Prior to the Investigative (Disciplinary) Meeting
Employers should notify their employee preferably in writing, of:
- The specific allegation
- The likely consequences if the allegation is established
- The clauses of the employment agreement that have been allegedly breached
- Information (evidence) relied on should be disclosed to the employee by the employer
Employers should inform their employee in clear terms that:
- The employee is required to attend an. investigative meeting at a reasonable and convenient time and date
- This meeting is to investigate the employee’s alleged actions, misconduct or serious misconduct
- The employee is entitled to seek support from a union or other representative, or support person, to attend the investigative meeting with them
- Any explanation offered by the employee will be considered prior to any decision being made by the employer as to what, if any, sanctions may be imposed.
The Investigative Meeting
- Employers must give the employee a real (not nominal) opportunity to refute the allegation or to explain or mitigate their conduct.
- Employers must be seen to be fair, non-threatening and free from bias or predetermination.
- Reasonable time should be given to the employee to respond to the matter(s) raised by the employer.
- Ideally an adjournment should be taken by the employer to consider its position, responses of the employee and whether further enquiries need to be undertaken, prior to making a decision as to sanctions, if any, are to be imposed.
- Such sanctions may include counselling, verbal warning, first written warning, final written warning, or dismissal.
- In certain situations, it may be necessary to impose a period of suspension on the employee, so the employer can carry out further investigations.
- An employer should take legal advice before doing so.
- Or proceed at your own peril.