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Staff Disciplinary Action Policy

Purpose

To ensure clear guidelines and processes for the management of staff disciplinary action.

Policy Statement

Engedi will ensure that all disciplinary action against an employee or termination of an employee will be in accordance with the relevant Industry Employment Awards and Engedi Policies and will be conducted and actioned in a fair and equitable manner.

General principles:

Engedi Inc aim to ensure that our staff behave in a way that ensures everyone, including our clients, families and co-workers are treated fairly and without bias or discrimination. We encourage behaviour that supports and fosters self discipline and promotes our code of conduct. 

Where deemed appropriate, disciplinary measures may be taken when people behave in a way that detracts from our ability to deliver a quality service to our clients, contradicts our code of conduct or in any other way perceived to adversely affect the organisation, objectives or good reputation.

Disciplinary Policy

This policy establishes an equitable and consistent approach to addressing unsatisfactory work performance and/or conduct by:

  • Establishing a procedure under which warnings may be issued and discussed
  • Providing for disciplinary action where performance or conduct does not improve

Definitions:

Disciplinary action: Action taken by Engedi Inc to deal with any actual or perceived breach of policies, codes or other standards of work performance and/or conduct. 

Misconduct: Behaviour so serious in its nature that it may warrant severe discipline of the employee by the employer including but not limited to instant dismissal.

Counselling: The discussion and analysis of issues which affect an employee’s conduct and / or work performance in an attempt to find solutions to on the job problems. Counselling may be recommended to improve an employee’s performance where their behaviour or conduct is unacceptable or unsatisfactory.

Rights and responsibilities:

All persons have the right to have the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness observed, this means:

  • The employee who is the subject of concern must be informed of all the allegations in relation to his/her behaviour
  • The employee must be provided with the opportunity to put forward their case
  • All parties must have the right to be heard
  • All relevant submissions and evidence must be considered
  • Irrelevant matters must not be taken into account
  • The decision-maker must be impartial, fair and just
  • Investigations and proceedings that are conducted honestly, fairly and without bias
  • No undue delay in investigations and proceedings.

It is the responsibility of all parties involved in the proceedings or disciplinary action to participate fully in the resolution process in good faith. Confidentiality must be respected and maintained at all times within the constraints of the need to fully investigate the matter, subject to any legal requirements for disclosure and consistent with the principles of natural justice. 

Procedure:
Any alleged breach of a policy or procedure, code of conduct or unsatisfactory performance will require an interview with the Manager and Coordinator or Supervisor.

All staff will be given the opportunity to explain their actions.

All staff will be advised of the outcome of the interview and of any disciplinary action required. 

All staff that receive disciplinary action will receive a follow up review after the disciplinary action has been completed.

Types of warnings:

1. Verbal warning - Management will provide specific details of both the actual deficiency in performance/conduct and the standard of performance/conduct required. Documentation will be recorded and kept on staff person’s file. All staff have the opportunity to have a support person present at a meeting, documentation will be signed in the presence of a witness. It will be at the discretion of management if they choose to start the process with step 2 below.

2. First written warning - Management will explain the deficiencies and the required standards. Counselling or additional training may be recommended to improve an employee’s performance where their behaviour or conduct is unacceptable or unsatisfactory. This will be documented.

The following steps apply:

  • A copy of the warning will be prepared, signed by all parties, given to the employee and another copy placed on the staff member’s file
  • If the employee refuses to sign the warning, he/she should still receive a copy and the warning is still placed on the employment record
  • The warning will set a timeframe for improvement to occur and for performance/conduct to be reviewed again. When that period expires, the warning may either cease to have effect or a second (and usually final) warning may be issued
  • Where performance or conduct involves a breach of company policy or procedure, management will state and provide a copy of the relevant policy/procedure to the employee. This step is particularly relevant to cases involving misconduct

 3. Second written warning - A second written warning will not necessarily be provided - management may choose to proceed to a final written warning - A second warning may be appropriate in the following circumstances: 

  • The employee’s performance conduct is not yet at the required standard, but the previous warning set a deadline or date for review, there has been significant improvement since then and there is considered to be a chance that performance/conduct will eventually reach the required standard
  • There has been a lengthy period since the first warning was issued - well beyond the deadline or review date set. In such cases, a shorter timeframe for the second warning will be set

4. Final written warning - This step applies if performance/conduct fails to improve, does not improve to a sufficient extent, or there are recurrences of misconduct. The procedural steps are similar to those for 2 and 3 above, except that the warning needs to state very clearly that if performance/conduct does not improve to an acceptable level by a specified date, then employment will be terminated.

Serious misconduct is when an employee:

  • Causes serious and imminent risk to the health and safety of another person or to the reputation of their employer's business or deliberately behaves in a way that's inconsistent with continuing their employment

Examples of serious misconduct include:

  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Assault
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work
  • Refusing to carry out work duties

Please Note: 

  • In cases involving serious misconduct there may be no warning process and dismissal may be the only step
A written warning will contain:
  • Details of the performance or conduct deficiency, stated in specific behavioural terms - for example details of the employee’s absenteeism record
  • Reference to relevant policies or procedures, where the performance/conduct involves a breach of them, and specific description of the breach(es) 
  • Details of corrective action required by employee
  • Time frame — either a deadline for improvement or a date on which performance will be reviewed again 
  • An intended action if performance/conduct does not improve to a satisfactory level, eg: termination of employment
  • Reference to types and dates of any previous warnings or other disciplinary action
  • Date, names of witnesses, signature of employee, manager and witnesses
How long will a warning last?
  • The seriousness of the problem and the length of time it has been apparent will determine the appropriate length of a warning and will vary according to circumstances
  • If the employee reaches the review date without recurrences and performance is satisfactory, the warning should then be withdrawn and the employee’s slate regarded as 'clean'. A copy will remain on the employee’s file

For example, if a warning applied for 3 months and the employee’s performance/conduct remained satisfactory for 12 months before problems recurred, another 'first warning' will be issued.