Disciplinary meeting

Disciplinary action for misconduct should follow a fair process. If it doesn’t the employee may have a personal grievance claim.


Occasionally employers need to address instances of inappropriate employee behavior or misconduct.  If this happens you may be given a letter inviting you to attend a disciplinary meeting.

A Disciplinary Meeting is part of a Disciplinary Process:

The disciplinary meeting is an opportunity for you to defend yourself against accusations of misconduct. It allows you to present your point of view on what happened and engage in the investigation into the events, ensuring a fair process.

You should see a disciplinary meeting as an important chance to explain your version of events.

Disciplinary Meeting

Your rights regarding disciplinary meetings:
The disciplinary meeting is an opportunity for you to shed light on the alleged incident, presenting your side of the story and effectively safeguarding yourself against the allegations raised. It should serve as an unbiased inquiry initiated by your employer, allowing you to explain events, and ensuring that your perspective is heard and considered. This meeting holds immense importance in enabling you to defend yourself against any suggested misconduct, ensuring fairness and a chance to clear your name.

If you want representation for your disciplinary meeting Our Employment Advocates are Qualified and Experienced Experts in NZ Employment Law

A disciplinary meeting is a formal investigation into employee conduct. These meetings should not be taken lightly and may result in dismissal.

Always bring an employment advocate with you to your disciplinary meeting. They will provide invaluable support and guidance, ensuring you steer clear of any pitfalls.

Your employment advocate will help you prepare beforehand and have a defense to the accusations as well as ensuring the disciplinary meeting proceeds fairly and with proper consideration of your rights.  Your employment advocate will also advise you on the possibilities of an exit package or your rights to raise a personal grievance after the disciplinary meeting. They will also be able to advise on solutions to problems that gave rise to the disciplinary meeting.

Your employment advocate can guide you through the disciplinary meeting and speak on your behalf as appropriate. 

We can advise you on your options before, during, and after the disciplinary meeting.

The Disciplinary Process:
You should be told in advance, in writing, if any meeting is going to be a disciplinary meeting. The letter should state what the meeting is about and how serious the outcome could be, so you can prepare and get support.  You have the right to refuse to go ahead with the meeting until you have a support person. If your support person needs time to prepare, the meeting must be rescheduled.

A disciplinary meeting can be a chance to turn things around in your favour, 
There can sometimes be an opportunity to Negotiate An Exit from what has become an unhappy situation for both the Employer and the Employee.

Disciplinary meetings often open up the way to other employment solutions. Your employment advocate can advise and assist you with these. With an advocate disciplinary meetings will be much easier and less stressful.

With our help, a disciplinary meeting can often lead to a better employer/employee relationship in the long run.

The seriousness of the disciplinary action must reflect the seriousness of your actions: the punishment must fit the crime. Any disciplinary action, such as a warning or dismissal, must be the same action taken against other workers who have done the same thing in the past. You cannot get a harsher punishment than another worker for doing the same thing.

Contact us as soon as you are advised of a disciplinary meeting – we can help.

Never attend a disciplinary or investigation meeting without calling us first.

If you have attended a disciplinary meeting and you are unhappy with the outcome you may be entitled to raise a personal grievance.



Frequently Asked Questions about Disciplinary Meetings

What is a disciplinary meeting at work?

A disciplinary meeting is an opportunity for you to explain your version of the events that have led to an investigation of misconduct at work.  There should be a good reason for a disciplinary meeting and the process of the disciplinary action should follow what is outlined in your employment agreement or your workplace’s policies.

What happens at a disciplinary meeting?

Before the meeting, your employer should give you a letter explaining what the disciplinary meeting is for. If the outcome of the disciplinary meeting could be that you lose your job it should say that in the letter. You should have time to find an employment lawyer or employment advocate to get legal advice, and you should be aware that you can bring a support person. At the meeting, you will be given an opportunity to explain your side of the story. Your support person, employment lawyer or employment advocate can speak on your behalf.  You will be able to provide evidence to support your side of the story.  Your employer should carefully consider your responses before making any decision. The outcome should not be pre-decided. Click here for more info on what to expect at a disciplinary meeting.

What to say at a disciplinary hearing

A disciplinary meeting or hearing is your opportunity to put your side of the story forward.  You should be told before the meeting what the problem your employer wishes to discuss is. It’s a good idea to prepare your responses in writing. You can ask your support person to speak for you. If you have any questions about what you are accused of doing you can ask them. You can ask to see the evidence or witness statements. You can provide your own evidence or witness statements to show your side of the story. Remain polite and calm.

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