the issue, then the next step to take is to have a formal disciplinary meeting with the employee. What disciplinary action to take as a result of the meeting is entirely at the employer’s discretion. A recorded verbal warning is the least severe of these and remains on the employee’s file for 6 months. A verbal warning states that any further misconduct renders the employee liable to further, more severe disciplinary action.

If you do not see the required improvement after an informal discussion / warning, then you may decide to take formal disciplinary action. In this case, an employee is clearly invited to a hearing and the issues / evidence are presented in advance. After completing the hearing, then you may decide to issue a formal warning which usually starts with a verbal warning which ironically is issued in writing.

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Northern Accountants

Sarah and the team at Quest have provided us HR support since January 2013.

Quest Consulting Services provided us with a comprehensive employment structure with contacts and a handbook and have been on hand to help me deal with the occasional issue I have faced with team members through their telephone support service.

As our personal Consultant, Sarah provides a quality, professional and complete service which is great value for money.

Northern Accountants

Off Limits Corporate Events

Sarah has transformed our HR and has introduced systems that have taken lots of hassle away from staffing issues within our company.

We have worked with Sarah and her team for 5 years and in this time our business has grown considerably. With telephone support available for all our Managers as they need it plus Sarah and her team proactively keeping us updated on changes in legislation we are reassured that we are in safe hands.

The HR software that Quest implemented also helps us keep on top of the routine aspects of HR such as holiday bookings, recording absence, holding personnel records which then allows Sarah and her team easy access to give us relevant advice.

Our Managers have also benefited from workshops run by Sarah to help develop their skills on handling issues such as disciplinary, appraisals, recruitment etc….

The support of Quest is invaluable and provides a much more cost effective solution than employing a HR Manager in house.

Off Limits Corporate Events

10 Associates

Why would anybody NOT have Sarah working 'alongside' their business?

I've known Sarah for many years and she's always been there for me and the business when her wealth of knowledge has been called upon.

We have used Sarah and her team to handle our contracts, handbook and Health & Safety and they are readily available on the telephone when needed or on site at our premises.

Highly recommended.

10 Associates

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