Protecting your business - Disciplinary hearing practical tips
Practical tips for the Disciplinary Officer.
Plan and prepare
Before the disciplinary hearing, ensure you know the facts (as best you can). Know exactly what allegations have been raised and why.
If there are allegations that an employee has stolen, be assertive and do not be afraid to ask them, “did you steal?”
Learn from your experience
Take the time to review what and how you did each time and make a note of improvements required for the next time.
Attention to detail
Record as much as possible so your decisions are clearly evidenced.
Provide as much detail in the allegations as possible and word them clearly so the employee knows exactly what allegations they are facing.
Evaluate whether suspension is necessary throughout the process. This should not be a “knee-jerk” reaction.
It is always advisable to adjourn the disciplinary hearing before confirming the outcome.
Ask the employee to explain
In response to any allegations, ask the employee explain to you what has happened in their own words.
Update and inform
If further allegations arise as a result of either the investigation or disciplinary hearings, remember to tell the employee and consider whether you need to carry out more investigation work or a further hearing.
Be seen as being impartial but do not try to make out you are on the employee’s side.
Warn the employee
The employee should be told what the possible outcome might be as a result of a disciplinary hearing.
All the evidence must be available
The employee should have copies of all the evidence you will rely on before the hearing starts. Have they been given the opportunity to provide their evidence?
It is always worth re-checking the handbook before and during the disciplinary hearing. You should take a copy with you to the hearing.
Take a step back and assess
Sometimes matters can flow on without any real plans, assessing where you are and making a note of what needs to happen next is good practice.
Separate the appeal hearing and the disciplinary hearing. As the disciplinary officer, the decision needs to be your own.