Warning letters are used to confirm and address a performance or conduct issue with an employee. You usually issue an employee with a warning letter after meeting with them to discuss the problem. Following this process can help resolve issues before the situation becomes worse.
There is no legal requirement to provide formal written warnings or a certain number of warnings. However, to determine whether an employee was unfairly dismissed, the Fair Work Commission will consider if the employee was:
- warned about performance or conduct issues, and
- provided a reasonable opportunity to improve their performance and conduct.
Suggested steps for preparing a warning letter
Step 1: Identify and consider the problem
Clearly, identifying the performance or conduct issue. Think about how serious the problem is, how long it has existed and what actions you are going to take to address it.
Step 2: Meet with the employee
Generally, meeting with the employee is important for:
- identifying and resolving issues before the situation becomes worse
- clarifying your expectations of the employee, and
- agreeing on solutions to improve the situation.
Step 3: Create your letter of warning
The warning letter should include:
- details of the performance or conduct issue of concern
- what has been discussed with the employee about the issue
- what the employer will do to assist
- an action plan of what steps the employee needs to take
- a reasonable timeframe in which the changes or improvements need to occur.
Step 4: Provide the employee with the letter of warning
Ensure that the employee receives the warning letter and document the details of providing the letter (e.g. the time, date, who was there, what was said, etc.). You may wish to use the Recording details of a meeting template to do this.
It is important that the employee reads and understands this letter. Depending on the circumstances, you could ask the employee to sign a copy of the letter and return it to you, or you could follow up with the employee to make sure they received it and keep a note that you did this. Please note that employees are not required by law to sign a copy of the letter.
You should also keep a copy of the letter for your records.
On our web page, you will be provided with different kinds of business form so that you can make a proper use of it in your business and build a proper relation between yourself and your company. These business forms are available in doc format so that you can edit it for your use and then make a proper use of it. These business forms are useful for your business to maintain a relationship between employer and employee. Do check our web page for regular updates on business form and comment for any requirements or suggestion.
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