HomeHome SearchSearch MenuMenu Our productsOur products

Follow the code! But what if an employee commits an offence not included in it?

by , 24 September 2015
Your disciplinary code is a very important document in the workplace. It outlines the steps you'll take when an employee commits an act of misconduct.
By having a disciplinary code, you can maintain consistency when carrying out discipline.
If you don't stick to your disciplinary code, you run the risk of acting unfairly. And that won't look good in the eyes of the CCMA.
In other words, if you don't stick to your disciplinary code, the employee can claimyour entire disciplinary procedure was substantively and procedurally unfair. And if this happens, you could very well end up paying him out or reinstating him.

But then if that's the case, then what must you do if an employee commits an offence that your code doesn't cover?

Well, read on and find out.

*****Advertisement*****

Everything you need to know about substantively and procedurally fair disciplinary hearings
 
So… Your employee's guilty of misconduct. Let's say he took a company laptop home, without asking permission. It's a simple open and closed case of theft, isn't it?
 
Not so fast! You can't just say 'that's it, you're out of here' and think that's the end of that. No, you still have to hold a disciplinary hearing. You still have to give him a chance to defend his case, and explain why he did that.
 
You also have to prove that he did this. You have to spell it out for him and notify him you're going to discipline him. And you have to give him time to prepare his case.
 
And then there's even more to it… You have to have a disciplinary hearing so you can prove your case, and give him a chance to defend his… And this is where most employers fail.
 
But not you! Here's why…
 
**********************
 
There can definitely be a time when an employee commits an act your disciplinary code doesn't cover.

What you'll need to do, is to deal with the matter in a consistent manner while using your disciplinary code as a GUIDE wherever you see it relevant. This is, of course, provided the employee was aware of, or could be reasonably expected to be aware of, the standard he acted against.

So, just because your disciplinary code doesn't list a particular offence doesn't really matter. Your employee can't expect to get away with it.

Also, just because your disciplinary code doesn't mention the most appropriate sanction for a particular action doesn't matter.
 
Use this information for  dealing with an offence you don't have in your disciplinary code.

It's also important to note that if you include your disciplinary code in your employment contracts, your employees can demand that you stick to it.

If you don't, it can be seen as a breach of contract and can possibly end up in your dismissal being unfair.
 
*****Advertisement*****

Protect yourself from labour-related problems by using this practical tool

The comprehensive Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service gives you all the details you need for maximum protection in labour-related problems. You will find, for example:
  • Information on the problem areas managers have to handle in the workplace daily, and appropriate solutions;
  • Valuable advice for employers, based on the ever-changing legislation;
  • Sample contracts, dismissals and warning letters, etc;
  • Numerous practical checklists; and
  • Much more…


Related articles




Related articles



Related Products



Comments
0 comments


Recommended for You 

  Quick Tax Solutions for Busy Taxpayers – 35 tax answers at a glance



Here are all the most interesting, thought-provoking and common tax questions
asked by our subscribers over the last tax year – everything from A to Z!

To download Quick Tax Solutions for Busy Taxpayers – 35 tax answers at a glance click here now >>>
  Employees always sick? How to stop it today



Make sure you develop a leave policy to regulate sick leave in your company.

BONUS! You'll find an example of the leave policy and procedure in this report.

To download Employees always sick? How to stop it today click here now >>>
  Absenteeism: Little known ways to reduce absenteeism



This FREE e-report will tell you how you can reduce absenteeism in your workplace while avoiding the CCMA and without infringing your employees' labour rights.

To download Absenteeism: Little known ways to reduce absenteeism click here now >>>
  7 Health & safety strategies to save you thousands



Don't let a health and safety incident cost you one more cent. Implement these seven
strategies in your company today.

To download 7 Health & safety strategies to save you thousands click here now >>>