Discipline and Dismissal

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  1. Depending on the circumstances and the seriousness of the offence, disciplinary action takes the form of one of the following:
    1. Verbal reprimand and explanation
    2. Written warning
    3. Final written warning
    4. Verbal reprimand
  2. An employer may reprimand a employee where his/her conduct is regarded as being unacceptable and the employer considers further steps to be unsuitable or unnecessary.
  3. A reprimand is intended to be informal with the emphasis on correcting the employee's conduct through discussion. A reprimand is not recorded formally on a written form. The verbal reprimand must make the employee aware that further misconduct may result in formal and more serious disciplinary action.
 

Written warning

 

  1. A written warning may be given after a reprimand has not resulted in the desired correction or where the misconduct is so serious that a verbal reprimand would be inadequate.
  2. The employer who gave the warning must complete the warning form in duplicate. The exact nature of the misconduct must be recorded and explained to the employee. The employee must have the opportunity to state his/her case.
  3. One copy of the warning form must be given to the employee and the other must be kept by the employer. The employee's comments must also be recorded on the form.
  4. The employee will be asked to sign the warning form. His/her signature or mark will be an acknowledgement on the content. Any disagreement or refusal by the employee to sign the form must also be recorded on the form. The employee's signature is not a prerequisite for the validity of the warning.


Final written warning

 

  1. A final written warning can be given after a verbal and/or written warning has failed to achieve the desired correction or if the warning justifies it irrespective of the absence of previous warnings.
  2. If it is alleged that a employee has committed a level A or B misconduct or offence or has already received a final written warning and he/she commits a further offence, a disciplinary enquiry into the conduct or further offence shall be necessary.
  3. A written warning and a final written warning shall be valid for a MAXIMUM period of six (6) months. After the warning has expired, it shall NO LONGER count against the employee for any purpose.


Dismissal

 

  1. No employee may be dismissed because of misconduct without the benefit of a disciplinary enquiry.
  2. Dismissal may take place with notice or summarily notice depending on the seriousness of the misconduct. If the misconduct is of such a nature that dismissal is warranted by law, no notice shall be given.


FORMS OF MISCONDUCT

Level A : VERY SERIOUS MISCONDUCT

  1.  
    1. Absence without leave for a short period.
    2. Reporting late for duty.
    3. The employee leaves the working premises without authorisation.
    4. Unauthorised possession of the employer's or anyone else's property.
    5. Drunkenness, the use of liquor or the taking of narcotics on duty.
    6. Assault or fighting.
    7. Intimidation, incitement or participation in a strike contrary to the Labour Relations Act, 1995.v
    8. Disobedience, insubordination.
    9. Failure to carry out standing instructions.
    10. Violence, whether threatening or actual.
    11. Fraud or forgery of any document or information.
    12. Betting or gambling in any form.
    13. Gross negligence.
    14. Possession and/or use of drugs.
    15. Deliberate damaging of the employer's property.
    16. Corruption, bribery, including attempts at bribery and acceptance of a bribe, theft, fraud, dishonesty and making confidential information known.
    17. Absence from work without leave for more than five (5) days.
    18. Conviction in a criminal court and imprisonment without the choice of a fine.
    19. Making private or confidential information known to a third party without the permission of the employer.
    20. In posession of or the vieving of pornographific material or material that is offensive or discriminatory of nature wheather in printed or computer data format.
    21. Distroying or deleting computer data without the employer's consent.


Level B : SERIOUS MISCONDUCT

 

  1. The action for the first offence is a final written warning and for the second offence dismissal.
    1. Sleeping on duty.
    2. Failure to report unsafe areas, structures or implements.v
    3. Failure to use tools or implements according to the standard procedure.v
    4. Protracted absence.v
    5. Using insulting and indecent language.
    6. Unauthorised collections on the employer's premises.
    7. Failure to report the overtime (irrespective of an undertaking to work overtime) without a valid reason.
    8. Inadequate or poor service.
    9. Ireconcilability.
    10. Injuries to others as a result of negligence or rough play during working hours.
    11. Littering.
    12. Wilful telling of false information.
    13. A first offence of absenteeism during the probationary period, namely the first 6 months of service.


Level C : LESS SERIOUS CONDUCT

 

  1. Depending on circumstances and the relationship between the employer and employee, a written warning or final written warning could be given if the relationship between the parties has deteriorated to such an extent that they cannot work together any longer. The action taken must be fair in the circumstances. The action for a first offence is a written warning and for a second offence within the period of validity of the warning already given, a final written warning. For a third offence the action is dismissal.
    1. Failure to carry out a reasonable, legal instruction within the time required.
    2. Failure to report sickness to the employer.

 

  1. The final test to determine whether an employee should be kept in the employer's service is if the misconduct was so serious that there is no longer any chance for the establishment of a normal trusting relationship between the parties and that reconciliation cannot be brought about.



Compiled by M. Scheepers

This manual is copyright under the Berne Convention. In terms of the Copyright Act, No. 98 of 1978, no part of this manual may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

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