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Help for small firms

Managing discipline - Investigation to possible dismissal: A guide

Managing discipline - Useful tools: Real-life situation two

The employee who deals with all invoices to customers has missed off the same item on all of the bills for two months. Which means, you have been under-charging.

This came to light by chance. You have talked to the employee about the error, told them that accuracy is essential and explained the repercussions - income against what you budgeted to get in is down. Also, explaining to customers that you have been charging the wrong price - and that it will have to go up in future - could cost the business customers.

The employee is taking a cavalier attitude to a very serious situation. He admits he has been trained, but can't explain why he made the blunder.

What do you do next?

The blunder has tipped your firm towards the red and you are worried the employee could do something similar again. Your business might not survive a second dose of reckless accounting.

You decide to investigate the matter more fully and the findings point to a need for a disciplinary meeting.

At the meeting, the employee still cannot adequately explain why he made the mistakes, and, strangely, shows no remorse.

After the meeting, because of the seriousness of the situation facing your business and the employee's manner, you decide to go straight to giving him a final written warning, explaining that if there is a repeat of such carelessness in the next 12 months you will look to dismiss him.

Another factor in your decision is that there is no-one else in the business who you could move into the role.

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