I've been invited to a disciplinary meeting, help!?
Updated: May 3
Generally a disciplinary meeting happens when there is an allegation of misconduct or serious misconduct, so it can be quite serious and very stressful. Here's some of the basics of what to expect.
What is meant by a 'disciplinary process'?
The disciplinary process is a formal procedure that employers use to address employee misconduct or performance issues. The purpose of the disciplinary process is to help employees understand what is expected of them, to identify and address any issues, and to provide a fair and consistent approach to dealing with misconduct.
What must an employer do in a fair disciplinary process?
An employer must:
let you know the allegations, how serious they are and what the worst outcome could be before meeting with you;
consult you if they plan to suspend you and only suspend you if it is absolutely necessary;
give you time to take advice before asking you to respond to the allegations;
genuinely consider your response before making a decision; and
treat you fairly and reasonably by acting in the same way that an objective person might
"Consistency rules in a disciplinary" - David Harris
What are the steps in the disciplinary process?
The disciplinary process typically involves four main steps:
The investigation stage involves gathering information and evidence about the alleged misconduct, typically carried out by the employer or HR department. The disciplinary hearing is where the employee has the opportunity to present their case and respond to the allegations. The decision-making stage involves determining whether the employee is guilty of the misconduct and what disciplinary action is appropriate, such as a warning, suspension, or termination. If the employee disagrees with the decision, they may have the right to appeal or to raise a grievance.
What happens during a disciplinary meeting?
During a disciplinary, an employee may be presented with allegations of misconduct or poor performance and given the opportunity to respond. They should have all the important evidence and information so they can genuinely respond to the allegations. The employee may be asked questions and may have the opportunity to present their side of the story. They can bring a support person or representative to help them convey their response.
What should you do in a disciplinary hearing?
Try to keep as calm as possible. While it can be stressful and you should try not to respond in a way that is confrontational or argumentative as it rarely improves the situation. You can also take notes, ask questions and ask for breaks or to adjourn to seek further advice.
What could the outcome be?
Depending on the seriousness of the allegations, outcome could include verbal warnings, written warnings, suspension, demotion, and termination.
You should definitely take a disciplinary seriously as it can affect your employment. If you've been invited to a disciplinary meeting, call us now for a free chat about what you should expect and how we can help you.