A warning letter is useful to confirm and address a performance or conduct issue with an employee. Such performance issues may include, for example:
You usually issue a warning letter to the employee after meeting with them to discuss the problem. Following this process can help resolve issues before the situation becomes worse.
There is no legal requirement to provide formal written warnings or a certain number of warnings. However, to determine whether an employee was unfairly dismissed, the Labor Court will consider if the employee was:
Theoretically a verbal warning in presence of a supporting person is allowed, but it is not recommendable. Because in court it has less evidential value for receiving and the observance of formal requirements (censure and warning function).
Please note that warnings may not be appropriate in some cases of serious misconduct. The immediate termination of employment may be necessary in such circumstances.
The warning shall be effective for a period of not exceeding one year from the date the employee commits the offense.
Following is our suggested proceeding for the formal warning of an employee:
Step 1: define and consider the problem
Firstly, identify the performance or conduct issue. Think about the seriousness and duration of the problem and what kind of actions you want to take to address it.
If applicable, review policy or contract article applicable to issue (e.g. Sick Leave; Leave of Absence; Corrective Action/Discipline/Dismissal.)
Step 2: meet the employee
The following meeting with the employee is important to:
It is best practice to let the employee know the purpose of the meeting in advance so they can adequately prepare for the meeting.
Always document the details of any performance or conduct meeting held with an employee.
Step 3: prepare the letter of warning
The warning letter should include:
Step 4: provide the employee with the warning letter
The warning letter should be provided via post or personally.
Ensure that the employee gets the warning letter and if handed over personally, document the details of providing the letter (the time, the date, who was there etc.).
Ask the employee to sign a copy of the letter and return it to you for your records (please note that employees are not required by law to sign a copy of the letter) and keep a copy of the letter for your records.
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