Disciplinary Enquiry

How to prepare and present a case at a disciplinary enquiry

A disciplinary enquiry is initiated by an employer against an employee when the employee has committed an offence in the workplace such as arriving late for work or stealing the employer’s property.

The Code of Good Practice: Dismissal in Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (“ the Code”) provides that disciplinary action should be taken as a corrective measure and not as a punitive measure. A Disciplinary Code and Procedure provides for a graduated discipline measures like counselling and warnings. Dismissal is reserved for more serious offences.

In Avril Elizabeth Home for the Mentally Handicapped v CCMA and Others, the Court stated that the Labour Relations Act does not expect a court styled disciplinary enquiry but that an employee be provided with an oppurtunity to state a case in response to any allegations made against that employee, which need not be in a formal enquiry. Notwithstanding this, many employers conduct formal enquiries.

Our module equips you with the adequate skills to be able to present a proper case before a chairperson at a disciplinary enquiry.

The module has the following six sections:

Obligations of the employer

Our module has been designed with the Initiator or Employer Representative in mind. However, the techniques can be applied by an Employee or Employee Representative when presenting their case at a disciplinary enquiry.

The module provides the learner with a high-level view of a disciplinary enquiry. Explaining what the chairperson may do during the hearing and how to deal with preliminary issues that may be raised.

The modules equip the learner to be able to:

  • Conduct a proper investigation
  • Prepare and present an opening statement
  • Prepare witnesses to give evidence and put together a bundle of documents
  • Understand the rules of evidence and present the evidence properly at the disciplinary enquiry
  • Prepare and submit closing arguments

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