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Disciplining workers

Last updated May 2022

This chapter explains how to lawfully discipline workers who have breached health and safety policies or procedures in your workplace.

When might you need to discipline your workers?

As an employer, you may be required to discipline your workers if they have been:

  • underperforming and have not improved in response to remedial action; or
  • found to have engaged in misconduct.


Important: Before taking disciplinary action against an underperforming worker, you should try to help the worker improve through performance management.
Definition: Performance Management

Performance management is the process of evaluating and managing a worker’s performance to ensure it is consistent with your business’ objectives, as well as the specific goals and standards of that worker.

Jack is responsible for dispatching goods from the warehouse. He tends to rush his work and does not always stack the items in a safe manner. This problem was addressed during Jack’s last performance appraisal, but he has failed to improve. For this reason, his employer may be justified in disciplining him.