Are employees aware of the procedures?
The first thing you should bear in mind before taking any disciplinary action is: are your employees aware of what leads to disciplinary procedures being taken? All employees should have either a copy of the company’s disciplinary procedures, including the types of things that would lead to disciplinary action, or they should be included in their employment contract.
Employers have many different grounds for disciplining an employee, all of which should relate to work or performance at work. These will include things such as: absenteeism, timekeeping, bullying, the disregard of health and safety procedures, misuse of company equipment, poor standards of work, poor customer service, theft, fraud, harassment, abuse, violence, drug taking, smoking or drinking alcohol while at work, negligence and personal appearance.
First, look at the facts
Before taking any disciplinary action you should investigate the facts first. If this justifies taking proceedings further, you need to give your employee details of the disciplinary meeting you will be having with them, which will detail the following:
- The reasons for the disciplinary meeting
- The time and location of the meeting
- Copies of any evidence you may have
- The potential consequences
Before you take any disciplinary action ask yourself the following:
- Are the work rules and procedures fair?
- Was the employee aware of what would lead to this type of action being taken? Have they signed a contract or disciplinary document when they started?
- Have you carried out an investigation first?
- Do you have relevant proof?