It’s Better to be Safe than Sorry

Disciplinary Process

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06-04-2010

SAQCC Gas Disciplinary Procedure (Rev 6)

 

1. SCOPE

This SAQCC Gas Disciplinary Procedure applies to its Employees and all Registered Gas Practitioners.

2. POLICY STATEMENT

The Disciplinary Procedure is essential for the efficient and effective running of SAQCC Gas’s operations. The safety and fair treatment of all Employees and Gas Practitioners is the responsibly for the SAQCC Gas Management.

This Disciplinary Procedure should be made known to all Employees and Gas Practioners and properly applied by Management.

Note any reference to male gender shall not exclude female gender.

 

3. PURPOSE

To establish a standard procedure for the handling of Employee and Gas Practitioner misconduct/criminal conduct.

4. OBJECTIVE

4.1 The primary objective of the Disciplinary Procedure is to initiate corrective action where work performance is unsatisfactory, or the behavior of an Employee or Gas Practitioner is unacceptable. Refer to the appropriate SAQCC Gas Code of Conduct

4.2 To ensure that all Employees and Gas Practitioners are fairly treated by the SAQCC Gas and that, should a dispute arise the necessary documentary evidence is prepared and is available to justify any necessary action.

4.3 The procedure should respect all the individuals’ rights in such matters:

4.3.1 That he has had the opportunity to state his case and to enlist any support he might wish in doing so; and

4.3.2 That all the circumstances have been fully and objectively considered before a decision is reached.

4.4 Disciplinary action must be fair, prompt, firm and consistent.

All written warnings should be recorded on the form provided.

5. APPLICATION OF THE DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

The items of this procedure shall apply to all Employees and Gas Practitioners irrespective of race, sex or status.

Employees or Gas Practitioners who contravene the SAQCC Gas’s Code of Conduct will be dealt with according to the Disciplinary Procedure.

6. DEFINITIONS OF ROLES

6.1 Disciplinary Committee:

The Disciplinary Committee will comprise of four Board Members who represent the four Gas Associations. The Committee will meet at least once a year to review historical disciplinary actions and the performance of the Disciplinary process.

Adhoc Meetings will be called as/when required by the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee.

The roles and functions of persons who participate in disciplinary enquiries are as follows:

6.2 Chairman of the Disciplinary Hearing:

This is a person who has been mandated by the Disciplinary Committee to conduct proceedings. This person must be impartial, knowledgeable and conversant with the Disciplinary Procedures.

6.3 Initiator:

This will be either the individual’s supervisor in the case of an employee or in the case of a transgression by a Gas Practitioner the appropriate Association’s Representative/s.

The function of the Initiator is to lead the case against the individual whose conduct/poor performance is alleged.

6.4 Defendant:

The individual who is alleged to have contravened the SAQCC Gas’s Code of Conduct.

6.5 Witnesses:

Person/s who have witnessed the contravention or who can lead evidence relevant to the case.

6.6 Employee/Gas Practitioner Representative

The Employee Representative is normally another employee, selected by the individual to represent him falling under labour law, in the case of the Gas Practitioner, legal representation is allowed as it will fall under civil/criminal law

6.7 Department Of Labour (DoL)

The DoL will not participate in the Disciplinary Hearing but any appeal to the outcome of a Disciplinary Hearing should be addressed to the DoL within 30 calendar days of the finding of the Disciplinary Hearing.

7. PROCEDURE

7.1 The initiator will decide whether a contravention has taken place and will investigate the circumstances prior to initiating action.

In the case of an SAQCC Employee, if this alleged offence is not considered to be so serious as to be recognised in law as being sufficient for dismissal or is not a further offence after a final warning exists on the employees record a warning may be issued by the initiator. The Disciplinary Committee shall be timeously informed

For Gas Practitioners, the responsible Association will conduct an investigation into the alleged transgressions. Based upon the findings of the investigation any breach of the Code of Conduct: Grounds for disciplinary action, the Association is empowered to issue Verbal and Written warnings and to copy the SAQCC accordingly. In the case of the Gas Practitioner being an employee of a Company the Employer will also be informed.

Should the alleged transgressions be of a Serious/Ongoing nature, the Initiator shall inform the SAQCC Disciplinary Committee who will then hold a full Disciplinary Hearing.

7.1.1 In the case of offence against the Code of Conduct the Employee will have disciplinary action taken against him. A first and final warning only will be permitted. A written warning will be given when attempts at correction by counseling or training have failed, or where the breach of behavioral norms or unsatisfactory performance is considered so serious that a verbal explanation or informal reprimand would not be adequate.

