It happens often. You fire your employee after holding a disciplinary enquiry. The employee then appeals the decision and the appeal chairperson is too busy to give it his proper attention so he just approves the disciplinary finding. Or he doesn't know what to look for when he gets an appeal.
The appeal hearing's your last chance to make sure your disciplinary proceedings were done correctly within your company, so your employee can't take the matter to the CCMA. Get appeals right and you can escape wasting time preparing for the CCMA case, or having to reinstate the employee with back-pay.
Make sure you use these four tips when dealing with an appeal…
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4 Tips to deal with a disciplinary appeal
1) Choose an appeal chairperson carefully
Don't appoint someone junior to the chairperson of the disciplinary enquiry to consider the appeal. He may be biased because there's always a chance that he won't want to go against his senior's decision. The appeal chair must also not have been involved in the matter or know the details of the case. Also, make sure there's no bad blood between the appeal chair and the employee lodging the appeal.
2) The procedure for an appeal
Unless your disciplinary code says otherwise, the person looking into the appeal gets to choose if he'll consider the matter on the documents he has, or call the parties to speak about certain issues. He can also decide to ask the parties to submit more information in writing.
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3) The clock starts ticking from the day of the disciplinary outcome!
First, the appeal chair must check it was lodged in time. Five working days is the norm, but you should get this time period from your disciplinary code and procedure. The clock starts ticking on the date the employee's given the disciplinary outcome! If he doesn't lodge his appeal in time, consider his reasons why not. Try to allow the appeal as far as possible.
Be warned though, he can go to the CCMA anyway if you tell him he was too late.
4) Chairperson's checklist:
Make sure your chairperson ticks all 10 points on the Chairperson's checklist. Well cover this in Thursday's Labour Bulletin. So keep an eye on your Inbox on the 28th March!
Deal with each of the employee's appeal grounds individually and consider them against the procedural and substantive fairness elements of the case. Need to know how to make sure you're always being fair with dismissals
? Follow the steps and tricks in chapter D01: Disciplinary Hearings in the Labour Law for Managers. Still not a subscriber? Click here now…
Until next time
P.S. Make sure you have all the templates and documents you need in your business today