When you investigate an incident report, your employee may deny the allegations against them and question the accompanying evidence for its weakness or relevance. If this is the case, you must hold a Disciplinary Hearing as part of the procedural process that your employee is entitled to.
This will be favorable to both you and your employee since Disciplinary Hearings are a better opportunity to establish the facts by discovering what truly transpired in an incident. This will also allow you to make a fairer disciplinary action and better recommendations.
Here’s what you need to prepare beforehand and how you can properly conduct a disciplinary hearing in your office.
What you need to prepare prior to the hearing:
- Set a date at least five days upon giving your employees a notice. This is to provide them an ample time to prepare.
- Secure a private meeting room that can accommodate the number of attendees.
- assign someone from your HR department to take down the minutes. This person must not be involved, in any way, with the incident.
- The documents needed: the incident report, evidence, and your accused employee’s reply to his/her NTE (if applicable). You must also ensure that all evidence will be presented properly during the hearing. If it’s a video or audio file, test-run them in the device you’ll be using.
- A recorder—most mobile devices will do. It’s important to record the hearing so everyone’s testimony will be documented verbatim.
- An Agenda. The sequence of who will be heard first should be established, which usually goes as:
- the employee who filed the incident report
- the witness/es
- the employee-complainant (if it’s different from the person who reported the incident)
- the superior of the accused employee
- the accused employee
How you can properly conduct the hearing:
- Discuss and follow the agenda you’ve prepared for your employees to know the flow of the hearing.
- Inform everyone that they are being recorded, thus, there will be some rules to be implemented:
- Your employees must identify themselves before speaking.
- One person speaking at a time.
- Read the incident report and present the accompanying documentary and testimonial evidence. Specify the provisions of your company policies that were violated and explain the possible disciplinary actions.
- Give ample time to your accused employee to defend himself/herself and present his/her own evidence. After he/she is done speaking, give an opportunity for other attendees to ask questions and clarify.
- Conclude the hearing by informing everyone how long will your management take to issue a Notice of Decision.
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