When an employee is for example suspected of poor performance, it isn’t enough to have an informal discussion with him about the problem, and then dismiss him the next week if performance has not improved substantially as the Labour Relations Act sets down specific actions that you need to take before you can even think about dismissing someone. You must be able to prove that you have given the employee:

  • Evaluation
  • Counselling
  • Training
  • Supervision

If the poor performance continues after this, you must be able to prove that you have investigated the alleged poor performance and that there is no other way of fixing the problem before disciplinary action is considered.

Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) stipulates that you must allow the employee to state his/her case in response to the allegations brought against him/her. In other words, he/she must be given the right to:

  • Sufficient time to prepare for the enquiry
  • Access to information and documentation required to prepare
  • Have a representative
  • Have an interpreter
  • Submit evidence and documents
  • Call witnesses,
  • Testify
  • Submit evidence of mitigation circumstances
  • Cross-examine evidence brought against him, and
  • An unbiased chairperson