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Four principles you need to follow to conduct a legally compliant disciplinary hearing

by , 26 February 2013
Disciplining employees isn't child's play. One wrong move could land you at the CCMA. Avoid being taken to the CCMA and ensure you discipline employees legally. Use these four principles to carry out a legal disciplinary hearing in your company.

'The aim of the disciplinary procedure should be to improve conduct, rather than simply to punish wrongdoing,' says Out-Law.com.

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says 'while discipline is vital if you are to keep control of your company, you also need to ensure you implement it in a way that shows compliance with the law. Here's what you need to know to legally discipline your employees.

Follow these four principles to ensure your employees' disciplinary hearing is legally compliant

  1. Investigate and prepare your case thoroughly before the hearing. To ascertain if a disciplinary hearing is necessary, you must first investigate the charges. This will help you find out if there's any validity in the allegations and if you have enough evidence to prove the charges.
  2. Choose an unbiased Chairperson. Should the allegations amount to a disciplinary hearing being issued, you must choose a Chairperson. It's vital that the chosen Chairperson is unbiased and has the expertise and experience to chair the disciplinary hearing effectively and within the bounds of the law.
  3. Ensure the accused is given a chance to prepare and defend his case. It's vital that the accused is afforded a chance to attend his disciplinary hearing from start to finish. By affording him this right, he'll defend his case when he's granted an opportunity to testify and lead his evidence.
  4. Base the outcome of the case on the facts. It's important that the outcome of the disciplinary hearing is based on facts. The verdict must be established from facts presented during the case and on the balance of probabilities.

Remember, if your disciplinary hearing procedure is unlawful, you can be taken to the CCMA by the accused.

Following these four important principles will help you discipline your employees legally and will help you avoid being taken to the CCMA.


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