Every organized organization has policies in place to maintain discipline in the workplace. These policies' purpose is to keep the efficiency and effectiveness of the employee's work in line with expectations from the employer. 


Discipline in the workplace not only creates awareness for effectiveness but also removes organizational problems, builds a good relationship between employers and employees, and promotes high morale.


Effective Discipline v/s Reactive Discipline


Effective Discipline involves having a procedure in place for situations that involve an employee when they have breached agreements in their contracts. These situations could be anything from performance miscommunication to gross misconduct. 


When creating policies around discipline be mindful of compliance with employees' statutory rights, such as the right to have aid present, fairness, and action that reflects the seriousness of the offense.


The lack of disciplinary policies results in the dismissal of an employee without a proper and fair investigation. Reactive discipline without procedures usually results in unfair dismissal opening up organizations to lawsuits. 


Tips to avoid an unfair dismissal claim?


  1. After a thorough investigation, formally invite the employee to the disciplinary hearing in writing.
  2. Ensure that, before the hearing, the employee is provided with details of the allegations and all of the evidence that the employer intends to consider at the hearing.
  3. Guarantee there are at least 48 hours between invitation to the hearing and the hearing date to allow them to prepare their case accordingly.
  4. Be clear of the possible outcomes of the hearing, including potential dismissal.
  5. Employees must be aware of their right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or colleague.


Benefits of having Disciplinary procedures in place:


  • Turnover rate - Loyalty increases within the organization due to the presence of fair procedures leading to low turnover rates.
  • High Morale - Overall increase in morale due to clear expectations from employees and employers.
  • Employee Cooperation - Relationships within the workplace will be pleasant and boost teamwork.



Invest in perfecting discipline within the workplace by ensuring that your organization has policies that are up-to-date and compliant with Labor laws. 


Shugulika Africa provides Human resources and Advisory services including the creation of company policies, the provision of disciplinary hearings, and more. Please visit our website for more information on our services