In the case of offence against the Code of Conduct the Gas Practitioner will have disciplinary action taken against him. A First and Final written warning only will be permitted. A written warning will be given when attempts at correction by counseling or training have failed, or where the breach of behavioral norms or unsatisfactory performance is considered so serious that a verbal explanation or informal reprimand would not be adequate.

7.1.2 The warning must be signed by the Employee/Gas Practitioner being disciplined acknowledging receipt only. Should the Employee/Gas Practitioner refuse to sign the warning two witnesses may testify to this effect and sign the warning themselves.

7.1.3 Should an Employee or Gas Practitioner commit more than one offence on a single occasion or receive more than two written warnings for offences of a similar nature within a five month period, In the case of an Employee he could be dismissed after a Disciplinary Hearing has been held depending on the severity of the offence or in the case of the Gas Practitioner have his registration removed.

7.1.4 All written warnings will be signed by all parties concerned and a copy supplied to the SAQCC Disciplinary Committee and in the case of the Gas Practitioner a copy shall also be sent to the DoL.

7.2 Should the alleged offence be of a serious nature where guilt could lead to dismissal in the case of an Employee or loss of registration in the case of a Gas Practitioner then a formal Disciplinary Hearing shall be constituted. In this case the circumstances should be thoroughly investigated.

7.3 In the case of the employee, Suspension may be applied to the defendant pending investigation of the circumstances where his presence might prejudice the case being investigated. Such suspension shall be paid with full benefits and must be recorded on the notice to appear at a Disciplinary Hearing. With Gas Practitioners the Registration may be removed by the SAQCC on instruction from the DoL.

7.4 Notice of Inquiry

For a dismissal/Loss of Registration to be procedurally fair, amongst other things, the individual:

– must be informed of the allegations (charges) against him.

– the language of the allegations must be clear and understandable.

– must be given at least five working days to prepare for the Hearing.

– must be informed of his rights in writing, usually on the ‘Notice to appear at a

Disciplinary Hearing’.

For this reason it is advisable to issue the individual with a “Notice to attend Disciplinary Hearing” letter, refer attachments for Gas Practitioners and Employees.

The Chairman must be approved in terms of his ‘Impartiality’ prior to the commencement of proceedings and have this acceptance recorded.

If an Employee/Gas Practitioner fails to attend a Disciplinary Hearing after being instructed to do so, the inquiry may be conducted in his absence. It is however necessary to establish the reasons for his absence before proceeding, preferably set a second date and notify him accordingly.

If an Employee on suspension from work fails to attend an inquiry after being instructed to do so, this may constitute a further transgression.

A second date for the inquiry should be set and additional charges, namely absence from work on the day in question and failure to obey a legitimate instruction may be included with the original charges. Again, however, it is necessary to establish the reasons for the Employee’s absence before raising these additional charges.

7.5 FRAMING THE CHARGES

When framing charges the following should be considered:

Avoid using language that is legalistic and confusing.

Only the charge(s) brought against the individual may be used in deciding the finding (verdict)

More than one charge brought against the individual at one time arising out of an incident. One should, however, concentrate on the more serious transgression(s) in the course of the Inquiry and list them first

The charge must begin with a specific statement and may be followed by specific detail. This should inform the individual of the exact nature of the allegations brought against him. The general statement should ideally flow from the SAQCC Gas’s rules and regulations.
8. DISCIPLINARY ACTION AFTER INQUIRY

The Employee or Gas Practitioner to be dismissed/termination of Registration will be given the reasons for his/her dismissal/Termination of Registration after the hearing, usually in the form of minutes.

9. APPEAL

Employees

A procedural requirement of fairness determined by the LRA 66 of 1995 is that an individual has the right of appeal against disciplinary action. This appeal must be lodged with the CCMA.

When an individual appeals against disciplinary action, the body chosen will notify the SAQCC Gas at its Registered Offices.

A SAQCC Gas Representative/s will then represent the SAQCC Gas in this appeal.

Gas Practitioners

An individual has the right of appeal against disciplinary action. This appeal must be lodged with the DoL.

When an individual appeals against disciplinary action, the DoL will notify the SAQCC Gas at its Registered Offices.

A SAQCC Gas Representative/s will then represent the SAQCC Gas in this appeal.

South African Qualification and Certification Committee-Gas (SAQCC-Gas)

DISCIPLINARY WARNING

Date: ………………….

To: …………………………………………………………………………………………

Registered Address: ……………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Gas Practitioner Registration Number: ……………………………….…

In terms of the SAQCC-Gas Code of Conduct and Procedure, you are hereby advised that you have been found to be in breach of the Code of Conduct.

