Disciplinary first written warning letter to employee for misconduct

What is a disciplinary first written warning letter to an employee for misconduct and when should you use it?


This letter should be used at the second stage of your disciplinary process, where there has been no improvement in the employee’s misconduct following a verbal warning.

Misconduct is broad in its scope and can cover a lot of activities such as poor attendance, behaving offensively, bullying and harassment, failure to follow instructions, excessive use of the phone or inappropriate use of the internet.

You might consider some misconduct so serious that you decide to bypass the written warning stage and proceed directly to a final written warning.

You will require our misconduct final written warning letter for that.

But before you bypass this stage, revisit your disciplinary policy to see what you consider as serious misconduct.

Depending on what the employee has done, you may already have issued a verbal warning to the employee about their conduct before taking this step (indeed, this is recommended in the disciplinary procedures within our employee handbook template and it’s recognised as good practice).

If the employee has not complied with the verbal warning, this formal written warning would be the next step.

We have a suite of other disciplinary letters to choose from and these can be found in the Disciplinary Procedures section of our Employees hub.


What else might you need?


When dealing with any disciplinary matter it is really important that you have a clear disciplinary procedure in place.

This would sometimes be found in an employment contract but more generally can be found in your employee handbook.

Our employee handbook template has a clear disciplinary policy set out in it.

Alternatively, you can use our Disciplinary Policy template

But having a disciplinary procedure in place is just the beginning.

It is equally important that where you have a procedure in place you follow it correctly.

Failure to follow your own procedures correctly can leave you exposed to a possible claim before the WRC.

For clear guidance on disciplinary procedures check out our Step by step guide to handling disciplinary issues with employees.

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