Employee on holiday and you arrange a disciplinary??
So you discover your employee has allegedly commited theft against the Company? And that employee is currently at the start of 2 weeks annual leave but you want to get this wrapped up quickly to spread the word that theft is not acceptable!
Do you invite the employee to the hearing whilst they are on holiday? No! Even if you know they are not going anywhere and are just sunbathing in their back garden? Absolutely no!
Recently IKEA made a simple mistake by inviting an employee to an investigation and then disciplinary whilst the employee was on holiday. Which cost the Company over £23,000 in compensation.
Due to the employee not being able to attend the investigation or disciplinary hearing (as they were on holiday) they were not able to put their side of the story across and then this wasn't taken into account when the decision was made. He was dismissed over a 97p milkshake and ended up costing the Company £23,000.
It was also the culture for employees to take the a free drink, but this poor chap had been singled out and made an example of.
What to do in future?
- Ensure the employee is not on holiday when arranging the disciplinary proceedings.
- If an employee takes something, do not assume it was theft. Check your culture first.
- If you discover it is in the culture and you were not aware, then you need to address with every member of staff, either by staff bulletin or individual letters stating that it is not acceptable.