The warning is a reprimand from the employer to the employee, a forewarning from the employer to encourage the employee to change his behaviour.
By issuing a warning, the employer gives the employee a second (or additional) chance, avoiding termination of employment.
The employer, who issues a warning to punish the employee for a fact, will no longer be able to dismiss him/her for that same fact.
However, the employer can only invoke this fact in support of a termination if a new fact has occurred subsequently. The warning strengthens the employer’s position.
The Labour Code does not regulate warnings: they are therefore not subject to any particular formalism.
On the employer’s side:
Notify the warning within a reasonable period of time by registered letter or hand-delivered against signature in two copies (one for the employer and one for the employee) after being made aware of the alleged offence;
- Write the warning in a language understood by the employee;
- Mention that it is a warning;
- Specify the exact fault that is alleged;
- Remind the employee of his or her duties;
- Indicate the precise consequences of the alleged grievance (or even remind the employee of previous warnings if there are any).
On the employee’s side:
- It is recommended to contest the warning by registered letter;
- Repeat the grievance or grievances point by point, setting out the facts;
- Indicate that you formally contest the fact(s) of which you are accused.
When the employee contests the validity of the warnings, the employer must provide the evidence.