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HR tip: How long should disciplinary warnings last for?

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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Question:

"For how long should disciplinary warnings last?"

HR tip:

Anything less than a final warning ordinarily should last for no longer than six months. Usually final warnings last for 12 months but you are entitled to have them last longer if the offence so warrants. For example, if someone made a serious threat against another employee or sexually harassed someone you might be entitled to dismiss, but would consider applying a lesser sanction, in view of long service, normally good behaviour and a sincere apology. If it were to happen again at any time you really should consider dismissal, therefore you might give a permanent final warning. Whatever the length of validity of the warning, be consistent and make sure to tell the employee in writing.

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