'Procedural fairness' refers to the procedure you use when disciplining or dismissing an employee.
It is a process that MUST include the:
• Provision of counselling and previous warnings;
• A process you follow before you take disciplinary action; and
• The steps you take during the disciplinary hearing so as to provide the accused employee the opportunity to answer to the charges.
In disciplinary hearings, procedural fairness is extremely important!
Keep this in mind and read on...
Stanley is an employee of yours who has been accused of stealing equipment from the workplace.
You, as the Chairperson, refuse to listen to Stanley's side of the story and choose to fire him.
Stanley then refers the case to the CCMA .
You provide all the evidence that Stanley did in fact steal equipment from the company, and the CCMA confirms this.
But still, the CCMA rules that you must pay Stanley 12 months' salary.
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.
Why? Because your procedure wasn't fair! In other words, you didn't give Stanley an opportunity to present his case.
This amounts to procedural unfairness.
So don't fall into this trap. Ensure your procedures in all disciplinary hearings are procedurally fair.
To learn more, click below…
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