What are disciplinary procedures?

Disciplinary procduresDisciplinary procedures are what an employer follows when an employee is suspected of unacceptable behaviour i.e. being frequently late, falsifying their timesheet, theft, spending too much time on the internet, being verbally abusive, not meeting their performance targets and so on. These examples are what are known as conduct issues. Disciplinary procedures help address these conduct issues in a legally defensible way.

Disciplinary procedures enable employers to set boundaries, in other words “define the rules”. When the rules are broken, disciplinary procedures give the employer some legal clout to address the conduct issue i.e. zero tolerance to fraud, theft, abuse, or poor performance.

Why have disciplinary procedures?

Without them an employer’s pencil is blunt. They don’t have the right tools, and will need to rely more on legal advice, rather than being able to manage 90% of the process themselves. Disciplinary procedures save you time, legal cost, and help avoid penalties of up to $20,000.

How do employees feel about disciplinary procedures?

Employees like to know what is expected of them, and to work in a workplace that promotes fairness. Disciplinary procedures promote clear conduct expectations and fairness.

How are disciplinary procedures structured?

Usually there is a:

  • code of conduct or house rules – which defines examples of misconduct or serious misconduct i.e. theft, disobeying a lawful instruction, smoking on site, and so on. This defines the behavioural boundaries.
  • disciplinary process – details the process to follow if misconduct or serious misconduct is suspected. It includes the ability to make a decision to: issue a warning, or dismiss an employee, or decide no further action is warranted.

Well defined disciplinary procedures help employers avoid penalties up to $20,000.

Need some disciplinary procedures? Contact Juliette Smale