You're responsible for training, coaching, counselling, mentoring, and setting a good example. If these approaches fail, progressive disciplinary action may become necessary.

The purpose of discipline is to correct the lapse in conduct. Disciplinary outcomes are confidential and should not be shared in the workplace by the supervisor or manager.

There are no shortcuts in discipline. Take time to fully understand the situation and then seek advice from an HR Specialist.

Not handling disciplinary issues could result in:

  • Perception that the conduct is acceptable
  • Diminished workplace morale and trust
  • A damaged relationship with your employee
  • A grievance being filed that is difficult to defend

You must work with an HR Specialist to determine the right course of action.

Apply Discipline

Discipline is appropriate for culpable misconduct only. Should misconduct be determined and the employee deemed to be at fault, a range of disciplinary options are available to the employer. The purpose of progressive discipline is to correct the employee's present and future behaviour.

The appropriate level of discipline in a given circumstance requires consideration of a number of factors such as years of service or prior disciplinary record. In partnership with an HR Specialist, supervisors should consider these factors when determining the level of discipline required. In cases of long suspensions, demotion or dismissal, an employee relations specialist may assist you.

Types of Discipline

Types of discipline that may be considered include:

  • Letter of Reprimand - A written sanction which goes on the personnel file
  • Suspension - A written sanction which goes on the personnel file and includes a period of suspension without pay from the workplace
  • Termination - Employment is terminated with cause, letter of termination goes on the personnel file

For more information about termination, refer to Policy 23: Termination for Just Cause.

For more information about investigating alleged employee misconduct, visit Investigations of Employee Misconduct.