04. Policy 3: Disciplinary Process and Procedures Policy

Joshua Easton

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Throughout your employment with the company, you will have regular discussions with your supervisor as well as your annual performance plan to ensure the expectations of your position are met.  In these meetings two-way conversations are encouraged and your supervisor will support you as much as possible to get the best outcomes for you and your role.

However, from time to time, employee performance may not meet the expectations of the business and in this instance a disciplinary procedure will be followed.  To ensure clarity, this procedure is outlined below.

The disciplinary process and procedures will be followed in the event that a staff member:

  • Breaches any of the responsibilities outlined in this policy manual
  • Underperforms in their role on a regular and consistent basis
  • Fails to follow reasonable requests from their supervisor
  • Fails to follow safe work practices

The steps in this process are outlined as guide and are subject to the severity of the behaviour/underperformance.  At all stages of the disciplinary process you will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations and your response will be given due consideration by our leadership team before final decisions are made.

Step 1 – Informal Warning

Your supervisor will arrange a meeting with you to discuss the performance or behaviours which do not meet the expectations of this business.  In this meeting you will have an opportunity to respond and agree on a plan to improve your performance (if applicable).  At this stage your supervisor will give you an informal verbal warning and the outcomes of the conversation will be recorded.  A formal letter of warning is not issued during this stage and on most occasions employees are able to rectify their work performance/behaviour before a formal warning is required.

Performance improvement strategies may include the following:

  • Training and development
  • Process mapping
  • Workload reviews
  • KPIs and performance objectives clearly documented
  • Revision of related policies and procedures and sign off on understanding

Step 2 – First Written Warning

If following an initial verbal warning the employee’s behaviour or performance does not improve a written warning will be issued.  Your supervisor will contact you to arrange a meeting and will clearly outline with you:

  • The reason for the written warning and standard of behaviour/performance which requires improvement
  • A plan to improve the performance or behaviour and timeframes that these goals will be met (usually within three months)
  • The steps which will be taken if performance does not improve by the set timeframes (this may include a further warning or dismissal)

This information will be documented and you will be provided with a letter outlining the outcomes of this meeting.

Step 3 – Final Written Warning

In the event that the employee’s performance/behaviour does not improve within the set timeframes, a final written warning will be given.  Your supervisor and manager will arrange a formal meeting and outline with you the performance/behaviour which was expected and how this was not achieved during the timeframes.  Usually at this meeting you will be informed that failure to improve your performance/behaviour will lead to dismissal and a final performance/behaviour improvement plan will be put in place.  As with step 2, employees will receive a formal letter outlining the details of the warning and the steps for improvement.

Step 4 – Dismissal

After all steps in this process have taken place and the employee’s performance is still not to an acceptable standard as an employer, we have the ability to terminate the employment contract.  In this instance you would be provided with a Letter of Termination and the employment contact between you and the Company would cease.  You will be paid your final leave entitlements within two working days of your Letter of Termination.

Instant Dismissal – Gross Misconduct

In some cases, an employee’s performance or behaviour will be of such a serious nature that it will warrant immediate dismissal.  This can include but is not limited to:

  • Causing an imminent risk to health and safety of others including verbal abuse
  • Disobedience to a reasonable and lawful request given by your supervisor or manager
  • Theft from the business
  • Vandalism or damage to business property
  • Damaging the reputation and/or profitability of our business
  • Being under the effects of alcohol or other drugs in the workplace

If you are instantly dismissed, you will be provided with a formal letter of termination of employment.  The letter will outline the reasons for the termination.  You will be paid all entitlements including a notice period reflecting your length of employment within two business days.  If you are not required to return to your duties prior to your termination date a payment in lieu of your notice period will apply.

Throughout the disciplinary process you will be notified of all meetings in advance and provided with the opportunity to bring a support person of your choice such as an immediate family member, close friend or a union representative.

Dismissal is always the last option for the Company and we strive to work with employees to improve performance or behavioural issues.

Note: If you are a small business, the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code may apply to you.  For more information, visit the Fair Work website www.fairwork.gov.au.

Employee Signoff

I, …………………………………….. have read, understand and agree to abide by the responsibilities set out in the Disciplinary Process and Procedures Policy.