Staff disciplinary committees
What is a staff disciplinary committee?
As a rule, each state agency is to have a staff disciplinary committee. The role of the committee is to make employer decisions on certain issues concerning individual employees. These include termination of employment for reasons other than redundancy due to lack of work (link), disciplinary action (e.g. warnings or salary deductions), notification of prosecution and suspension.
A staff disciplinary committee is to consist of representatives of the employer, including the head of the agency as chair, and trade union representatives. The employer’s representatives are in the majority.
Employers that are not state agencies, such as Jönköping University or Chalmers, do not have a staff disciplinary committee.
Staff disciplinary committees within higher education
The Higher Education Ordinance states that a higher education institution can set up a staff disciplinary committee to deal with the issues listed above. If the institution does not have such a committee, such matters are instead to be dealt with by the board of the institution.
In some cases, the matters are to be handled instead by the National Disciplinary Offence Board (SAN), for example, if the case concerns a professor and it is not a matter of dismissal on personal grounds.
What decisions can a staff disciplinary committee make?
Staff disciplinary committees can make decisions on:
- termination of employment either by redundancy on personal grounds personal reasons or by dismissal. The term personal grounds refers to a matter that is related to the individual employee, e.g. negligence. Dismissal means that employment is terminated without notice. Dismissal requires stronger reasons than for termination on personal grounds.
- issuing a disciplinary sanction in the form of a warning or a salary deduction. This occurs in cases where an employee is guilty of an error or negligence that is not sufficiently serious that termination or dismissal is reasonable.
- prosecution of an employee who is suspected of having committed a crime at work.
- suspension from work in certain situations.
How are matters handled by a staff disciplinary committee?
Cases are initiated in accordance with the process determined by the agency. This usually means that a manager reports a case for investigation. The investigation is usually conducted centrally within the agency. After the investigation, a decision is made regarding whether the matter is to be taken up in the staff disciplinary committee and what decision the Board is recommended to make. During the investigation, the employee concerned is to be given the opportunity to respond and, if they so wish, the opportunity to attend and be heard at the committee's meeting. This can also be done through the participation of a union representative. The committee then deliberates and issues a majority decision. Members of the committee have the option to express formal reservations regarding the decision.
What can I do if I am not satisfied with a decision made by the staff disciplinary committee?
Any decision made by a staff disciplinary committee can ultimately be tried in a court of law. However, the process for decisions on termination or dismissal are different from that for other decisions. It is important to remember that you do not have a long time to act - two or three weeks depending on the type of decision.
What support can I receive from SULF?
SULF, and primarily your local Saco-S Association, can assist with support and advice before, during and after a disciplinary process and decision by the staff disciplinary committee. It is important that you contact us as early as possible so that we can influence the process from the start. If a member wishes SULF to pursue the matter further after a decision has been made by the committee, a decision is made on a case-by-case basis.
Prior to a decision on termination on personal grounds or dismissal, the employer must notify the employee concerned and the Saco-S Association of the proposed decision. It is then possible to request a consultation on the matter, in which case the employer may not issue its decision before the consultation has been completed. If the decision concerns disciplinary action, prosecution or suspension, the procedure is different.