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Termination blog series 1 of 4 (Progressive Discipline)

Progressive Discipline is Positive Employee Discipline

articles of the entire series is available here


Strumming in pain with my fingers, singing a note out of tune
Killing you softly with my song, killing you softly with my song
Telling my whole life in bad rhymes, killing you softly with my song.

As promised, we are embarking on a  blog series about termination. My objective is to add value by educating employees to protect their jobs, line managers and business owners to be guided on progressive discipline.
This article will discuss progressive discipline, and how employees’ small but repetitive acts can kill them softly.

Progressive Discipline

First and foremost, let us define what progressive discipline is

It is an approach in employee discipline where corrective actions are ranked based on the effect of its infraction on the health, safety, and security of the organization, its employees, and the public in general.

Progressive discipline is being used to address unacceptable employee actions. It’s not meant to punish, but to align employee behavior to the core values of the organization, and protect the interest of other employees and the company.
Having explained employee discipline, let’s proceed to the two source documents that will identify the acts that may seem negligible, but if repeated, can lead to an end of employer-employee relationship.

  • Your company hand book or code of conduct
  • Art. 282 *297 of the Philippine Labor Code

Handbook or Code of Conduct
As an employee, it is their RESPONSIBILITY to know and understand the contents of the code of conduct. This material spells out the organizations’ disciplinary system, process, offenses, and corresponding sanction. The company handbook or code of conduct, normally, is reflective of the provisions of the labor code and other related laws. In the absence of a company handbook or code of conduct, direct provisions of the labor code apply.
Art. 282 *297 of the Phil. Labor Code

Art. 282 *297. Termination by employer. An employer may terminate an employment for any of the following causes:

  • Serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or representative in connection with his work;
  • Gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;
  • Fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized representative;
  • Commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representatives; and
  • Other causes analogous to the foregoing.

What are the repetitive acts that can lead to termination?

NOTE: Depending on the effect to life and property of the infractions enumerated below, termination can also be immediate.

  • Willful disobedience– also called insubordination. This is your “deliberate refusal” to follow verbal or written “work related orders” (emphasis on work related)
  • Habitual neglect–also known as negligence, this is your “failure to observe” (whether by commission or omission) established guidelines, practices, written rules and procedures intended to ensure safe, healthy and secure work environment, promote decorum and harness productivity. This may include but not limited to the following:
    • habitual absences and tardiness
    • improper and/or unauthorized use of company facilities, properties or equipment, i.e. blogging at work if this is prohibited.
    • sleeping while on duty
    • fighting or instigating a fight
    • discourtesy
    • customer complaint
    • smoking on prohibited areas
    • poor performance
  • Fraud, willful breach or loss of trust– this provision is applicable to employees of trust such as cashiers or tellers, treasury, accounting, warehouse and hr people, supervisors, managers and other company officers.
    • consistent and unexplained cash shortages regardless of the amount may be a basis for loss of trust
    • mishandling of confidential documents and information, such as 201 file, or wrong posting of financial report or any report may also be a basis for loss of trust.
    • blogging about inside issues and/or personalities in your company

To be precise, review your company hand book or code of conduct (same as company rules and regulations or code of discipline). Please take note of the following:

  • the offense, frequency vis-a-vis the sanction
  • the prescription period of each offense
  • the provision on habitual delinquency

Please note further, that before a termination or any disciplinary action is implemented, due process of law must be accorded to any employee. This, however, shall be discussed in the last part of this blog series.
For readers outside the Philippines, please check your country’s labor code and relevant laws.

* renumbered articles of the labor code (download your copy)


Disclaimer: The articles found on this blog do not constitute legal advice, and engagement/discussion does not signify a professional-client relationship. Likewise, subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to, or repeal of, laws, rules, and regulations may have rendered the whole or part of this article inaccurate or obsolete.


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