Meetings rarely proceed in a neat fashion with orderly stages. Here a Disciplinary Hearing Checklist to use to get your disciplinary hearing off to a good start.
- If the employee has not brought an accompaniment – check that they do not want one and that they are happy to proceed unaccompanied. Make sure this check is put in the notes.
- Introduce those present and explain why they are there.
- Introduce and explain the role of the accompanying person.
- Explain that the purpose of the meeting is to consider whether disciplinary action should be taken in accordance with the organisation’s disciplinary procedure.
- Explain how the meeting will be conducted
- State precisely what the complaint is and outline the evidence that has been gathered.
- Show the employee and their accompaniment any witness statements.
- Point out that this hearing is to establish the facts and agree steps to remedy the situation.
- Ensure you give the employee the opportunity to reply to the allegations.
- If requested allow them to call witnesses or ask questions.
- If requested allow the employee and their accompaniment to confer in private.
- Listen Carefully.
- Allow periods of silence as this can be effective at encouraging the employee to be forthcoming.
- Consider adjourning the disciplinary process if a relevant grievance is raised.
- Establish the facts. Adjourn the hearing to investigate further if necessary.
- Ask the employee if he/she has an explanation or any special circumstances to be taken into account.
- Don’t be afraid to stop the proceedings if you are satisfied with the explanation.
- Keep the approach formal and polite to encourage the employee to speak freely.
- The hearing if properly conducted should be a two way process.
- Use questions to check what has been understood.
- Ask open questions to illicit information and closed to pin point detail.
- Do not get involved in arguments. Never make contact or gestures that could be misconstrued.
- Summarise the main points of the discussion.
- Ask the employee whether they feel they have had a fair hearing and whether they have anything further to say.
- Adjourn before making a decision. This is considered good practice.
- Allow time for reflection and proper consideration.
- Give your decision in accordance with your procedures. Some procedures state that decisions will be given in writing following the hearing.
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