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Follow this procedure before you give your employee a written warning

by , 10 September 2014
Written warnings are more formal than an oral or verbal warning.

If your employee breaks a breaks a workplace rule or hasn't changed his behavior after a verbal warning, you can give him a written warning.

Keep reading to discover the procedure you must follow before you give your employee a written warning so you can implement discipline in a fair and legal manner.

Before issuing a written warning you must follow this procedure

#1: Check if your employee could have been guilty.

#2: Meet privately with him and explain the accusation. Make sure he understands the complaints.

#3: Give him an opportunity to put forward his side of the story and carefully consider his explanation.

#4: Investigate further.

#5: Decide, based on the facts, whether your employee is guilty or not.

#6: Tell your employee the decision and the reason for it.

That's not all you must do when issuing written warnings.
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Here are three more steps to follow before issuing a written warning

#7: Inform your employee of what you expect from him in future and how you'll monitor his progress towards meeting the requirements.

#8: Consider what assistance you can give him to overcome obstacles to his achievement of your requirements.

#9: Issue the written warning to your employee on your official warning form.

On the warning you must confirm:
  • The date and time of the corrective meeting and a brief summary of your employee's explanation of his case;
  • The nature of the complaint, the level of warning and the duration of its validity;
  • What you expect of your employee in future and your agreement with him; and
  • What you're warning your employee of. You must clearly warn him of the consequences of being found guilty of further infringements (e.g. the possibility of more severe discipline and the ultimate potential danger of dismissal).
If you want a sample of a written warning, check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

Following this procedure before you give your employee a written warning will help ensure you implement discipline in a fair and legal manner.

PS: We strongly recommend you check out the "You're Fired!" Your guide to substantive and procedurally fair dismissals. It has all the information you need to make sure your dimissals are legally compliant.

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