Disciplinary Hearings within the workplace – What All Employers and Employees Should Know

It is important for employers to know that employees cannot be dismissed without following proper procedures. Disciplinary hearings is to ascertain if the employee is guilty of misconduct or not, and if the employee is guilty, what the appropriate sanction should be.

This means that even if a staff member has allegedly stolen from the company petty cash reserves, the employee cannot be dismissed without a disciplinary hearing.  They can, however, be suspended pending the outcome of a hearing.

Employees who are dismissed without first being called to a disciplinary hearing will have a strong case against the employer at the CCMA for unfair dismissal.

Employers should also not confuse disciplinary hearings with hearings for poor work performance and hearings for incapacity.

Disciplinary hearings relate to situations where the employee is potentially guilty of some form of misconduct.  Having a disciplinary code in place will assist in keeping employees informed as to what constitutes misconduct in the workplace, as well as making them aware of the sanctions attached to the different instances of misconduct.

Poor work performance hearings, on the other hand, are hearings held for employees who are not performing according to the expected standard, and incapacity hearings are held where the employer believes that the employee is no longer capable of performing his or her duties.

Should you have any workplace issues regarding suspensions and/or hearings, please contact Claire Delport to ensure correct procedures are followed.