Tips for Employers in Conducting Disciplinary Hearings Virtually

What should employers take into consideration while conducting online disciplinary hearings?

  1. Obtain the consent of the employee to proceed virtually, and make sure the notification to attend the hearing mentions that the hearing will be conducted online
  2. Ensure the accused employee has a tool (computer) to log in and have an effective hearing.
  3. Ensure the accused employee has sufficient and reliable data in order to avoid inconveniences.
  4. Circulate the attendance sheet during or before the hearing so all participants may append their electronic signatures.
  5. Record the meeting and inform everyone that the meeting is being recorded so that they know that they are being recorded
  6. It is also advised to turn on the camera for identification purposes on who is in attendance or take a photo of everyone at the beginning of the meeting so as to have evidence of all who attended
  7. Reduce the record of the meeting to minutes and fill in the hearing form; Circulate this to all concerned to obtain their digital signature.
  8. Follow all the procedures as per the law in regards to holding the disciplinary hearing and ensure the Chairperson together with his Committee follow the requisite procedure.
  9. Evidence that is documentary in nature can be shared on the screen and emailed to the Chairperson for his/her consideration.
  10. Online disciplinary hearings also cause the production of videos or any other electronic evidence to be simpler. 
  11. The Chairperson can cause everyone to log out or leave the meeting while he or she deliberates the outcome or sanction. Ensure that the employee is the last to leave the meeting so that he or she can see the fairness of the procedure. He or she can also be the first to re-enter the meeting also to show the fairness of the procedure. In all this, ensure the recording of the meeting is still running.
  12. Circulate the outcome to the employee and complainant so that they may acknowledge receipt.

Managing Disciplinary matters at the workplace
The Chairperson’s Checklist