Author Topic: Domestic Inquiry  (Read 2079 times)


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Domestic Inquiry
« on: October 28, 2018, 12:04:13 AM »
At this stage, the employer should start with the allegation of the misconduct and provide valid proof.

The panel should keep a verbatim record of the proceedings, and the chairman must outline the rules covering the conduct of the proceedings and ensure that the DI be held in the presence of the accused.

All witnesses must be taken into account and questioned in the presence of the accused, and documented evidence must be presented and statements during the DI must be recorded and signed. At the end of the DI, the panel must be able to conclude and submit the DI report to the management.

Once the DI date has been set and the employee has been formally notified, the employer should anticipate that the following scenarios may happen on the day of the DI;

1. The employee is absent

In this case, the employer needs to ensure that notice of DI has been sent out. Then another date should be set for the inquiry. Also, the employee should be informed that the DI will proceed on the postponed date even if he is absent again.

2. The employee submits a sick certificate

As per the first scenario, the Inquiry should be postponed and a letter should be written stating he should be present on the postponed date unless he is seriously ill.

3. The Employee requests a postponement

If the accused employee is able to provide a reasonable reason for the request, the postponement shall be granted.

The next stage would be on the day of the actual inquiry. The DI comprises several stages. Firstly, the charge is read and explained to the accused and he is asked to make his plea, either guilty or not guilty. It’s important to ensure that the employee understands the charges before he makes a plea.

The inquiry panel or officer should make sure that the plea is unequivocal, without any conditions, and that he understands the consequences of his plea.

If the accused employee pleads not guilty, the presenting officer then calls the company’s witness.

If in any case the accused is not represented by union officials, the accused is allowed to give his evidence and may be guided by the inquiry panel or officer.

He is then cross-examined by the presenting officer, may be given a chance to clarify certain issues and may be then examined by the inquiry panel or officer.

The accused should then be allowed to call his witnesses.

Once all this is done, the panel will adjourn to decide whether the employee is guilty or not. If the employee is found to be guilty, the panel will recommend to the management an appropriate penalty.

There are many possible penalties, be it a written warning, a no-pay suspension not exceeding two weeks, demotion, withholding of a contractual increment or bonus, or dismissal.

The DI must be conducted ethically and the panel must strictly comply with the principle of natural justice and should be seen to act fairly and justly.

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