Action short of dismissal is disciplinary action taken by employer to signal the gravity of misconduct which would result in dismissal if misconduct persist. Generally it is outcome of disciplinary hearing conducted by the employer. It is opted as a last option before dismissal of employee could considered.
It has two important aspects from employer point of view
1. Action short of dismissal should be mentioned in employment contract.
Employer must ensure that employee are aware of the action that employer will take in case of misconduct sabotage etc. It should clearly stated what kind of misconduct will lead to what kind of disciplinary action.
This plays important role in case of employee goes to court or tribunal against the action taken by employer. If the provision are not clearly written in employment contract then employer may not be able to continue such action even if it is justified.
2. Employer must have rights to impose disciplinary action on employee in the employment contract.
Also employer must take the right to take necessary disciplinary action in the employment contract. If the rights are not part of contract then employer my face legal trouble in executing the action short of dismissal.
Above mentioned two points have special significance in case of employees enters in to Trade Union related activities. If employer does not have made such provision in contract signed with Trade Union then employer loses the right take action short of dismissal. In all such scenarios the contract should be renewed or include the provision in next round of negotiations.
Example of Action Short of Dismissal
1. Suspension without pay
Action short of dismissal is important tool in hand of employer to control, engage employee in right kind of behaviour at workplace. it come at cost though employer must use it in contract as deterrent in employment contract.