If you get the process wrong for disciplinary action or dismissal, it may cost you large amounts in legal fees and damages – funds better applied as profit!

There must be good reason for being dismissed, and the dismissal must be done fairly and following correct procedure.

What is fair and correct depends on the circumstances. There are some basic rules for an employer to follow:

  1. Investigation
  2. The employer must carry out a full investigation of all the relevant facts before actually deciding on what action to take. The findings of the investigation should be communicated to the employee. This includes putting the allegations to the employee and seeking their response. The employee should be given an appropriate time frame within which to reply.

  3. Action
  4. After completing the investigation the employer must consider what action to take. This may be:

    - No further action.

    - Verbal warning (with a record made on the file).

    - Written warning (with a copy to go on the file).

    - Dismissal on notice under contract.

    - Dismissal without notice for serious breach (the employer must still follow all the steps).

  5. Warning
  6. For all but the most serious matters, the employer must warn the employee of the misconduct and require an improvement in behaviour. The employee must also be told that this is a warning, and that his or her job may be on the line should their conduct or performance not improve.

  7. Reasons
  8. If an employee is dismissed, he or she has the right to ask the employer for a written statement of the reasons for the dismissal. This request can be made up to 60 days after the employee is advised of thedismissal. The employer must provide the written statement of reasons within 14 days of the request.

  9. Personal Grievance
  10. If an employee then wishes to raise a personal grievance following dismissal, it must be done within 90 days of the grievance (alleged unfair dismissal). If the personal grievance is raised after 90 days, an employer can consent to extend the time for lodging. You should get advice before agreeing to any such extension.