Anecdotal evidence would suggest that there is perception amongst employees that line managers and supervisors often do not know how to manage discipline and disciplinary hearings which has led to the mishandling of cases that often get reversed at forums such as the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The research objectives of this study at three South African Universities were: to measure the compliance of disciplinary codes and procedures against the provisions of schedule 8 of the LRA with particular reference to section 4: "Fair Procedure"; to analyse whether disciplinary-related outcomes indicate the level of skills that role players, including line managers and supervisors, have in handling and conducting disciplinary processes in order to obtain effective or appropriate results; to determine how effectively disciplinary codes and procedures at three South African universities were communicated to all levels of staff; to examine staff awareness of the implementation of disciplinary codes and procedures; to analyse the degree of understanding of the roles of participants as stipulated in the different disciplinary codes and procedures among staff; In order to answer the above research objectives, a questionnaire was designed and distributed to a representative sample of respondents at the three universities. The data collected were captured and analysed by using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). From this data, a descriptive statistical analysis, a factor analysis and inferential statistical analysis were done. The research findings identified the main variables which were placed into five categories, namely Compliance Practices, Skills level, Compliance to Codes, Awareness to Disciplinary Codes and Procedures as well as Role Players understanding their roles in Disciplinary Proceedings. The main findings in the five categories can be summarised as follows; the majority of participants agreed that they were compliant to their practices in terms of their respective disciplinary codes, there were mixed reactions with regard to skills levels, wherein other instances participants felt that supervisors do not know how to prove their cases, how to conduct investigations and to prove their cases during hearings whilst at the same time participants felt that chairpersons attended formal training and have the requisite skill to preside. Regarding compliance to Codes, participants were neutral on cases that were referred to the CCMA as well as with regard to the question whether disciplinary outcomes were consistent with previous cases, they also disagreed that the hearings were mostly completed in the required time, and agreed strongly that alleged offenders were mostly informed timeously. The majority of participants agreed that employees in the respective institutions were made aware of the disciplinary codes and procedures, and that Role Players understood their roles as provided for by their respective codes. Emanating from the research findings, it became apparent that a shortcoming regarding supervisors' skills and level of competency is prevalent, and that training interventions on initiating and chairing disciplinary enquiries are therefore recommended to line managers and supervisors.
Mini Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2017.