Misconduct or Serious Misconduct

At some point you will be required to discipline your staff. If so you must be mindful of their employment rights. The basic requirement imposed on an employer is that they must follow the principles of natural justice. The minimal requirements are that the employer has properly investigated the allegation(s), given the employee the opportunity to be heard and then considered any explanation before making any decision.

  1. Notice to the worker of the specific allegation of misconduct to which the worker must answer and of the likely consequences if the allegation is established;
  2. An opportunity, which must be real as opposed to a nominal one, for the worker to attempt to refute the allegation or to explain or mitigate his or her conduct; and
  3. An unbiased consideration of the worker's explanation in the sense that consideration must be free from pre - determination and uninfluenced by irrelevant consideration.

Failure to observe any one of these requirements will generally render the disciplinary action unjustified.

The employee must also be advised that he is entitled to be represented or have a support person. Obviously you would follow this process before commencing a disciplinary meeting. The above is something that must be carried out before considering a warning or dismissing. If you fail to follow this process, the warning or dismissal can be challenged and probably won, even if the employee is guilty of some offence.

If you wish to warn or dismiss a staff member it is always safer to ring or email either Robert Thompson.

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