The employee disciplinary process can become somewhat of a nightmare for business owners. That is especially the case if you’re just starting out and you don’t have much experience. So, we thought our readers would benefit from some guidance on the subject. At the end of the day, your company could face many issues if you get things wrong. The last thing you need is for an ex-worker to take you to a tribunal. If you made mistakes, you would have to compensate them financially. That means you reduce your profits and have to pay for legal representation too. With that in mind, you should aim to follow the process below at all times.
Give the employee a verbal warning
When you first notice a member of your team isn’t behaving as you would expect, you need to provide them with a verbal warning. That means you let them know they need to change their attitude or face serious consequences. While it’s called a verbal warning, you still need to make a note of the strike on paper. You should ask your employee to sign the document to confirm the meeting took place. Whatever happens, you need to make sure that is the first step in your disciplinary process. If you skip that part, you’re going to find yourself in lots of trouble further down the line.
Give the employee two written warnings
After the verbal warning, you can move onto written warnings. You have to give two of them before you are allowed to take any further action. Again, you need to ensure you document the details of the strike on paper. Your employee might ask for a union member to be present during the meeting. You have to allow that because they are entitled to have independent witnesses. You should also make it clear the warning remains in place for six months. If the worker does anything wrong during that period, you will hand them their final warning.
Suspend the employee
If things don’t improve, you can then consider suspending the employee. It’s possible to skip straight to this step where there are instances of gross negligence. That is especially true if it will make your work environment better for other employees. For example, you might have asked them to undergo a 9 panel drug test. You might also consider testing their breath for traces of alcohol. If you find out they are under the influence of a substance, you should suspend them instantly. Failure to do that could mean they place their workmates or the general public at risk. You just can’t allow an intoxicated person to represent your brand, and the courts will understand that fact.
Once you’ve done all that, you are free to fire the worker if their attitude does not change. Maybe they’re late every morning, or they argue with you over basic requests? Either way, you can get rid of them safely in the knowledge that you did everything right. They can still take you to a tribunal, but their chances of success are small if you followed the correct procedure. There is always more to learn on this subject, and so you should continue your research after leaving us today.