Your employee has committed an infringement of your rules. You have gathered all the facts and have decided to hold a disciplinary hearing against him. What now?
If you want to hold a disciplinary hearing for an employee who has done something wrong, you will need to determine and describe what allegations that are being laid against him.
Failing to describe your allegations properly can have disastrous consequences on you part. The last thing you want is to lose a case at the CCMA all because of your ignorance.
So, here is what you need to know when it comes to properly describing allegations at a disciplinary hearing.
What does the law say about describing allegations?
1. You need to inform the employee of the allegations against him in a form and language that he/she understands. If necessary, you may need to get the allegations translated into a language he/she will understand.
You don't need to use legal definitions. Just make sure that the employee can clearly understand the allegations against him.
2. You must put the allegations in writing. If hand-written, your writing has to be legible. Otherwise, you can type them out (this is preferable).
Everything you need to know about substantively and procedurally fair disciplinary hearings
So… Your employee's guilty of misconduct. Let's say he took a company laptop home, without asking permission. It's a simple open and closed case of theft, isn't it?
Not so fast! You can't just say 'that's it, you're out of here' and think that's the end of that. No, you still have to hold a disciplinary hearing. You still have to give him a chance to defend his case, and explain why he did that.
You also have to prove that he did this. You have to spell it out for him and notify him you're going to discipline him. And you have to give him time to prepare his case.
And then there's even more to it… You have to have a disciplinary hearing so you can prove your case, and give him a chance to defend his… And this is where most employers fail.
3. Keep your description of the allegations simple, clear and concise. But at the same time you need to make it comprehensive enough so that the employee cannot accuse you of providing enough information for an adequate defence.
It should be a factual description of what the employee did wrong. You must include who did what when, where, why and how.
It is good to describe what your employee did wrong as if you were telling a story to someone.
So, there you have it! Three simple tips for when describing your allegations at a disciplinary hearing.
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