The CCMA is full of cases where employees complain of procedural or substantive unfairness in the disciplinary hearing process. The charges can be poorly framed, and the process can fall apart and become a free-for-all. These issues often cloud the actual misconduct, which is why the employee was charged in the first place. To run a fair and proper hearing, you will have to know how to construct the charges and what you need to do as an employee or employer to prepare for the hearing.
Disciplinary hearings are informal, but some structure is needed. Time frames and rights of both sides need to be considered. You cannot just call an employee into a hearing and expect the hearing to be fair. In the webinar, we will explain how you can ensure that the process is held formally without too much input, pressure, and time wastage. We will aid you in eliminating irrelevant issues so that the entire process is streamlined and the misconduct takes centre stage. We will explain how a disciplinary hearing should be conducted, who the role players are, and their roles.
We consider the laws of evidence and when evidence is inadmissible - we look at video evidence, hearsay evidence, polygraphs and other forms of evidence. We discuss the latest case law and highlight the most common pitfalls that arise in disciplinary hearings. We then set out the basics for procedural and substantive fairness and discuss and explain the preparation steps to hold an informal, fair, solid hearing that can stand up to CCMA scrutiny and allow the role-players to deal with the crucial issues.
Last but not least, we delve into the arena of sanction and outcomes. What are the possible outcomes, and do you as the employer have to stick to your disciplinary code? We consider whether you, as the employer, can go against the decision of the chair. Can you proceed with the hearing when the employee is on sick leave? What is the purpose of an appeal hearing, do they work and are they necessary? Disciplinary codes are recommended; they remain a valuable source of information to employees, employers, and the chair. We will help you to know how to prepare, how to know what the other side is planning and what is acceptable conduct. We discuss the issue of suspension pending a disciplinary process, whether it is necessary, and how long an employee can remain suspended. We investigate whether an employer can refuse to pay a suspended employee and what happens to the rights of the employee whilst they are on suspension.
We will discuss issues such as the need to investigate the misconduct before charging the employee, whether or not you need to use an external chair or even an outside company. Sometimes a case seems easy, but it becomes more difficult when you gather up the evidence and draft the charges. Where can you obtain evidence from, and how do you ensure it is not defective or becomes defective. Polygraph has its issues and pitfalls; human resource managers and even attorneys need to use them correctly so that their efficacy is maintained. A renowned expert polygrapher will be called upon to give us his take on polygraph tests.
By attending this webinar, we will provide you with the following: