5 success factors with a disciplinary hearing
The success of a healthy employer/employee relationship is based on mutual benefits, respect and trust. However, the employer has the right to exercise control in the workplace by implementing rules, applying progressive discipline, and holding disciplinary hearings when offences are serious. An employer cannot dismiss an employee under any circumstances without first holding a disciplinary hearing. This ensures that the procedure followed is fair, and that there is substantive evidence that may justify the employee’s dismissal. There are five factors, highlighted in this article, which influence the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.
Success factor #1: Timely scheduling and completion
Success factor #2: Proper examination of facts
Success factor #3: Weigh the seriousness of the offense
Success factor #4: Impartial assessment
Success factor #5: Follow fair procedure
Labour legislation stipulates that a strict procedure must be followed when conducting disciplinary hearings. The employer must be able to prove:
- That a disciplinary hearing was held.
- That the employee was notified in writing at least 48 hours (excluding weekends and public holidays) before the hearing in order to prepare.
- That the documentation contained all the necessary information as required by law (notice to attend the hearing and a procedural application form).
- That the chairperson was knowledgeable and impartial.
- That the employee was given every opportunity to prepare for the hearing and defend his/her case.
- That both aggravating and mitigating circumstances were considered.
- That the outcome is based on the facts as presented during the hearing.
- That the sanction was appropriate in accordance with the offense.
- That the chairperson compiled a written report of the hearing and its outcome.
- That the employee received the outcome in writing.
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