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Drafting your company's disciplinary code? Follow these five guidelines

by , 23 April 2013
As an employer, you can't succeed if you don't manage discipline in the workplace. You need to have rules, policies or standards of conduct in place to provide employees with a framework within which they must conduct themselves and behave at work or they'll face disciplinary action. To do this, you'll need to draft a company disciplinary code. Read on for five important guidelines you need to follow to draft an efficient code that has buy in from all your stakeholders.

Misconduct is any sort of bad behaviour, delinquency, wrongdoing, transgression, disobedience, indiscretion and negligence. The term is used to describe employees' bad behaviour. This is according to the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

If it's not managed properly and fairly, misconduct can become a serious problem for your company. It can be costly when company resources and time are abused.

Luckily, you can manage it with a good disciplinary code in place.

To achieve this, a good disciplinary code shouldn't be drawn up and imposed by you and your management team acting alone. 'It should arise out of joint consultation and consensus-seeking between you and the employees, usually represented by a trade union or other elected representatives,' advises the Loose Leaf.

Follow these five guidelines when you draft your company's disciplinary code

  1. Draft in consultation. Ensure that you draft your company disciplinary code after consultation with your employees or their trade union representative. 'This leads to far better compliance with the code and acceptance of management's right to impose penalties for breach of the code,' says the Loose Leaf.
  2. Use simple language. Use clear, simple English and possibly translate into one or two other official languages depending on the size of your business and the language demographic in your company. Make the code easy to read and understand and avoid legal language or jargon.
  3. Custom design your code. Your code should reflect your specific industry or sector needs. Don't simply copy a disciplinary code from another industry.
  4. Make employees aware of potential penalties. Make employees aware of the potential penalties that could be imposed for different offences. This is where you'll take account of the number of times an employee has previously broken the same rule and the seriousness of the offence.
  5. Train managers. You need to train your managers thoroughly on how to manage discipline within their area of responsibility. This includes training on: How to investigate alleged misconduct and how to evaluate the evidence and order it properly.

Using these guidelines when drafting your company's disciplinary code will ensure you draft an efficient code that has buy in from all your stakeholders.

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