Applying disciplinary procedures

As an employer, you will often have to deal with cases involving an employee’s misconduct or potential incapacity. This LegalFlow will guide you through the process of dealing with misconduct that is both ‘less serious' and 'more serious' in the workplace, describing when you will need to hold a disciplinary inquiry and what solutions will be available for your business.

 

Managing Desertion

When an employee is absent from work for a period of time without informing their employer, it is called desertion. This LegalFlow will guide you as an employer through the legal steps you need to take to deal with desertion ensuring you follow fair procedures.

It is very important to distinguish between absenteeism without authorisation or permission and desertion. Absenteeism is when an employee does not show up for work at the required time and has failed to notify the employer of his reason for absence and his expected date of return. This absence tends to be short in duration. Desertion or absconding entails the employee's intention to no longer return to work.

Managing absence without leave (AWOL)

When an employee is repeatedly absent from work for short periods of time without informing their employer, it is called ‘absent without leave’ (AWOL). This LegalFlow will guide you, as an employer, through an initial assessment surrounding the situation and walk you through the appropriate legal steps which you will need to take in dealing with AWOL whilst ensuring that you follow fair procedures.

It is very important to distinguish between absenteeism without authorisation or permission and desertion. Absenteeism is when an employee does not show up for work at the required time and has failed to notify the employer of his reason for absence and his expected date of return. This absence tends to be short in duration. Desertion or absconding entails the employee's intention to no longer return to work.

Applying incapacity procedures

Where an employee’s poor work performance is not their fault, for example, if they are constantly absent due to illness, then incapacity procedures should be used to deal with the employee. The process to follow is different to a disciplinary enquiry for misconduct. This LegalFlow will guide you through formal incapacity procedures ensuring you are following fair procedures.

Holding a disciplinary inquiry

In cases involving more serious misconduct, or when the behaviour has been consistent, an employer will need to hold a formal disciplinary enquiry. If you don’t follow correct procedures, the sanction, including dismissal of an employee, could be regarded as unfair. This LegalFlow will guide you through the formal disciplinary enquiry ensuring fair procedures are followed.

Grievance Procedures in the workplace

A grievance is any complaint that an employee might have as a result of a workplace issue. Employers should have a grievance procedure in place to deal with any grievances raised by employees. This LegalFlow guides you as an employee through a grievance procedure, helping you to understand what you need to do to lodge a grievance and the steps your employer should take to respond to the grievance. If your employer doesn’t have a grievance procedure in place, they can go to the LegalFundi LegalFlow: Putting grievance procedures in place.

Determining misconduct or incapacity in the workplace

It is important that business owners and managers have a clear understanding of the difference between misconduct and incapacity and how to respond to these situations in the workplace. This LegalFlow describes the different types of disciplinary actions, the evidence you need to prove misconduct or incapacity, and what procedures to follow.