Valid reasons for postponing a disciplinary hearing:
- Illness: The chairperson should request a medical certificate as proof of the illness.
- Transport difficulties: The chairperson should determine the validity of the employee’s failure to attend the hearing timeously, as per the scheduled time set down for the hearing, due to transport difficulties encounted by the employee to attend scheduled time of hearing.
- A family emergency: The chairperson should request sufficient proof of this family emergency, such as a death certificate, or doctor’s certificate.
- Insufficient notice to attend the hearing: An employee must receive notice, in writing, to attend a disciplinary hearing at least 48 hours before the hearing is scheduled.
- The employee’s representative should also receive adequate time to prepare; if sufficient time to prepare was not given, the hearing must be postponed.
- Employee under the influence of drugs or alcohol: If the employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the commencement of the disciplinary hearing, the chairperson can request that a test is administered by the employer to determine whether the employee is in fact under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If this fact is positively identified, the disciplinary hearing is to be postponed and an additional charge relating hereto can be included in the notice to attend a disciplinary hearing.
- An objection to the chairperson: If the chairperson is biased, or if the chairperson has any prior knowledge of the facts of the case, the chairperson should recuse himself/herself and the hearing is to be postponed.
What happens after a postponement?
Once a hearing is postponed, the employer has to issue the employee with a new notice at least 48 hours before the next hearing is scheduled.