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Sitters / Au Pairs in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria - Sitters4U Babysitting, House sitting and Au Pair services. - Your Guide to Disciplinary Sanctions and  Warnings.

Your Guide to Disciplinary Sanctions and Warnings.

Because of the progressively corrective nature of disciplinary action, the sanction applied should also be progressive in nature.

Depending on the severity of the offence and the circumstances under which it was committed, sanctions can range from a verbal warning through to a written warning, a final written warning and dismissal. Warnings do not necessarily have to follow the order of verbal – written – final written – dismissal, unless the employer has made provision for this procedure in his Disciplinary Code.Thus, if the employer's Code states that for a first offense of misconduct a verbal warning must be given and for the second offense of a similar nature a written warning must be given, then for the third offense a final written warning then on the fourth offense dismissal, then the employer is generally bound to follow his own procedure.

It is therefore possible to dismiss even on a first offence and without any prior warnings having been issued, but again this will depend on the severity of the offence, the circumstances under which it was committed, and the provisions of the employer's Disciplinary Code. There are certain elements that must be contained in a warning. The purpose of the warning is to try and correct a situation, if necessary, by progressively more severe sanctions each time the offence is repeated, or if there are repeated offences of misconduct.

A warning must contain:

  •  the identity of both parties
  •  the nature of, date of and time of  the offence
  •  the terms of the warning and validity period
  •  clear statement of what action is required of the guilty party to rectify the situation
  •  clear statement of the consequences of the guilty party's failure to take heed of the requirements of the warning or of repeated offences (of similar or other misconduct)

Verbal Warnings.

A verbal warning is usually applied for a very minor offence. Where a verbal warning is warranted, it is seldom necessary to embark on formal disciplinary procedures, and an informal procedure culminating in a verbal warning will generally achieve the desired result. As in every case, prior to issuing the warning, the employer concerned must follow a fair procedure and allow the employee the opportunity to put his side of the case.

The verbal warning is then issued, in the presence of a witness, and the manager issuing the warning must ensure that the employee understand why the warning has been issued and what action is required of the employee to rectify the situation, and – very importantly – the employee must understand what the consequences will be should he/she fail to take heed of the warning.

Written warning.  

A written warning is resorted to when :

  • a verbal warning has failed to produce the desired result, therefore necessitating stricter action,
  • or if the offence for which a verbal warning was issued has been repeated
  • or if there have been repeated offences of other misconduct,  
  • or if the offence (even a first offence ) is considered serious enough to warrant disciplinary action stricter that a verbal warning.

It is emphasized that a written warning should only be issued after having followed a fair procedure, whereby the accused has been afforded the opportunity to present his case in answer to the charges against him or her.

Final written warning

A final written warning is taking the disciplinary process a step further, and is in fact a sort of "last resort"

The perception is simply "if this does not work, then out he/she goes."

If any previous written warning (remember there need not necessarily have been any previous written warnings – this final written warning can be issued even for a first offense if the seriousness of the offense calls for such strict and serious action)  has failed to achieve the desired result, then the final written warning is issued.

This is a serious matter, and usually is the result of repeated offenses of a similar nature or in the case of habitual or repeated  offenses of misconduct, which may not necessarily be the same offenses but can be various offenses of misconduct.

The final written warning is usually the employer's last desperate attempt to avoid dismissal – but invariably dismissal will result should the employee fail to heed the serious of and the requirements of the final written warning.

The employee signs this to state that he understands the contents of the warning and that he has received a copy. He is not signing to say that he agrees with it – only that he understands it and has received a copy. Should the employee refuse to sign, then hand him a copy in the presence of the witness, and the witness will certify on the file copy of the warning that a copy was handed to the employee. Warnings must be clear, concise, and must leave no doubt in the mind of the employee what the stance of the employer is, and no doubt regarding the consequences of failure to rectify the situation.

Article Source:

www.labourguide.co.za

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