The Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Dismissal Procedures (“the Code”)
This code (SI/146/2000 – Industrial relations Act, 1990 Order, 2000) was drafted by the Labour Relations Commission to provide guidelines for employers on the general principles regarding dismissals and grievance procedures.
Discipline and Dismissal Processes should be fair, rational and divided into a clear process.
The Code recommends that the process for discipline or dismissing an employee should be divided into stages (Informal and Formal). The informal stage ought to be used first step and usually consists of a verbal warning.
The formal stage should to be divided into 3 steps:
- First Written Warning
- Final Written Warning
Informal Stage – What does this involve?
This is where the employer or HR manager calls the employee to an informal meeting. The meeting should address the difficulties that have arisen and should also give the employee an opportunity to correct them. An oral warning can be issued to the employee at this stage but should not remain on the employees file for more than 6 months.
Regardless of whether is the first or final written warning the formal stage. The employer should write to the employee requesting a formal meeting. The letter should give a brief summary as to why the meeting is being held and state that the employer has the right to be represented. The letter should give the employee sufficient notice of the meeting together with a list of who will be present at the meeting. The employee must be given the right to reply to allegations made against him/her and the right to appeal any decision. If a first and second warning has already issued against the employee (within the past 12 months) and nothing has been done to correct the problems by the employee then it is open to the employer to dismiss the employee.
In the interest of good industrial relations, grievance and disciplinary procedures should be in writing and presented in a format and language that is easily understood by all members of staff. Copies of the procedures should be given to all employees at the commencement of their employment. All members of management need to be familiar with and adhere strictly to procedures.