ALLEGED OFFENCE/S: (Detail exact nature of alleged misconduct and include time, date and place):

Warning Issued by: …………………………….… Position: ……………………………

Date: …………………………………….

Gas Practitioner’s Signature of receipt: …………………………………………….

Date received: ………………………….

Note: If the Gas Practitioner refuses to sign, enter below the names (print) of those present when handed to him/her

Witnesses: ………………………………. ………………………………………….

South African Qualification and Certification Committee-Gas (SAQCC-Gas)

GAS PRACTITIONER NOTICE TO ATTEND DISCIPLINARY HEARING

DATE: ………………….

To: …………………………………………………………………………………

 

Registered Address: …………………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………………………………………..

Gas Practitioner Registration Number: ………..……………………………………

TO BE HELD ON: ………………………………… AT: ………………………

VENUE: …………………………………………………………………………………………..

In terms of the SAQCC-Gas Code of Conduct and Procedure, you are hereby advised that a DISCIPLINARY HEARING will be held on the above date, at the above venue at which you have to present yourself.

ALLEGED OFFENCE/S: ( Detail exact nature of alleged misconduct and include time, date and place):

SIGNED: ………………………………….. POSITION: ………………………………………….

PRINT NAME: …………………………………………………………………………………………..

I, ……………………………………………………. HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THIS NOTIFICATION TO ATTEND A DISCIPLINARY HEARING AS WELL AS THE ANNEXURE HERETO SETTING OUT MY RIGHTS AS WELL AS THE PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED.

…………………………………………… ………………………………………….

SIGNATURE DATE

Annexure

1. PRACTITIONER’S RIGHTS AND EXPLANATION OF THE PROCEDURE

1.1 You are required to inform the SAQCC-Gas in writing of the names of your representative and your witness at least 5 days before the hearing commences.

1.2 You have the right to be accompanied and / or represented by an available colleague / representative of your choice at this Disciplinary Hearing. See point 1.1 above.

1.3 You have the right to submit any written statements you wish.

1.4 You have the right to call any witnesses you may require. It is your responsibility to arrange for your witnesses to be available at the time of hearing. See point 1.1 above.

1.5 You are entitled to have an interpreter if you do not understand English and if you timeously request such an interpreter. You are requested to advise the SAQCC-Gas, in writing, at least 24 (twenty-four) hours before the hearing commences if you require an interpreter and what language.

1.6 You are entitled to the opportunity to confer with your representative at reasonable times to prepare for the disciplinary hearing. You may request to confer with your representative during the hearing provided such request is made for a good reason.

1.7 You are entitled to personally, or through your representative, question the complainant and any witnesses that he/she may call.

1.8 You are entitled to furnish evidence and to argue on the question of whether the misconduct occurred.

1.9 You are entitled to furnish evidence and to argue in mitigation before disciplinary action is taken against you.

1.10 You are entitled to adequate time to prepare for this hearing.

1.11 If disciplinary action is taken against you and you are dissatisfied with the action, you may appeal to the Department of Labour.

1.12 Note carefully that such dispute referral must be made within 30 calendar days after you have been advised of the disciplinary action against you, should you decide to refer the matter to an external person.

1.13 Note carefully that an appeal must be lodged as per the SAQCC-Gas’s Code of Conduct and Procedure, should you decide to lodge an external appeal.

Should you not be able to attend this hearing you are requested to advise the SAQCC-Gas in writing, at least 5 days prior to the hearing, in order that an alternative date and time may be set, if your request for a postponement has merit.

Should you fail to attend the hearing in the absence of an agreed postponement the hearing may be held in your absence.

Please note carefully the following outline of the procedure to be followed:

4.1 You will be asked to plead to the allegations against you.

4.2 Evidence of the complainant and his/her witnesses will be heard one by one.

4.3 You and/or your representative will be allowed to cross-examine each of them in turn.

4.4 After all evidence against you have been heard you will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations against you.

4.5 Cross-examination by complainant will be allowed.

4.6 You may call your witnesses one by one. These witnesses may be cross-examined in turn by the complainant.

4.7 Chairman may ask questions for clarification.

4.8 Chairman will adjourn hearing to consider evidence to determine whether you are guilty or not guilty of the misconduct complained of.

4.9 You will be advised of decision whether guilty or not guilty.

4.10 If found guilty, you will be allowed to put forward mitigation.

4.11 Chairman will consider appropriate action after hearing mitigation and advise you accordingly.

I, ……………………………….. , HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE RECEIVED, READ AND UNDERSTOOD THE CONTENTS OF THIS ANNEXURE (CONSISTING OF 2 PAGES) AND CONFIRM THAT I HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF MY RIGHTS AS SET OUT HEREIN.

