If you do decide you need to institute a disciplinary enquiry against an employee in your business, there are several preparatory steps that you have to take in order for it not to be thrown out as unfair or – even worse – to avoid an action and/or a fine at the CCMA. (click here to find out what is considered to be fair in disciplinary hearings.)

In order to avoid these severe consequences, follow seven steps before you institute disciplinary proceedings in your business:

  1. Investigate the nature of the alleged misconduct committed by the employee

Intimately examine what act – which is alleged to be misconduct – has been committed by the employee. Drill down into the finer details of what actually happened. Don’t leave anything out, no matter how insignificant it might be thought to be.

  1. Study the circumstances surrounding the alleged misconduct committed by the employee

Look at the background against which the alleged misconduct took place. Also look at the background of the employee who committed the alleged misconduct. Ask yourself if there was a justifiable reason for this conduct being committed. If it’s against your company rules, did the employee know that such a rule existed?

  1. Put together the charges that will be brought against the employee at the disciplinary hearing

Prepare a detailed explanation, for the employee and your company records, of the charges that are levelled against them.

  1. Identify who will present evidence at the hearing and make sure that this evidence is relevant to the matter at hand. (click here to find out how to present evidence correctly.)


  1. Select a chairperson who will facilitate the hearing


  1. Prepare questions that will be used to cross-examine the evidence led by the accused employee


  1. Put together a draft closing statement.


Global Business Solutions’ Effective Discipline in the Workplace course – which is a two-day seminar – will equip you with the skills and knowledge that will enable you to confidently chair formal and informal disciplinary enquiries. Click here for more information.


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