Is there an alternative to an internal disciplinary enquiry?

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 19 Sep. 2014

Tags: internal disciplinary enquiry, discipline, misconduct

A formal disciplinary hearing is necessary when dismissal could be an outcome.

So if, for example, your employee steals money from your company, you have to hold a proper disciplinary enquiry before you can dismiss him.

If you overlook this and you just dismiss him, he can challenge the dismissal as being procedurally and/or substantively unfair at the CCMA or a bargaining council.

Now some employers hate conducting disciplinary enquiries. They say this process is time consuming. As a result, they often ask whether or not there’s an alternative to an internal disciplinary enquiry

Read on to find out the answer…

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Yes! There’s an alternative to an internal disciplinary enquiry

Experts behind the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service say, you can agree with an employee to ask the CCMA, a council or accredited agency to select an arbitrator to hold a pre-dismissal arbitration.

This’ll replace your in house disciplinary hearing and internal appeal procedure. It’ll also help with any referrals to the CCMA afterwards (Section 188 of the Labour Relations Act).

Just keep in mind that you can ONLY ask for a pre-dismissal arbitration if there’s an allegation of misconduct or incapacity against an employee and you believe dismissal is a possible outcome.

When it comes to pre-dismissal arbitration, you must take earnings into account

An employee who earns less than the statutory minimum must agree in writing to a pre-dismissal arbitration in relation to a specific charge of conduct or capacity (adhoc consent).

An employee who earns more than the statutory minimum can agree in his employment contract, blanket consent or an addendum to his contract. This blanket consent entitles you, at your discretion, to start a pre-dismissal arbitration procedure instead of using your internal disciplinary procedure.

There you have it: There’s an alternative to an internal disciplinary enquiry: Pre-dismissal arbitration.

Before you use this process, read all about it in the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service because it’s quite complex.

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