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Disciplinary hearings can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know your rights. Scorpion Legal Protection discusses disciplinary process, step by step.
Every employer should have a disciplinary code in place. This makes it clear to all employees the standards of behaviour expected of them in the workplace, and what action can be taken against employees who are proven, by means of a fair procedure, to have broken the rules. It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that the code of conduct or disciplinary code is clear and available to all employees, and is easily understood.
The employer’s disciplinary code will set out what actions the employer can take. The idea is that an employer should aim to correct the behaviour rather than punish it. This means that there should be:
All of this must be laid out in the code of conduct.
If your employer wants to dismiss you or take action against your misconduct, they will give you a notice to attend a disciplinary hearing. This notice must be in writing. It will state the date, time and place where the hearing will take place. The notice must also contain a detailed description of the charges brought against the employee, including the date, time and description of the incident(s).
You must show up for the hearing, if you don’t, the hearing may still continue on without you and you won’t have a chance to defend yourself.
The chairperson of the hearing must, as far as reasonably possible, be a person who has not been involved with investigating the employee concerned. The chairperson will ask the employee if they plead guilty or not guilty to the employer’s charges. The employer will then present evidence and call witnesses. After this, the employee must be allowed to present his/her case and cross-examine the evidence presented by the employer. At the end of the hearing, both parties make closing arguments.
The chairperson will then decide if you are guilty or not guilty, based on the evidence presented. At this point, you can be dismissed if the action is serious enough and according to the employer’s disciplinary code.
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* This is only basic advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 2 February 2021
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