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Everything you need to know about progressive discipline

by , 07 October 2014
Discipline is vital as it helps you keep control of your workplace.

But, you also need to ensure you implement it fairly and in line with the law. To do this, you must understand the concept of progressive discipline.

Here's everything you need to know about it...

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What you must know about progressive discipline

Progressive discipline is when you use graduated disciplinary measures such as counselling and warnings to give your employee a chance to improve.
Note: Counselling is when you speak to your employee to try and find out the reason for a transgression or poor performance so you can advise your employee on more effective ways to deal with the issue.
An example of how to implement progressive discipline is giving your employee a warning when he breaks a rule. If he repeats the misconduct or commits a more serious offence, you can consider a final written warning.
Warnings that your employee accumulates on a progressive basis could culminate in a disciplinary hearing and possible dismissal.
However, only warnings for infringements of a similar type may be accumulated in a particular line of progression.

So keep in mind that a disciplinary warning doesn't last indefinitely

The validity of a warning could be anything from 3 to 12 months depending on your policy. Once the period of validity expires, the warning falls away and you can no longer use it in your progressive discipline system.
When it comes to progressive discipline, always remember the primary purpose of disciplinary action – to correct behaviour and not simply to punish. You must tell your employee what he's doing wrong and what the right way is.
Now that you know about progressive discipline, implement discipline in a fair and legal manner.
PS: For more information on discipline or disciplinary issues, check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

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