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Follow these six steps to keep your disciplinary action out of the courts

by , 30 January 2013
The ongoing disciplinary trial against suspended prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach has proven how drawn out the disciplinary process is. It can quickly turn into a mudslinging match that costs huge amounts of money and time. Here are six steps to follow to make sure your employee dismissal is legally compliant and stays out of the courts.

The procedures that an employer has to follow before dismissing an employee are onerous, with the risk that the CCMA will reinstate the employee or award him the equivalent compensation of up to a year's remuneration for an unfair dismissal, warns labour and business adviser Rael Solomon on Moneyweb.
 
The disciplinary case against suspended prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach is proof of this.
 
It 'turned into a trial within a trial' last week when the hearing honed in on the legal battle between two mining companies over a stake in the world's biggest opencast iron ore mine, the Mail and Guardian Online reports.
 
Luckily, you don't have to fear the same process when dismissing an employee.
 
Here are six steps to execute a water-tight, legally sound disciplinary hearing that will keep your case out of the courts, as outlined by the Labour Bulletin.

6 steps to ensure it's an effective and legally compliant disciplinary hearing:
1. Investigate and prepare your case thoroughly before the disciplinary hearing.
2. Choose an unbiased and skilled chairperson.
3. Ensure the accused is given every chance to prepare and defend his case.
4. Base the outcome on facts.
5. Ensure the penalty is appropriate to the offence.
6. Record the hearing so you can prove you compiled with the law.
 
Follow these steps to make sure the CCMA will find each employee dismissal procedurally and substantively fair.
 
By following the correct procedures, and having a legitimate reason for each employee dismissal, you'll be more likely to keep the disciplinary hearing out of the courts.
 
How to implement a disciplinary process that increases performance and NOT litigation

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