We have caught two employees slacking at work. Can we run the disciplinary hearings together as one and must we give them the same penalty, assuming both are found guilty? 

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 1 November 2016
Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox

If the employees agree to have the disciplinary processes run together, it is permissible to run the investigation and disciplinary hearing together for convenience. However, the employees should be informed that they are entitled to have the proceedings heard separately if they choose, as a matter of confidentiality. If the employees agree to have the disciplinary hearings heard together, they should be interviewed by the investigator separately and their different explanations/mitigating factors for their behaviour should be taken into account.

Generally, employers should treat employees equally in terms of imposing sanctions – i.e. one employee should not be faced with a more severe sanction for the same conduct than another employee. Therefore, one might expect that in this situation, the employees would face the same sanction if found guilty. However, the decision maker should consider all the evidence and mitigating factors when imposing the sanction on each employee. The employees should be individually notified of the sanction and their entitlement to appeal. 

Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 01/11/2016
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Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox

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