How long can a final warning remain on a person's employment file?

Question Details: One of my friends was recently handed a final written warning in respect of his performance of his duties at work. While he does not believe his employer followed due process, he worked with his employer over a period of time (2 months I think) to have his performance monitored and reported on. He has now been told that his performance is satisfactory, but that the final written warning will remain on his file until June 2013 at the time of annual performance reviews. There is very little in his employment contract that talks about this issue.

Filed under Employment Law | 20857 View(s)

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Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

There is no specific time limit on how long the warning can stay recorded on his file (unless the employment agreement says so). The warning could stay there for as long as the file exists (usually until seven years after you leave the job).

However, the length of time the warning can be used in disciplinary proceedings is not limitless. That depends on many factors, such as whether the employment agreement discusses this process, the nature of the issue and any previous warnings.

If the employer wants to use the warning in future, they will need to follow fair process and anything written in the employment agreement.

A warning staying on the file until June 2013 sounds reasonable (unless the employment agreement says something different about warnings).

Answered 14 Feb 2013. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

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