Understanding The Employment Act 1955 & Handling Workplace Discipline

In the field of Industrial Relations developing and maintaining good employer-employee relations is of paramount importance. If this can be done, the twin objectives of increasing Productivity and high Quality will be achieved. Discipline is also an essential requirement if the targets and objectives of an organization are to be achieved. Management is therefore expected to be competent in dealing with the misconduct of their employees. Furthermore, they are required by law to give delinquent employees a fair hearing by conducting a fair and proper domestic inquiry.

Course Objectives: 
  • understand concept of misconduct in industrial employment before imposing the lawful punishment.
  • recognize rights of employers and employees when handling an alleged misconduct.
  • conduct step-by-step procedures on how to conduct a disciplinary procedure from the statutory point of view.
  • understand pitfalls to avoid in conducting the domestic inquiry.
  • master the art and practical aspects in conducting a fair and proper domestic inquiry enunciated by the industrial court.
  • understand difference between the lawful and unlawful punishments.
  • learn factors to consider when imposing punishments.
  • realize legal remedies available to aggrieved parties.
  • counseling in domestic inquiry


Target Audience: 
Project Manager
Site Supervisor
Course Methodology: 
  • Interactive approach employing :
  • Mini - lectures, 
  • group discussions,
  • Case study
Course Outlines: 

What entails a Misconduct 

  • What is misconduct?
  • Major and minor misconducts
  • Show cause letters
  • Law of condonation
  • Domestic Inquiry procedures


  • Section 15(2) & Section 60F
  • Show Cause Inquiry 

Labour Court – Section 69 of the Employment Act 1955 

  • Jurisdiction of the Labour Court
  • General procedures
  • Adducing of evidence
  • Examining witnesses
  • Decisions of the Court
  • Appeal Procedures
  • Legal Basis for Disciplinary Actions / Termination.
  • Law: How I.R. System is shaped and Developed – including organization’s Code of Conduct.
  • Rights of Labour and Rights of Management

Understanding Employee Discipline, Counseling, Complaints and Grievances

  • Human Behaviour in an organization.
  • Importance of Employee Communication.
  • Who is responsible for discipline?
  • Role we play.

The Process I: Coaching and Counseling Managing Complaints

  • Importance of Employee Orientation 
  • Coaching and Counseling.
  • Correcting performance problems
  • Understanding Employee Complaints
  • Causes and Sources of Complaints
  • Types of complaints and how to deal with them
  • Reducing complaints in an organization
  • Dealing with different types of problem employees and deviants
  • Practice exercise on common behavioral problems

The Process II: Instiling Discipline, Undertaking Disciplinary Actions

  • Objective and Purpose of Employee Discipline.
  • Diagnosing Disciplinary problems.
  • Models of Disciplinary systems.
  • Essentials of effective Industrial Discipline.
  • Effective Discipline: Instilling Employee Discipline.
  • Discipline process in a unionized and a non-unionized context.
  • Practice Exercise on common disciplinary concerns.
  • A termination case.

The Process III: Grievance Handling, Dispute Settlement

  • Define and differentiate key terminologies, discipline, counseling, complaints and grievance.
  • Causes and sources of grievance.
  • Minimizing grievance.
  • Criteria for evaluating grievance.
  • Investigating grievances.
  • Grievance handling: Alternative methods in a non-unionized setting.
  • Understanding Unions.

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