Manager’s script for a disciplinary hearing Last reviewed – April 2012 [Note: If dismissal is a possible outcome of the hearing, you should also read Manager’s checklist for dismissals] Open the hearing Introduce those present to the employee (and their companion if one is present). Explain the meeting is a disciplinary hearing being held under the company’s disciplinary procedure. If the employee is not accompanied, remind the employee that they have that right. If the employee says they now wish to be accompanied, adjourn the hearing whilst the necessary arrangements are made. If the employee declines to be accompanied, ensure a note is made that they were told of the right but declined it. Explain that the purpose of the hearing is to establish whether disciplinary action should be taken under the company's disciplinary procedure. Ask the employee to confirm that they received a letter telling them of the disciplinary hearing. If dismissal is a possible outcome, check that the letter they received warned them of that possibility. Ask the employee if they have had enough time to consider the documents. If they say no, you will need to consider whether you need to adjourn. If you are unsure, seek advice. Check that they have received copies of the documents that the invitation letter said were included. If not, give them copies of what was missing. Give the employee time to consider the documents. If the omitted document was significant ask the employee if they need more time to consider it. If necessary adjourn the hearing. State what the allegation is Explain that you will make the decision and you will conduct the hearing in the following order: Presentation (by the investigating officer if applicable) of the evidence that has been gathered. Employee sets out their case and answers any allegations that have been made. Employee will be given a reasonable opportunity to ask questions, present evidence, call relevant witnesses and raise points about any information provided by company witnesses. Consideration of any mitigating circumstances. Allow time for general questioning and discussion. What can happen? If the facts are not clear and further investigation is necessary, adjourn the hearing until a later time or date. If the employee becomes upset during the hearing, adjourn the hearing temporarily to allow the employee to compose themselves. If the employee continues to be so upset that the hearing cannot continue, reconvene it at a later time or date. The employee disputes something that is in a witness statement and asks for the witness to be brought to the hearing so that they can be challenged on it. Note that employees do not have a right to ‘cross-examine’ witnesses. If the employee has any questions they want to put to a witness, take a note of the questions, adjourn the hearing whilst you put the questions to the witness, then feed the response back to the employee when you reconvene the hearing. However, in very serious cases, where a particular fact is hotly contested, it might be reasonable to allow a person to question a witness but in these circumstances you should first seek advice. Concluding the hearing Sum up. Summarise the main evidence relating to the misconduct and the main points raised by the employee. Ask the employee if they have said all they want to say. Explain that the company will now decide on the appropriate action and let the employee know when they will be informed what this is.
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