Managing Disciplinary matters at the workplace
Disciplinary Process

What are the offenses for which the employee can be given termination?

This depends on an employer’s policy and code of conduct. However, the offenses listed in the Code of Good Practice that may result in termination of employment are:
Unauthorized absence for more than 5 working days, gross insubordination, gross negligence, gross dishonesty and major breach of trust, gross incompetence, lack of skill that employee claimed to have, causing serious damage or loss to the employer’s property, theft, fraud, abusive behavior, assault, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, other serious breaches of organizational rules, and/or criminal convictions that impact directly the employment relationship.

What is the need for a show-cause letter?

A show-cause letter is one in which the employee’s manager or supervisor issues a letter asking the employee to show cause as to why disciplinary action should not be taken against him/her.

What can the employer do if the employee does not come to the hearing?

If an employee does not appear at the hearing and does not provide a reasonable cause, the disciplinary hearing may proceed in their absence. (Rule 13 (6) of the Code of Good Practice G.N. 42 of 2007)

If an employee is caught red-handed, is there a need for a disciplinary hearing?

There is a need for a disciplinary hearing since the law provides for all terminations to follow proper procedure and for there to be a valid reason.

What is the procedure if an employee admits/confesses to the offense?

If the employee admits to an offense in writing, the employer may opt not to have the entire disciplinary hearing but instead truncate the process after ascertaining in the hearing that the employee still admits to the offense.

Who is allowed to represent an employee in the hearing?

An employee may choose to be represented by a trade union representative (whether from the branch or from the regional office or elsewhere) or by a fellow employee. Unless the company policy stipulates otherwise, outside lawyers or other people are not allowed to represent the employee in a disciplinary hearing (Rule 13(3) of the Code of Good Practice G.N. 42 of 2007)

What are the alternatives to termination?

The employer may issue suspension without pay for up to a month, with the employee’s consent. (Item 5 (2) of the Guidelines for Disciplinary, Incapacity, and Incompatibility policy and procedure in the Schedule of the Code of Good Practice Rules, GN 42 of 2007)

The Law Governing Remuneration in Tanzania