Show Cause and Domestic Inquiry

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asked on Feb 12, 2005 at 22:24
by   chwanng

Thanks in advance for your answers.

I have few questions regarding Show Cause Letter that I am rather stressed about over a couple of months now.

1) What is a show cause letter as compared to a warning letter?

2) What implication it has on my employment (termination? warning?)

3) I have responded to my show cause letters (yes 2 of them, one for being "repeatedly" late for work, and another for taking long lunch once.) more than a month ago and until now I have not heard from my employer regarding my explanations.  What should I do?  I believe my employer should/need to conduct a Domestic Inquiry, is it not correct?

4) Is there a stipulated length of time for the DI to be held from the date of show cause?  Do I need to worry whether or not there is a DI?

5) Will I be terminated by for misconduct like being late for work?  Employee Policy indicates that it is a "minor" misconduct, and it will be a "major" misconduct (which may lead to termination) if it is a repeated behaviour.

6) Will I be terminated prior DI?

7) Am I correct to assume that following is the normal procedure for disciplinary action:
Show cause -> DI -> Warning (if found guilty) -> termination (for sufficiently warned and not improved).
These processes are not stated in the Employee Policy, so that are the implications for both Employer and me?


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2 Answers

answered on Feb 20, 2005 at 22:12
by   Vince
You are considered lucky. You should upgrade yourself to improve your overall performance as your employment is not terminated yet.

1. A Show Cause Letter is a polite way of "Inquiry", so a chance for you to state your reasons of poor performance. Warning Letters come with the intention of Stern Action against you, by directly telling you where you did Wrong.

2. After such due Inquiry, you employer may dismiss you without notice; downgrade you; or impose any other lesser punishment as he deems just and fit.

3. You employer had given you due inquiry. No further response is necessary from him. He is still observing and giving you a chance to continue employment. You should be thankful and improve yourself.

4. Same as stated above.

5. There is no such thing as Minor or Major Misconduct. It concerns on the grounds of inconsistent with the fulfilment of the express or implied conditions of your "Contract of Service" for Special Reasons.

6. You may be terminated anytime from now on without further inquiry.

7. Do not presume such procedures, it's like "Building Castle in the Air".

If you want to remain as an Employee, you must/ought learn discipline to obey your Employer's Command and to fulfill your duties or obligations, to satisfy his demands. You have no other selection.

Best wishes & good luck.
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answered on Feb 20, 2005 at 22:37
by   Subash
1. A show cause letter is a letter provided to the employee to explain the alleged misconduct. The warning letter is a statement of punishment to the employee when the employer is not satisfied with the explanation given by the employee to the show cause letter.

2. No implications. However, if the employer is unhappy over the reasons you cite in the response to the show cause letter, then they can take action against you. (Warning letter, Termination). The degree of punishment depends on the severity of the misconduct. Past misconduct can also be taken into consideration do decide on the punishment for future misconduct.

3. No. Your employer need not respond to your show cause letter if he is satisfied with your explanation. The employer has a choice of whether he wants to issue a show cause letter or to conduct a DI. 

4. No you should not worry about the DI. Considering that you have not been provided with a warning letter for your previous offense, it is obvious that your explanation has been accepted and you have been given a chance to prove yourself. Put the incident behind you and move on.

5. If you continue coming late for work, your employer can issue you with a warning letter. If the employer is not able to tolerate your repeated late coming, then he may terminate you.

6. A DI is not mandatory although it is recommended. You can also be dismissed on the strength of a show cause letter, without a DI.


Show cause --> Warning (if dissatisfied with explanation)


show cause --> DI --> Punishment (Depending on severity)


warning letter --> punishment (repeat offenders)

In my opinion, I doubt that the employer will conduct a DI just to provide a warning letter as a punishment. The severity of the case is definitely taken into consideration before the conduct of a DI, which is cumbersome and expensive. For example, if the misconduct is of a minor nature that may equate to a warning letter as a punishment, then it wont require a DI. For more extreme cases that may end in termination, then it is best to resort to the DI to justify the need for termination.
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