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Four golden rules for drawing up a disciplinary code for misconduct

by , 18 August 2014
Every day, you hear stories of employees who steal, assault other employees, sleep on duty or damage company property.

The danger with misconduct is that it could disrupt your company and you could land up at the CCMA if you don't handle it correctly.

To make sure this doesn't happen, you must draw up a disciplinary code for misconduct. And you must stick to these four golden rules to ensure your code is effective.

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Four golden rules to follow when you draw up a disciplinary code for misconduct

Rule #1: Use simple language

Use clear, simple English. Every employee in your workplace must understand what the code is about. It's a good idea to translate it into one or two other official languages.

Rule #2: Communicate the code to employees

Having a disciplinary code that no one knows about isn't helpful.

You must communicate the code to all staff. Don't just do so when new employees start! You can also put copies up on notice boards, in change rooms, canteens, outside the HR department, etc, says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

If you have an intranet, put the code there as well so your employees have access to it.

Rule #3: List, separate and arrange offences

You must divide offences into two categories:

  • Less serious offences; and

  • Serious offences.

This way you can ensure you manage misconduct fairly.

#4: Reserve dismissal for serious offences

Discipline must be progressive. You must use it to correct unacceptable behaviour, not to punish employees. You should only dismiss employees who commit serious offences.

There you have it: If you want to draw up an effective disciplinary code for misconduct, stick to these four rules. For additional rules, check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

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