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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.

  1. 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.
  1. Introduce those present and explain why they are there.
  1. Introduce and explain the role of the accompanying person.
  1. Explain that the purpose of the meeting is to consider whether disciplinary action should be taken in accordance with the organisation’s disciplinary procedure.
  1. Explain how the meeting will be conducted
  1. State precisely what the complaint is and outline the evidence that has been gathered.
  1. Show the employee and their accompaniment any witness statements.
  1. Point out that this hearing is to establish the facts and agree steps to remedy the situation.
  1. Ensure you give the employee the opportunity to reply to the allegations.
  1. If requested allow them to call witnesses or ask questions.
  1. If requested allow the employee and their accompaniment to confer in private.
  1. Listen Carefully.
  1. Allow periods of silence as this can be effective at encouraging the employee to be forthcoming.
  1. Consider adjourning the disciplinary process if a relevant grievance is raised.
  1. Establish the facts. Adjourn the hearing to investigate further if necessary.
  1. Ask the employee if he/she has an explanation or any special circumstances to be taken into account.
  1. Don’t be afraid to stop the proceedings if you are satisfied with the explanation.
  1. Keep the approach formal and polite to encourage the employee to speak freely.
  1. The hearing if properly conducted should be a two way process.
  1. Use questions to check what has been understood.
  1. Ask open questions to illicit information and closed to pin point detail.
  1. Do not get involved in arguments. Never make contact or gestures that could be misconstrued.
  1. Summarise the main points of the discussion.
  1. Ask the employee whether they feel they have had a fair hearing and whether they have anything further to say.
  1. Adjourn before making a decision. This is considered good practice.
  1. Allow time for reflection and proper consideration.
  1. 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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