Employee warning notice is an instrument, usually a type of form that describes a certain misdemeanor of the employee during the working process and details the consequences if that misdemeanor is repeated. This document is mostly used in a written form, but in certain situations, the option of giving the employee an oral warning is also possible.

The intention of using such a mechanism is to sanction the employee for a committed offense, but also for it to have a preventive influence on his/her future behavior at work. In most cases, the human resource department or the human resource managers within organizations are responsible for creating, issuing and distributing such warnings.

Structure of the warning

The written warning usually contains the following sections:

Employee data – the employee’s personal data appears in the first section of the warning such as the name and surname, the employee ID number, the employee’s work position, the department in which the employee works, the date of the committed misdemeanor, the name and surname of the employee’s supervisor, etc.

Warning type – refers to whether;

– the employee has committed the offense for the first time,

– he/she is a “re-offender”, or

– their misbehavior “becomes an everyday day habit”; but, also whether

– the warning is the last one before the employee is dismissed.

Type of misdemeanor – there are several types of offenses that the employee can do at the workplace, and they vary from minor offenses to very serious offenses, that can lead to serious employee sanctions. One example of a minor offense is arriving late to work, but at the other end of the spectrum, there are many serious offenses – such as failure to work, falsification of documents, discrimination, workplace violence, theft, etc.

Description of the misdemeanor and improvement plan – this part describes the misdemeanor and the circumstances in which it was conducted, but also it gives recommendations for how the employee can improve (an improvement plan) and explicitly explains the sanctions that should be followed if the employee commits new offense or repeats an old one.

Employee’s and supervisor’s signatures and date – at the end, the employee’s and supervisor’s signatures are deposited, and the date when the employee warning notice was issued is noted.

Purpose of the warning

The aim of the warning is not only to “fill the personnel file” of the employee who has committed a misdemeanor, but also to act pedagogically – to prevent the repetition of the misdemeanor or another offense by the same or other employees in the company.