A disciplinary hearing is never a nice procedure, and we would always urge managers to try to resolve any issues informally, but sometimes they have to happen.
Here are ten things to remember before conducting an official hearing:
1. Collect all information including evidence, allegations and the employee’s past record.
2. Inform the employee and senior staff in writing, notifying them of the reason for the hearing and the date it will take place. The employee must be given at least three days notice.
3. Any witnesses or evidence you and the employee have must be available for examination at the hearing.
4. The employee is allowed to bring a companion to the hearing. This can be someone from the trade union or a colleague. They will be allowed to present the employee’s case, but should not answer questions on the employee’s behalf.
5. After presenting the case against the employee, allow time for a response. While it can be difficult, employers should ensure the employee is allowed to communicate their point of view.
6. Consider the employee’s mitigating circumstances and encourage suggestions to overcome the issue, if possible.
7. As soon as the decision is reached, it must be delivered to the employee in writing, and the employee must be informed of his or her right to appeal.
8. Keep a detailed written record throughout and emphasise the consequences of further offences to the employee.