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If you’re running a business and have an issue with a member of your team, then your first port of call should always be a casual chat. A lot of the time, that’s all it takes to smooth out a problem. But now and again, you’ll need to take more formal action – that’s where a disciplinary procedure comes in. In this post, we’re going to take you through a step by step guide on the full disciplinary process.

Before laying out a full disciplinary procedure, it’s worth noting that many issues can be sorted out informally a long time before a full disciplinary is needed. It might only need a quick chat to sort out a miscommunication or misunderstanding – so bear that in mind before going through a full-blown disciplinary process.

A proper disciplinary process should contain a few key steps:

  • A disciplinary investigation
  • An initial disciplinary letter that sets out the issues to be discussed
  • A meeting to discuss the issue (the disciplinary hearing)
  • A disciplinary decision
  • A chance to appeal the disciplinary decision.

What is a disciplinary hearing?

 A disciplinary hearing is one part of the larger disciplinary process your company should follow if you ever need to address unacceptable behavior at work.

Unacceptable behavior’ could mean a couple of things in this context – either an employee’s conduct at work or their capability in their role.

‘Conduct’ would mean improper or unacceptable behaviour.

Capability’, on the other hand, is more about work performance. While some companies choose to deal with performance issues via a disciplinary procedure, it’s usually much more effective to go down the route of a Performance Improvement Plan instead.

Remember – when people say ‘a disciplinary hearing’ they are usually referring to the disciplinary meeting itself, but strictly speaking that meeting is just one part of a full disciplinary procedure.

Correct steps in disciplinary Procedures:

1. Get an initial understanding of the case.

2. Investigate thoroughly.

3. Invite the employee to a disciplinary meeting.

4. Conduct the disciplinary meeting.

5. Decide on action to take.

6. Confirm the outcome in writing.

7. Right to appeal.

The disciplinary procedure

Your company`s disciplinary procedure should be clearly laid out either in the employment contracts or in the employee`s handbook.

Having a well-defined disciplinary procedure is really important for any business. If you ever need to let someone go because of a disciplinary issue but the process was badly handled or poorly communicated, then you’re left open to litigation where the employee could sue for unfair dismissal or termination.

Setting out a proper disciplinary policy in your company handbook (and then sticking to it) helps keep you on the right side of the employment law.

Need help conducting a disciplinary process? Contact us and we will be glad to help.

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    Company`s productivity depends on how psychological and physical healthy your employees are. Most business owners often do not think of employees’ health. Obviously, you want your staff to be in good health, but it’s not at the top of your list of priorities. After all, you’ve got a lot on your mind when you’re running a business.

    The thing is, your employees’ health is important to your business; maybe even more important than you realise. In fact, if your employees are repeatedly ill, it could have a seriously impact negatively on your business. Here are simple reasons why you should care about the health of your staff.  

    Healthy employees are more productive

    When people are healthy, they work harder. When people are ill, they often suffer from fatigue and are too tired to work at their usual rate. And when you have a small workforce, one person slowing down can affect the whole business. If an individual employee is late on their part of a project, then the next stage is delayed because of that missed deadline. This could mean that clients get their product late or other staff members have to work overtime or in some project missing deadline may even mean contract cancelation and loss of revenue.   

    Healthy employees produce better quality work

    Even the most basic cold or flu can be a huge distraction for an employee. Whether they have to pause every few minutes to blow their nose or have a headache that simply won’t go away, it takes their mind off their work. This means that mistakes are more common and things get missed. The quality of a sick employee’s work will likely decrease while they’re ill. It’s not because they’re lazy or don’t care, it’s because they’re more concerned with how awful they are feeling at that moment.  

    Healthy employees don’t take sick off

    It’s not likely your business has a large workforce. You don’t have many employees and each staff member has a particular job to do since most job holders may not have assistants. This means that if one person is sick off, it can be a big problem for your business. When one person is in hospital or on bed rest, the others have to pick up the slack. If that person does something unique that requires certain skills, there may be no one who can take over that employee’s workload. That’s why even one member of your staff being off for a day can have terrible consequences for your business.  

    Final thoughts

    Your employee’s health is paramount and is something you should be concerned about. When employees get sick, it means they’re less productive, the quality of their work goes down and your business productivity level will reduce.

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    Naturally, most if not all jobs can be stressful at times. That’s a given fact. And, occasionally, working for a small organisation can be more stressful. This is mainly because the organisation has such a small team that every task you perform is important and visible to everyone. One little mistake can have an impact on the business as a whole.

