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A warning in the workplace can be either verbal or written towards an employee about their performance or conduct at work. A warning is used as a way for communicating an identified area which the employee needs to improve or an area in which their conduct does not meet the standards set by the employer. These issues are generally of a less serious nature which do not amount to an immediate termination of employment.

A written warning should follow a meeting with the employer with the written warning containing:

  • who was present;
  • record the fact that the employee was able to have a person present in support;
  • outline the issues which are the subject of the warning;
  • reference any previous warnings given;
  • state the employee’s response to the matters in issue;
  • record things which need to happen to address the issues, explaining the consequences of failure to rectify the issues;
  • a request for the employee to sign and return a copy of warning to confirm receipt of it.

There is no set requirement as to how many warnings should be issued prior to a termination, but in general the issuing of 2-3 written warnings should be considered before termination. This depends on the seriousness of the issues, in question.

Generally speaking, warnings generally last around 6 months provided that no further warnings have been given. However, depending on the seriousness of the issues the warning may stipulate a longer time of increased supervision or performance review.

If you believe that your employer has not provided you with adequate warnings in relation to your performance prior to termination or you would like advice relating to providing warnings in the workplace please do not hesitate to contact our office on 9375 3411 to book an appointment.

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