Employers must ensure they have basic knowledge of the law of evidence. This includes the definition, what is admissible and what type of evidence carries the most weight in order to prove a case, as well as limit risk. When an employee is dismissed, the onus rests on the employer to prove the correct procedure was followed and there is enough evidence to justify the sanction.
Compliance with legislation can be intimidating, especially for people without a legal background. Labour law is not negotiable and compliance requires specialist knowledge, which poses a business risk to the employer. One of the most important rules is that the employer cannot dismiss an employee under any circumstances, without holding a disciplinary hearing. This ensures that a fair procedure is followed and that there is substantive reason (proof) for the employee to be dismissed.
What should you as an employer know?
Evidence is defined as: “the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid”. It is not the argument, but rather facts or information to prove the argument is correct. During the disciplinary hearing, the chairperson can only make a decision based on the evidence presented at the disciplinary hearing. If admissible and trustworthy evidence were not presented, it cannot be taken into account.