10 Steps to Follow in the Disciplinary Action Process

It’s necessary to foster high morale that makes for self-discipline in every employee and group. and to gain willing acceptance of the rules, regulations, standards, and procedures.

employee misconduct and disciplinary procedure
employee misconduct and disciplinary procedure

There is no rigid or specific procedure for taking disciplinary action.

What are the Steps to Follow in Procedure for Taking Disciplinary Action?

The disciplinary procedure followed in industries usually consists of the following steps:

1. Preliminary Investigation

A preliminary investigation is held just to find out whether a prima facie case or misconduct exists or not.

Only when a prima facie case of misconduct exists, the management should proceed further for taking disciplinary action.

Otherwise, the case can be dropped.

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2. Put the Problem in Perspective

There is a wide range of problems that might require disciplinary action.

Analysis of decision problem can be done on the basis of the following factors:

  1. How severe is the problem?
  2. Duration of the problem?
  3. Frequency and nature of the problem.
  4. Employees’ work history.
  5. Extenuating factors related to the problem.
  6. History of the organization discipline practices.
  7. Implications for other employees.
  8. Management baking.

3. Issuing a Charge Sheet

The management should issue a charge sheet to the worker if it is a cause of misconduct.

Charges of misconduct or the case of indiscipline should clearly and precisely stated in the charge sheet.

There should be a separate charge for each allegation. Charges must not relate to any matter which has already been decided upon.

The charge sheet should also for an explanation for the said act of indiscipline.

The employee should be given sufficient time for answering this.

4. Considerations of Explanation

On getting the answer for the letter of charge served, the explanation furnished be considered and if it is satisfactory, no disciplinary action needs to be taken.

On the contrary, when the management is not satisfied with the employee’s explanation there is a need for serving a show-cause notice.

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5. Show Cause Notice

Show cause notice is given to the employee when there is sufficient evidence of employees’ misconduct or serious indiscipline.

This gives the employees another chance to account for his misconduct and rebut the charges made against him.

6. Notice of Enquiry

In a reply to a charge, the worker may admit the charge. In such a case, the employer may award punishment without further inquiry.

But if the worker denies the charge, the employer must hold the inquiry by first serving him a notice of inquiry indicating clearly the name of the enquiring officer, time, date, and place of inquiry, etc.

7. Conduct the Enquiry

On a predecided date and time, a full-fledged inquiry must be held.

According to the principle of natural justice, the employee concerned must be given an opportunity of being heard.

The inquiry officer is a judge. hence, he must be impartial and qualified to act in that capacity. Employees charges should be explained with both side witnesses.

8. Recording of Findings

When the process of inquiry is over, the findings of the same are recorded.

9. Making a Final Decision and Awarding Punishment

At the conclusion of the inquiry proceedings, the inquiry officer should decide as to whether the charges made are valid or not along with reasons for his findings.

steps to follow in the disciplinary action process
steps to follow in the disciplinary action process

Disciplinary actions are taken when the misconduct of the employee is proved.

While awarding punishment, the employee’s previous record, precedents, effects of disciplinary action another employee, etc, have to be considered.

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When the employee feels that the inquiry conducted was not proper and the action taken is unjustified, the employee must be given a chance to hear an appeal.

The letter of the ward should contain a reference to the charge sheet and findings of the inquiry. It should also contain the date for which the punishment is to be effective.

Depending on the gravity of the misconduct, management may initiate the following punitive actions against the employee who is found guilty:

  • Dismissal.
  • Discharge.
  • Discharge simpliciter.
  • Suspension.
  • Demotion to an ower grade.
  • Withholding of increments.
  • Fine or.
  • Warning or censure.

Of these, suspension, suspension, discharge, or dismissal are major punishment.

The suspension means prohibiting an employee from attending work, preventing him from discharging the duties assigned to him, and withholding the wages payable to him.

The suspension does not imply terminations of services of an employee, it only means denial f work to him. When the act of misconduct of an employee is considered serious, he is suspended (called procedural suspension) and an inquiry is ordered to find out whether he is really guilty or not.

10. Follow Up

After taking the disciplinary action, a proper follow-up action has to be taken and the consequences of the implementation of disciplinary action should be noted and taken care of.

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