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FIFA opens disciplinary proceedings following Suarez biting incident (Plus eight factors you must consider when disciplining for assault)

by , 26 June 2014
The BBC reports that FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Uruguay striker Luis Suarez after he bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match this week.

If FIFA's disciplinary committee finds Suarez guilty of assault, he could face a ban of up two years. FIFA will make a decision on the matter before Saturday, when Uruguay plays Colombia in a round-of-16 match.

Interestingly, this isn't the first time that the Liverpool striker has bitten someone on the field. In 2003, Suarez was banned for ten games for biting a Chelsea player during a Premier League match. In 2010, he was banned for seven games for biting a PSV Eindhoven midfielder.

While the Suarez matter has set social media ablaze with jokes, the reality is that it's a serious matter. And it's cast the spotlight on disciplining for assault.

Continue reading to discover the eight factors you must consider when disciplining employees for assault in your workplace.

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When faced with a Suarez-type incident in your workplace, consider these eight disciplinary factors

Experts behind the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service say the penalty you'll impose at a disciplinary enquiry will be influenced by a number of factors including:

#1: The severity of the injury. A doctor's report or photographs of the injury will have to back this up. The more severe the injury, the more serious the penalty.

In the Suarez matter, FIFA has asked the Liverpool forward and the Uruguayan Football Association to respond and submit any relevant documents.

#2: 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: Any temporary or permanent disability. The higher the cost (medical treatment costs, sick leave and compensation) to the company and the victim, the more severe the penalty for the assault will be.

#4: The level of violence or brutality used by the offender.

#5: The actual weapon used (if any) – the more dangerous the weapon, the more serious the penalty.

#6: The prevailing circumstances of the assault. Here, you'll have to take into account things like any excessive work pressure on the accused employee or any external or personal stress, such as divorce and financial difficulties.

#7: Whether the assault was premeditated or not. This means the accused employee planned the assault ahead of time and requires a more serious penalty.

#8: Whether more than one employee attacked the single victim. Group assaults attract more severe penalties.

There you have it. When disciplining for assault consider all these factors. This will go a long way in ensuring your disciplinary process is fair.

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