Tags: , , , , [ × ]

When employing people, performance or behavioural issues can arise from time to time.  Failing to deal with these issues promptly and appropriately can seriously affect your business and lead to costly litigation.

Following are some important steps you can follow:

1.    Try the informal route

Identify the issue of concern and discuss it openly with the employee offering guidance/support to achieve improvement letting them know that failure to improve will lead to invoking your formal procedure.

2.    Follow your internal disciplinary procedure

If no improvement is achieved or for more serious issues invoke the formal process.

3.    Communicate clearly

Inform the employee of the alleged offence and course of action to be followed. Leave no margin for misinterpretation.

4.    Assign the investigation to a more senior employee

The investigating officer must be, as far as possible, senior to the alleged offender.  The investigation should include an interview with the offending employee if applicable.

5.    Suspend with pay

Only if the alleged offence is serious enough to potentially affect the effective running of your business, the alleged offence could amount to gross misconduct or where the investigation cannot be carried out whilst the offending employee is at work.

6.    Confirm in writing

Confirm the course of action to be followed in writing to the employee.

7.    Disciplinary hearing

If the outcome of the investigation confirms that there is a case to answer, invite the employee, in writing, to attend a disciplinary hearing giving him/her their right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a trade union representative.

8.    Documentary evidence

Provide to the employee a copy of all statements and evidence gathered during investigation that will be relied upon during the disciplinary hearing with sufficient time to allow preparation of their defence.

9.    Witnesses

During the hearing either side can call witnesses if required.  If this is the case, it needs to be notified in advance

10.    Note taking

Arrange for notes of the hearing to be taken a copy of which should be sent to the employee with the outcome letter.  The outcome letter should state the type of action being taken, how long it will be valid for, what will be the next step if further offences are committed and give the right to appeal.