Its always best to have a proper way of disciplining employees.
Discipline isn’t a matter of dominance or punishment. It’s about making the work environment safe and pleasant for both employees and management. Discipline works best when there’s a foundation of trust between managers and employees.
In order to maintain order and respect in the workplace, you need to have a plan in place that will benefit everyone involved. Key Steps:
Commence the process-This starts with how the complaint is made, received and handled. Complaints can be Internal or external.
Once all preliminary assessments are made, the relevant office will commence the disciplinary procedure by informing the HR Department.
Consult your HR or Legal Team (whether internal or external)
After gathering all relevant facts, the HR Department/ the Disciplinary Committee should seek counsel which will assist in the framing of the relevant charges and also advise on the best course of action.
Show Cause Letter
The Human Resource Department/Disciplinary Committee in consultation with the direct supervisor will issue a Show Cause Letter to the employee.
A Show Cause Letter is a written notice asking the employee to defend themselves or explain/justify their conduct.Include what will happen if they will not respond and also the dates when they will face the disciplinary committee.
If envisioned in the HR Policies or the Contract of Employment, then Suspension should be levied. Some cases that can lead to suspension include (but are not limited to), sexual harassment, fraud and theft. Remember that NO PAY CUT is permissible.
The nature of any investigation and the competence/expertise of the appropriate investigator,will depend on the complexity and seriousness of the issue and will be a matter for the Employer to determine. An employer reserves the right to engage experts, e.g. Auditors,Private Investigators, Lawyers, etc.
Prepare for the Disciplinary Meeting/Hearing
The HR Department should prepare for the disciplinary meeting and invite the relevant stakeholders. It is advisable to have an internal sitting to discuss the misconduct before the date of the hearing. The employee is entitled to receive reasonable notice prior to a disciplinary meeting (normally about 5 working days’ notice in advance of the meeting).
Disciplinary Hearing Meeting
The disciplinary meeting should be conducted by the HR Department/Disciplinary Committee and the relevant managers/supervisors.
The employee will be given an opportunity to respond to any concerns raised at the meeting(including, where appropriate, the opportunity to respond to any investigation report) and to answer appropriate questions.
Appropriate notes/ minutes will be taken at all disciplinary meetings and copies of the minutes will be provided to the employee in good time (normally 3 – 5 days) after each meeting.
Decide on the Appropriate Disciplinary Sanction
The following should be taken into account when reaching a decision on what disciplinary action is appropriate:the nature and seriousness of the misconduct;any active or past disciplinary warnings issued to the employee before;the explanation provided by the employee during the disciplinary hearing and written response to Show-Cause Letter; any mitigating circumstances presented by the employee; and any other matters which, in the circumstances, are relevant.
The decision on the disciplinary sanction made should be communicated to the employee not later than seven days after the disciplinary hearing. The disciplinary actions that can be taken (up to and including dismissal), are set out in the table below
Sample on some punishments
Coding of Punishment Key:
W-‐Warning FW-‐Final Warning DIS-‐Dismissal SP 14D-‐Suspension 14 days WSI-‐Withhold salary increment