7 alternative ways to discipline an employee

Here are 7 creative alternatives available to employers when an employee’s performance or conduct becomes an issue:

  1. unpaid suspensions
  2. fines (when you navigate the legal nuances – this is why we have jobs!)
  3. alternative role/demotion
  4. withholding of pay increase or bonus
  5. increased supervision
  6. regular internet and email spot-checking
  7. focussed training

Some Practical Examples
Need to reprimand an employee who has been making bullying and harassing remarks to others? Why not enforce extra supervision and email spot-checking on their work computer and mobile devices. Got an employee who was caught falsifying time sheets? Their bonus could be withheld for that year or years to come. How about an employee who is consistently failing to meet their targets? A demotion to a lower position with reduced targets and corresponding lower pay might fit the bill.

Employee agreement is necessary though
Importantly, if you want to be able to use some of these tools (1 to 4 to be precise), you will need to ensure you have the right to do so under the relevant employment agreement or enterprise agreement. Without the employee expressly consenting to the action being taken, there is a risk you could end up in court, or with the Fair Work Ombudsman dropping by to say “Hello” (amongst other things). If an employee hasn’t consented to this approach, they may claim, for example, adverse action or repudiation of their contract.

7 alternative ways to discipline an employee

HR Tactics – HR Consultants Brisbane – Outsourced HR

7 alternative ways to discipline an employee

This information was provided with the intention of helping you find more clarity, confidence and peace of mind as you navigate your own journey as an employer. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and if you think someone else would enjoy it please feel free to share it around.


If you want some fast and free tips on how to improve the HR processes in your business, start with our free little ebook.


If you want to hear more about the various HR solutions HR Tactics provides to the SME market and/or discuss solutions that would be most suited to your unique business, make sure you reach out


Or ask us a question at our HR Q&A page and receive an answer to your question for free. We’re here to help.


clients and Partners
About The Author
Jackie Strachan

Jackie Strachan

Jackie’s passion for creating better Human Resources outcomes stems from over 20 years’ experience in the field and a drive for finding innovative solutions.
Her HR career has seen her hold both operational and strategic HR management roles across a vast array of industry sectors including retail, financial services, child protection, professional services, dental, state emergency services, Department of Justice, agency recruitment and IT.
Combining her experience in each specialised area of Human Resources (such as learning & development, recruitment, WHS and employee relations etc), Jackie leads HR Tactics with an industry-respected foundation of knowledge.