If you answer “yes” to these seven questions, your disciplinary procedure will be substantively fair

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 01 Oct. 2014

Tags: disciplinary procedures, discipline, how to ensure disciplinary procedures are substantively fair

Your disciplinary procedure must be substantively fair.

If it isn’t, your employee could take you to the CCMA. And that comes with a heavy price tag. You’ll have to take time off work and fork out money for legal representation.

So how do you ensure your disciplinary procedure is substantively fair so you avoid CCMA trips?

We recommend you take a look at the following seven questions. If you answer “yes” to all of them, you’re on track, your disciplinary procedure will be substantively fair and you’ll avoid CCMA trips.

Before we look at the questions, let’s look at what substantive fairness means

For a procedure to be substantively fair there must be a good reason why it was held, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

For example, it’s not fair to dismiss an employee for stealing one photocopy. However, if she stole the photocopier itself that would be a different story!

Now let’s look at the questions you must answer “yes” to, to ensure your disciplinary procedure is substantively fair.

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Want to find out if you pass the fairness test? You will if you answer “yes” to these questions 

Question #1: Did your employee break a company rule or policy?

Question #2: Was your employee aware that such a rule exists?

Question #3: Have you, as the employer, been applying this rule consistently?

Question #4: Is the sanction appropriate given the seriousness of the misconduct?

Question #5: In other cases where the same rule/policy was broken, did you apply the same sanction?

Question #6: Did you consider the accused’s personal circumstances?

Question #7: Did you consider the circumstances surrounding the breaking of the rule?

If you answered “yes” to all these questions, congratulations, you’re on the right track. Your disciplinary procedure is likely to be substantively fair.

Remember, when it comes to disciplinary procedures, substantive fairness isn’t the only thing that matters, procedural fairness matters too. That’s why we recommend you checkout this article. It contains a checklist that will help you verify that your disciplinary procedures are procedurally fair.




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