In our final article on remote working and maintaining high employee performance, we look at the considerations for holding a virtual disciplinary meeting. In essence, the same principles apply to an online disciplinary meeting as to one that is conducted in person. Procedural fairness must be followed together with accommodating any reasonable requests having consideration to the remote/virtual context in which the meeting will take place. To the extent that it is possible, your virtual process should replicate a face-to-face meeting. Below are our top 10 tips to help make sure your meeting is set for success:
  1. Ensure calendar invitations are sent that includes the link for the video conferencing platform being used such as Zoom, Teams or Google Meet, etc.
  2. The meeting invitation should inform the employee they may bring a support person with them to the meeting and, where the support person will also be joining via video conference from a separate location, request the support person’s name and email address be provided so you can send the support person the video conferencing details.
  3. If your employee or their support person do not have a computer or access to the internet you will need to agree to a solution for the meeting to progress.
  4. Inform your employee of the details of the employer representatives who will be present at the meeting and what each person’s role will be. You may like to request the other employer representative take notes during the meeting so you can concentrate on conducting the meeting.
  5. Ensure you have all required documentation available you may need to refer to at the meeting such as investigation reports, witness notes, copies of company policies, etc. Provide any relevant documentation your employee will require for the meeting beforehand giving them sufficient time to review it.
  6. To enable the meeting to flow smoothly plan the meeting structure/proceedings in advance and provide these details at the commencement of the meeting.
  7. Check with your employee that they are in a private and confidential space, that there are no other parties present that have not been invited by the business to attend the meeting and confirm that the meeting will not be recorded by any of the parties present.
  8. Give clear guidance as to how the employee can confer privately with their support person during the meeting if they need.
  9. Provide the arrangements for the period during which an adjournment to consider the employee’s response will be managed. You might like to pre-arrange breakout rooms or provide direction that parties end the video call and connect back in at a given time.
  10. Following the meeting and where a warning letter, performance improvement plan or a letter of termination is to be issued, make sure these documents, where sent by email, have been received by the employee. In the case of a termination letter, this should also be sent via registered post to provide official proof of receipt via Australia Post’s signature on delivery and online tracking system.
Procedures and template tools for conducting disciplinary processes are provided in the Business 360 HR Management System. If you need support with a performance management process, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our Employer Advice Line 1300 287 360 or email