HomeHome SearchSearch MenuMenu Our productsOur products

Consider these five factors when disciplining for assault

by , 24 May 2013
'Assault and fighting in the workplace has become a major reason for dismissal,' says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service. But if you get it wrong when disciplining for assault, your company could find itself on the wrong side of the labour court. So consider these five things when disciplining for assault to avoid unnecessary court battles.

Assault, according to The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, is classified as the unlawful and intentional application of force to a person, or a threat that force will be applied. For example, an employee physically beating another up or threatening to punch him.

It's important that your disciplinary procedure is fair when disciplining for assault. If you get it wrong, you could be hauled before the labour court to answer to unfair dismissal charges.

Consider these five points when disciplining for assault

The penalty imposed at a disciplinary enquiry will be influenced by a number of factors including:

  1. The severity of the injury. This must be backed up by a hospital or doctor's report and/or photographs of the injury. The more severe the injury, the more serious the penalty will be.
  2. Any medical treatment required and given. This separates minor and serious assaults – the more serious the consequences of the assault, the more severe the penalty.
  3. The weapon used (if any). The more dangerous the weapon, the more serious the penalty will be.
  4. Whether the assault was premeditated or not. This means the accused employee planned the assault ahead of time and requires a more serious penalty.
  5. Whether more than one employee attacked the single victim. Group assaults attract more severe penalties.

Keep in mind that although both parties to a fight should be charged with assault, it doesn't mean both of them should receive the same punishment. You must also take into account the personal circumstances of the employees involved in the fight.

This includes, their background, disciplinary record, length of service and any other mitigating or aggravating circumstances. If you fail to consider each employee as an individual, it could lead to unfair discipline of one or both parties to a fight.



Related articles




Related articles



Related Products



Comments
0 comments


Recommended for You 

  Quick Tax Solutions for Busy Taxpayers – 35 tax answers at a glance



Here are all the most interesting, thought-provoking and common tax questions
asked by our subscribers over the last tax year – everything from A to Z!

To download Quick Tax Solutions for Busy Taxpayers – 35 tax answers at a glance click here now >>>
  Employees always sick? How to stop it today



Make sure you develop a leave policy to regulate sick leave in your company.

BONUS! You'll find an example of the leave policy and procedure in this report.

To download Employees always sick? How to stop it today click here now >>>
  Absenteeism: Little known ways to reduce absenteeism



This FREE e-report will tell you how you can reduce absenteeism in your workplace while avoiding the CCMA and without infringing your employees' labour rights.

To download Absenteeism: Little known ways to reduce absenteeism click here now >>>
  7 Health & safety strategies to save you thousands



Don't let a health and safety incident cost you one more cent. Implement these seven
strategies in your company today.

To download 7 Health & safety strategies to save you thousands click here now >>>