    The thing is, there’s a difference between your employees having one particularly stressful day and being constantly stressed. People who are always stressed and are worried about work become less productive over time. Instead of focusing on the task at hand, they may end up spending more time stressing over what needs to get done or how to please a certain boss who is difficult to handle.

    So, to ensure your employees aren’t completely stressed out, here’s some advice.

    Let them take their breaks

    Yes, a lunch break is clearly in their contract and you have no problem with them taking some time to eat and maybe take a walk. But, the reality is, many employees sit at their desks and eat. You need to create a working environment where your staff feels comfortable leaving their work space during the day for a short while. And it doesn’t just need to be during meal time. They may also want to have a few moments outside to drink their coffee or smoke cigarette or even catch up with the outside world.

    This may not seem like the most productive use of time, but allowing your staff to clear their heads means they’ll be more focused once they return to their desk.  

    Ensure you have the right systems and processes in place

    Having correct processes could be beneficial and help reduce stress at workplace. Systems and processes refer to how the business is run, how tasks are assigned and who perform what function. Good systems have checks and balances in place that make sure one person isn’t receiving other people’s workload. Good processes ensure that every person has capacity for the work they are assigned.

    Processes also make sure that certain staff members aren’t handing off work to their colleagues without notifying those in charge. This all works together to ensure that no single employee has a workload they can’t handle.

    Allow them have a little fun

    People who enjoy their jobs are less likely to get stressed. Laughter and relaxed chatter take away tension. “Fun” doesn’t necessarily mean throwing your staff a party every other week. It simply means not giving employees dirty looks when you hear them getting a bit loud at the coffee machine. Or maybe even having drinks on the last Saturday of the month or getting pizza for lunch. Okay, I know this may sound like something you wouldn’t normally encourage in the workplace but it is also important to consider.

    Final thoughts

    Allow your employees` “time to breathe” and work freely. Give them the space they need so that they can be productive and enjoy what they do. Remember, employees spend most of their time at workplace so it is imperative for them to be happy.

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    As Professional Employer Organisation, our responsibilities are but not limited to the following:

    • Statutory Returns Compliance

    We make monthly returns (PAYE, NHIF & NSSF) are submitted to the relevant government bodies and issue proof to clients.

    • Leave Management

    In consultation with the client, we always devise a mechanism where all employees take their annual leave on time to avoid backlog as required by section 28(1) of the Employment Act.

    • Employment Law Compliance

    We know the ins and outs of employment law. All it takes is one mistake and you could get slapped with a lawsuit which could result in paying hefty fines. To avoid such unnecessary costs, We ensure that all the Employment Law loop holes are permanently sealed and are things of the past.

    • Outsourced Payroll Services

    We support clients in preparing the payroll for employees and issue them with itemised pay statement (pay slips) as required by section 20(1) of the Employment Act. We also respond to any queries that may arise as a result of the payroll.

    • Handbooks & Manuals

    Even if you have few employees, you still need a handbook to lay out the rules & regulations for your employees. Handbooks make it easier for employees to know what is expected of them and also the handbook can be used to cover you during disputes. We tailor make the handbooks to fit different employment trades.

    • WIBA Compliance

    We make sure that all employees are covered against workplace accidents and occupational diseases as required by section 3 of the Work Injury Benefit Act 2007.

    • Administration of the Whole Employee` Life Cycle

    We take part in all the stages of the employee`s employment life cycle. These stages range from interviews, shortlisting, preparing and issuing of contracts, on boarding, induction, disciplinary process until exit.

    • Employee Record Management

    Did you know that as an employer you are required by law to keep written employment records for a period of five (5) years after exit? We keep employees records and produce them whenever required.

    We help clients craft an employee handbook that employees in your organization understand and follow consistently.

    • Regulatory policies: We guide clients through regulations of policies. These policies include equal opportunity employment, overtime pay, pay and time record keeping, and sexual harassment policies.
    • Paid time off policies: We help clients determine and communicate how the organization handles paid time off practices like holidays and sick time.
    • Leaves of absence policies: We create a policy that outlines in advance all the answers  about the requirements of employees taking leave.
    • Acceptable use policies: We assist in creating policies for company property..
    • Travel reimbursement: We do create clear policies around what employees do and do not get paid back for when traveling.  

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