Employers have the ability to apply disciplinary sanctions.
Under Italian legislation, no disciplinary sanction can be imposed on an employee without following a full disciplinary procedure.
For a disciplinary procedure to be considered fair, the employee must be advised of the allegations of misconduct in writing and will have 5 days to state their case. What many people tend to ignore is that this written warning for misconduct must meet specific requirements to lead to a disciplinary sanction.
In these cases, we wouldn’t recommend a DIY approach or turning to professionals who lack the legal expertise to deal with these issues.
The purpose of a written warning is not so much to sanction an employee but to inform them of the complaints against them; therefore, it does not necessarily result in a disciplinary procedure being started.
Labour lawyers play a crucial role when an employee wants to challenge a disciplinary action, as they draft a detailed report and make sure that both parties have an opportunity to be heard. In this way, both parties have the chance to explain their position and settle the dispute before it escalates.
An employer cannot determine the severity of a disciplinary sanction at their discretion. As a matter of fact, every collective labour agreement provides a list of sanctions in order of severity. The disciplinary sanction must be proportional to the fault committed. In order to avoid future problems, turning to a lawyer specialising in labour law is key.
Losing a Court case against an employee who committed misconduct because you did not follow the disciplinary procedure correctly or imposed an unfair or disproportionate disciplinary sanction, is a mistake you cannot afford!
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