What is Disciplinary procedure?
Disciplinary procedure is a standardized step-by-step comprehensive procedure that a company commits to in situations where an employee has to be warned, reprimanded or dismissed.
Disciplinary Procedure Definition
A disciplinary procedure refers to a structured and organized process that an organization follows when dealing with employee misconduct, poor performance, or violations of company policies.
It aims to address the issues in a fair and consistent manner, ensuring that employees are aware of their responsibilities and the consequences of their actions. The primary goals of a disciplinary procedure are to maintain a productive work environment, enforce company policies, and provide opportunities for employees to improve their behavior or performance.
Types of Disciplinary Action Procedures
Formal and informal disciplinary procedures refer to two different approaches organizations use to address employee misconduct, poor performance, or policy violations. These approaches differ in their level of structure, documentation, and severity of consequences.
Informal Disciplinary Procedure
In an informal disciplinary procedure, organizations handle minor issues or misunderstandings in a more flexible and less structured manner. This approach is often used for situations that can be resolved with a simple conversation and guidance. Here's how it typically works:
Informal Discussion: When a minor issue arises, a supervisor or manager has an informal conversation with the employee involved. This discussion aims to clarify the situation, address any misunderstandings, and provide guidance on how to rectify the issue.
No Formal Documentation: Since the issue is minor and quickly addressed, there may be no formal written documentation involved. The focus is on resolving the issue swiftly and preventing it from escalating.
No Severe Consequences: Informal procedures generally don't involve severe consequences like suspensions or terminations. Instead, the goal is to correct behavior or address performance issues early on.
No Appeals Process: Given the informal nature, there might not be a formal appeals process. If both parties agree that the issue is resolved, the matter is considered closed.
Formal Disciplinary Procedure
A formal disciplinary procedure is a structured approach used for more serious issues that require a documented process, consistent handling, and potential escalation if the issue persists. Here's how it typically works:
Investigation: For more severe issues, the organization conducts a thorough investigation to gather facts and evidence.
Formal Notice: If the investigation confirms the issue, the employee is issued a formal written notice. This notice outlines the specific concerns, alleged violations, and potential consequences if the behavior doesn't improve.
Disciplinary Meeting: A formal meeting is held between the employee and a representative of the organization to discuss the concerns outlined in the notice. The employee has the opportunity to respond and provide their perspective.
Documented Process: The entire process, including the investigation, notice, meeting, and any actions taken, is formally documented. This documentation serves as a record of the organization's efforts to address the issue.
Range of Consequences: Formal procedures can lead to a range of consequences, including written warnings, suspension, termination, or other appropriate actions.
Appeals Process: In a formal procedure, employees often have the right to appeal the decision if they believe it's unfair. This ensures a review by a higher authority or an appeals committee.