If you have a procedure in your workplace, you need to follow it. A lot of organisations have complicated procedures that are extremely lengthy. The problem with these – including those regulating the disciplinary process – is that the organisation is bound to follow them.
The consequence if you do not follow your own procedure could be a negative award against the organisation.
In Huma v Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and another – (2018) 27 LC 1.11.3:
• The first employer’s Group Executive: Human Resources was dismissed after a disciplinary hearing but was denied an appeal. An appeal was part of the organisation’s procedure.
The employee argued that this constituted a breach of the disciplinary code, which was incorporated in her contract of employment. She sought an order of specific performance in the Labour Court (LC) to enable her to exercise her right of appeal.
The employer submitted that it was impossible to allow an appeal because the decision to dismiss had been taken by its highest executive authority and there was no one who could hold the appeal.
The Court held that the disciplinary code expressly provided for appeals. It concluded that the organisation could have used an external person to chair the appeal. Consequently, the Court found that the employee was entitled to an order of specific performance.
The employer was ordered to continue with the appeal process in terms of its disciplinary code.
Perhaps organisations need to consider slimming down their policies and procedures in order that all employees can clearly understand them.
Contact Global Business Solutions for help with your workplace procedure
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what you need to include in your procedure and isn’t necessary. Contact John Botha and the team who will help you to draft your workplace procedures in the correct way. Contact him here.