In EOH Abantu (Pty) Ltd & Brett Danney (Labour Appeal Court) August 2019 it was acknowledged that employers who are embarking on disciplinary proceedings are sometimes not skilled legal practitioners and may at times define the alleged misconduct too narrowly or incorrectly, but however this should not prejudice the employee.
In order to ensure that the employee is not prejudiced when it comes to the disciplinary hearing, I have put together this article on how to draft a notice to attend a disciplinary hearing.
As with most of the articles that I write, this would be beneficial for Founders/CEOs who are still in the phase of doing everything themselves in their businesses, with limited human resources. It is also useful for HR Practitioners and managers who are tasked with the responsibility of employee discipline.
So, in this article I will be taking you through the list of things that should be in a notice to attend a disciplinary hearing.
How to draft a Notice to Attend a Disciplinary Hearing
When I say “cosmetics” I am referring to the elements that make your notice to attend a disciplinary hearing document look professional.
The document needs to be typed out, the format and the font needs to be consistent and it needs to be on your company letterhead. The heading “notice to attend a disciplinary hearing” or “Disciplinary Hearing Notification” needs to stand out so that the employee knows exactly what the document is for.
Charges or Allegations against the employee
In EOH Abantu (Pty) Ltd & Brett Danney (Labour Appeal Court) August 2019, it was highlighted that one of the key elements of fairness is that the employee must be made aware of the charges or allegations against them and they must be given sufficient time to prepare.
The employee must be informed that the disciplinary enquiry arose out of the fact that on a certain date, time and place they are alleged to have acted wrongfully or breached applicable rules and standards.
Details of the disciplinary hearing
The employee needs to be informed timeously of the details of the hearing, such as, the date, time and venue of the disciplinary hearing.
Rights of the employee
The document also needs to detail the employee’s rights prior to the disciplinary hearing and during the disciplinary hearing.
Tips and Reminders for drafting a notice for disciplinary hearing
It is important that the employee who receives the disciplinary hearing notification signs the document and that they are made aware that this will not constitute an admission to the allegations made against them.
The employee must also be made aware that if they do not attend the hearing without providing a reasonable explanation, the employer will be entitled to proceed with the hearing in their absence.
Remember to make provision on the document in the event where the employee refuses to sign for the notice to attend a disciplinary hearing
The issuing of a notice to attend a disciplinary hearing is one of the important building blocks when it comes the disciplinary enquiry and the sequence of events that follow from then on, depending on whether the case gets referred. It is therefore important that the basics are in place, even though as employers it is accepted by the courts that you might not be skilled labour practitioners so there is no requirement that competent verdicts on disciplinary charges should be mentioned in the charge sheet – subject though to the general principle that the employee should not be prejudiced.
Should you be interested in a free “notice to attend a disciplinary hearing” template, please complete the form on our website to receive your free template.
Should you have further enquiries regarding this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us.