When employers respond to an employee’s inappropriate behaviour, there are requirements they must meet to ensure any disciplinary actions they take are lawful.
The key considerations are that the employer has a good reason for undertaking the disciplinary action and that they follow a fair process, which usually includes a disciplinary hearing.
Few workplace offences are considered serious enough to warrant instant dismissal. There are some that qualify, such as physical assault, but for most offences, an employer cannot take any disciplinary action until after they have followed a documented process.
The process must ensure that the employer informs the employee of the alleged misconduct, thoroughly investigates the facts, and gives the employee time to consider a response. It should also include a disciplinary hearing with the employee to discuss the misconduct and give the employee time to seek further advice and respond.
If you are an employee facing disciplinary action, or an employer seeking to take disciplinary action, we can advise you on all the requirements that you must follow and attend disciplinary hearings with you as your representative.