What is the process for taking disciplinary action against an employee?
To ensure any form of disciplinary action against an employee is successful, it is essential you take professional advice before starting the disciplinary process.
Be it an investigation into misconduct, taking disciplinary action or dismissing an employee, you must be able to prove that the process has been done both fairly and thoroughly.
Need to take disciplinary action?
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In the case of taking disciplinary action against an employee, the principles of natural justice apply.
Even where you believe the action is clear and deliberate and the evidence irrefutable, there is still a procedurally fair process to follow to ensure the employee has an opportunity to explain the situation and their actions.
You must fully consider all relevant information before taking a decision, and you may need to go back to your employee more than once during the process.
Taking disciplinary action in the workplace may be compared to the police making an arrest.
When the Police arrest a person for robbing a bank, the Police Officer may have witnessed the event, 20 bank customers may have witnessed the event, CCTV cameras from every possible angle may have captured the event - but the alleged perpetrator is not directly escorted to Waikeria prison.
There is a process to follow in any investigation, involving:
Informing the person of the charges
Interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence
Listening to the accused person’s story
Establishing any mitigating factors
Allowing the person access to professional representation or a support person
And making a reasoned determination of the facts before guilt is determined and sentence passed.
The same applies to Misconduct, Disciplinary action and Dismissal in the workplace. There can be no holes in your investigation.
Frequently asked questions
Sadly, many employers skip important steps and end up facing the consequences.
Compensation for personal grievance claims regularly top $25,000-$40,000 for hurt and humiliation payments, not to mention compensation for lost wages, legal fees and management downtime.
It is essential you take professional advice before starting a disciplinary process.
Call us to discuss any disciplinary matter in the strictest confidence.