Can External Expert’s Chair Disciplinary Inquiries?
Will employers be able to make use of external experts to chair their disciplinary inquiries if their disciplinary code only makes provision for internal chairpersons?
The answer is YES!
If the employer’s disciplinary code only makes provision for an internal chairperson, such as a manager which would be acceptable to both parties, it is not obligatory and the employer is not bound by it. The code is merely a guideline and by appointing an external expert to chair a disciplinary inquiry would not be prejudicial to either the employer or the employee but it would rather serve the interests of both sides.
An external expert chairing an inquiry is not representing the employer or the employee. The external expert chairing the inquiry is there to gather the facts provided by both parties and to make a fair and objective decision.
An employer is entitled to appoint someone outside their organization, notwithstanding what their disciplinary code states, with the appropriate expertise to chair an inquiry. Having an external expert chair a disciplinary inquiry is more beneficial for an employer than making use of an internal employee or manager as the chairperson.
The reason for this is that an external expert:

  • Is skilled and has experience in labour law;
  • Less prone to influenced by the parties;
  • Is unbiased as he/she has no relationship with either party;
  • Is in the position to make a fair decision, following a fair procedure.

How can Invictus assist in this regard?
We have our own team of Industrial Relations Specialists who will come out to your offices to chair yours disciplinary inquiries. For more information, simply contact us on 0861 737 263 and ask to speak to one of the consultants.