The Public Services Association strongly believes that the tenets of natural justice must apply in all disciplinary matters and recommends the following practical application:
If an allegation is made against a worker, the employer must carry out an independent investigation. The investigation should thorough and the employees should be notified of the investigation, the name of the investigator and the nature of the allegations that were made. The investigator must keep an open mind and gather evidence whether it appears likely to support the employee’s case or go against it. There may be instances where suspension with pay is necessary for the duration of the investigation but the PSA posits that this should only be in cases where the allegations made are egregious so as to impact of the image and reputation of the organization, the employees’ presence is likely to impede the investigation or there may be potential for harm to the other persons.
If at the end of the investigation, which should be completed in a reasonable timeframe given the nature and extent of the allegations, it is found that there is a warranted disciplinary case to be brought against the employee, the employee should be notified in writing. The employee should be provided with precise terms of the complaint. The employee should be supplied with as much information about the alleged misconduct as possible. Accordingly, copies of any written statements taken in the matter, even those containing adverse comments, should be provided.
A disciplinary tribunal should be held at a time and venue which is communicated to the employee far in advance of the meeting. The employee should be allowed representation and given a fair opportunity to set out his case and answer the allegations made out against him/her. The employee should be permitted to outline any mitigating factors or special circumstances which should be taken into consideration during deliberations
The disciplinary tribunal should engage in objective deliberation and derive a conclusion that is free from bias. The employee should be notified in writing of the decision and the reasons for the same.
Chapter VIII of the Public Service Commission Regulations Chapter 1:01 details the disciplinary process as it relates to the civil service. State enterprises, statutory bodies, and some private institutions may have a collective agreement that outlines the disciplinary procedure. These procedures must comply with the rules of natural justice as outlined above.
If you encounter disciplinary challenges at work, the PSA will be at your side throughout this ordeal and staunchly defend you expertly and fearlessly.
If you are in a situation where disciplinary action has been initiated against you, please contact your union representative, send us a message using our online forms, email us at email@example.com or call the PSA at 226-5059.