Zero Tolerance v Natural Justice

Companies often have policies of zero tolerance for certain behaviours such as sexual harassment. What can get confused is what effect that policy has when the company is faced with an allegation that an employee has committed such an act. Emotions are heightened, sometimes leading to the company acting hastily and unlawfully.  

An ideal policy of zero tolerance does not cut across principles of natural justice and looks like this:
  1. An allegation is made;
  2. The person accused accepts or denies the allegation;
  3. If denied, the allegation is investigated;
  4. A finding is made as to whether there is a disciplinary case to answer;
  5. The accused responds to the case and a finding is reached on the balance of probability on whether the alleged act has been committed
  6. If it has; consider any mitigating circumstances; and if they do not affect potential sanction; then
  7. Proceed to terminate the employment contract based on Zero Tolerance.
-Tania Tandon
Photo courtesy of Vie Studio
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