One of the key players in a disciplinary hearing is the chairperson, who is not only responsible for keeping the hearing in good order and conducting the hearing in an orderly manner free of emotional and disruptive behavior or language, but also for applying his mind in a fair an unbiased manner to the evidence led by both parties
Conduct of the Chairperson:
As per The South African Labour Guide a fair procedure provides that the chairperson of a disciplinary hearing should (if possible):
The final word:
The chairperson should be given a mandate by the employer, preferable via the Disciplinary Code, as to whether he is required to make a decision (own emphasis) regarding a sanction, or whether he is required to make only a recommendation (own emphasis).
In a Nutshell: The chairperson must be objective and (as far as possible) have no knowledge regarding the case prior to the hearing. It is not the chairperson’s duty to prove if the accused employee is guilty or not, but to decide based on the evidence.
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