If the response is unsatisfactory, the accused can be suspended up to a maximum of two weeks with half wages. However, the employer must pay back the remaining wages to the employee if he is later found to be not guilty.
The employee should respond within the stipulated time. If the explanation is acceptable, no punishment will be imposed. However, if it’s not acceptable or unclear, a Notice of Domestic Inquiry may be issued.
The letter is issued to the accused employee to call for an explanation for the alleged misconduct and to answer the question on why disciplinary action should not be taken, to be responded to within the set time frame. The letter should be drafted in a language that can be easily understood and must confidential. It is to be personally delivered to the employee.
All employees are expected to meet performance standards and behave appropriately in the workplace. Disciplinary or corrective action is a process of communicating with the employee to improve unacceptable behavior or performance. You may take disciplinary action when other methods such as coaching and performance appraisal have not been successful. In cases of serious misconduct, you may choose to proceed straight to disciplinary action. When deciding what disciplinary action to take, keep in mind that discipline is supposed to be constructive. Your goal is to guide the employee to correct performance or behavior, not to punish the employee. As a general rule, your action should be just enough to get the employee's attention. However, you may have to take progressively more serious actions if there is no improvement or if repeat occurrences follow.
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Case Study 1: Benefit of Having Proper Domestic Inquiry
Abu is a very experienced human resource manager. He calm, collected and did not jump to conclusion whenever his employees are misbehaving. He would tries to solve workplace conflict or misbehavior diplomatically. However, not all can be solve diplomatically. Zul is a business executive in Abu's company. He often missing from work, using excuses such as meeting client when he is really just goofing off. He also often harass his underlings, forcing them to do his work because he is senior. At first, Abu tries to deal with Zul like a man, talk things out, however it is ineffective. Several month after that, Abu plays hard ball and gave the first written warning to Zul, in hoping that he would reflect and change, but to no avail. Abu conducted domestic inquiry, having upper management as the panels. In this session, Zul is given a chance to explain himself, reflect and change his deviant behavior. Even after that, Zul still with its old habit. Abu had to terminate him. Zul wanted to fight in court. The court verdict sided with Abu because according to court, Abu had conducted proper process and procedure before terminating Zul. Zul had to pay Ali compensation on top of never getting his job back.
Case Study 2: Impact of Improper Domestic Inquiry
Shah is human resource manager of a large firm. He has money and power, something every man dream of. At the same firm, there is Raj, a business executive who is rumored to be a business manager prior to vacant post that previous manager left. Shah and Raj are not in good terms with other. Shah got his position by mischief, stealing other people's work, finding colleague weaknesses and use it against them when appropriate while Raj step up to the position by honesty and teamwork among colleague. Shah certainly did not want to be in the same rank as Raj. Thus, he strategize a plan to bring Raj down. Ali, Shah loyal henchman stole the money from office safe box hour before Raj overtime and accuse Raj of stealing the money. Shah immediately conduct an inquiry. During inquiry, Shah use blackmail and pressure so that Raj will confess. The 6 hour inquiry took a toll on Raj and he confess to a crime that he never did. Shah quickly terminate him. However, Raj will not go down without a fight. He sued the firm. During investigation, Ali got scared and confess that he set it up under Shah order. The court sentence Shah to jail and order the firm to paid a huge sum of remedy compensation to Raj.
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Case Study 3: Effect of Neglecting Domestic Inquiry
Ahmad is a inexperience human resource manager, who had been promoted to the position upon the sudden death of his former boss. A week after his promotion, he hired Abu to fill his vacant executive position. Abu had a good CGPA from prestigious university. He also has a good communication skills shown during the interview. What could go wrong? Everything goes wrong with Abu. He often come late to work. He submits his work way past deadline. He even sexually harass Fatin, a HR clerk with explicit words and action. Fatin was so terrified that it affected her work. Ahmad think that he must do something before Abu jeopardize the whole office. Ahmad decided to terminate Abu without any oral or written notice. When Abu ask why, he simply reply "You should know". However, as deviant as Abu is, he is not stupid. He hired a lawyer to fight for his so called "unjust termination". During the legal battle, Ahmad told the whole story about Abu's mischief. However, it did not discard the fact that Ahmad did not conduct proper domestic inquiry. Ahmad lost the case and have to pay remedies to Abu.