………………………………………. ………………………………………….

SIGNATURE DATE

South African Qualification and Certification Committee-Gas (SAQCC-Gas)

EMPLOYEE NOTICE TO ATTEND DISCIPLINARY HEARING

DATE: ………………….

To: …………………………………………………………………………………

 

Registered Address: …………………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………………………………………..

Gas Installer Registration Number: ………..……………………………………

TO BE HELD ON: ………………………………… AT: ………………………

VENUE: …………………………………………………………………………………………..

In terms of the SAQCC-Gas Code of Conduct and Procedure, you are hereby advised that a DISCIPLINARY HEARING will be held on the above date, at the above venue at which you have to present yourself.

ALLEGED OFFENCE/S: ( Detail exact nature of alleged misconduct and include time, date and place):

SIGNED: ………………………………….. POSITION: ………………………………………….

PRINT NAME: …………………………………………………………………………………………..

I, ……………………………………………………. HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THIS NOTIFICATION TO ATTEND A DISCIPLINARY HEARING AS WELL AS THE ANNEXURE HERETO SETTING OUT MY RIGHTS AS WELL AS THE PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED.

…………………………………………… ………………………………………….

SIGNATURE DATE

Annexure

1. EMPLOYEE’S RIGHTS AND EXPLANATION OF THE PROCEDURE

1.1 You are required to inform the SAQCC-Gas in writing of the names of your representative and your witness at least 5 days before the hearing commences.

1.2 You have the right to be accompanied and / or represented by an available colleague / representative of your choice at this Disciplinary Hearing. See point 1.1 above.

1.3 You have the right to submit any written statements you wish.

1.4 You have the right to call any witnesses you may require. It is your responsibility to arrange for your witnesses to be available at the time of hearing. See point 1.1 above.

1.5 You are entitled to have an interpreter if you do not understand English and if you timeously request such an interpreter. You are requested to advise the SAQCC-Gas, in writing, at least 24 (twenty-four) hours before the hearing commences if you require an interpreter and what language.

1.6 You are entitled to the opportunity to confer with your representative at reasonable times to prepare for the disciplinary hearing. You may request to confer with your representative during the hearing provided such request is made for a good reason.

1.7 You are entitled to personally, or through your representative, question the complainant and any witnesses that he/she may call.

1.8 You are entitled to furnish evidence and to argue on the question of whether the misconduct occurred.

1.9 You are entitled to furnish evidence and to argue in mitigation before disciplinary action is taken against you.

1.10 You are entitled to adequate time to prepare for this hearing.

1.11 If disciplinary action is taken against you and you are dissatisfied with the action, you may appeal to the CCMA.

1.12 Note carefully that such dispute referral must be made within 30 calendar days after you have been advised of the disciplinary action against you, should you decide to refer the matter to an external person.

1.13 Note carefully that an appeal must be lodged as per the SAQCC-Gas’s Code of Conduct and Procedure, should you decide to lodge an external appeal.

Should you not be able to attend this hearing you are requested to advise the SAQCC-Gas in writing, at least 5 days prior to the hearing, in order that an alternative date and time may be set, if your request for a postponement has merit.

Should you fail to attend the hearing in the absence of an agreed postponement the hearing may be held in your absence.

Please note carefully the following outline of the procedure to be followed:

4.1 You will be asked to plead to the allegations against you.

4.2 Evidence of the complainant and his/her witnesses will be heard one by one.

4.3 You and/or your representative will be allowed to cross-examine each of them in turn.

4.4 After all evidence against you have been heard you will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations against you.

4.5 Cross-examination by complainant will be allowed.

4.6 You may call your witnesses one by one. These witnesses may be cross-examined in turn by the complainant.

4.7 Chairman may ask questions for clarification.

4.8 Chairman will adjourn hearing to consider evidence to determine whether you are guilty or not guilty of the misconduct complained of.

4.9 You will be advised of decision whether guilty or not guilty.

4.10 If found guilty, you will be allowed to put forward mitigation.

4.11 Chairman will consider appropriate action after hearing mitigation and advise you accordingly.

I, ……………………………….. , HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I HAVE RECEIVED, READ AND UNDERSTOOD THE CONTENTS OF THIS ANNEXURE (CONSISTING OF 2 PAGES) AND CONFIRM THAT I HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF MY RIGHTS AS SET OUT HEREIN.

……………………………………. …………………………………………. SIGNATURE DATE