You can’t dismiss an employee beyond a reasonable doubt

The chairman, in a disciplinary hearing, has to make his finding ‘on a balance of probabilities’. What does this mean?

According to, a ‘balance of probabilities’ is defined as ‘the amount of proof that you need to win a civil action; when you weigh up the two sides in the civil action, you have to show that your story is stronger than the other side’s story on a balance of probabilities.”

How does this translate into a disciplinary hearing?

Say, for instance, that one of your employees was found guilty of a particular type of misconduct that merited dismissal in the disciplinary code of your company. According to labour law, that employee would need to undergo a disciplinary hearing before any decision could be made with regards to dismissal. During that hearing, you and the employee would have an opportunity to present evidence to support your various cases. The chairman would then have to decide, on a balance of probabilities, whether or not the employee’s misconduct merits dismissal.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.  Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)