Welcome to your Labour Bulletin.
Have you ever had an employee who simply didn’t come to work for a week? I don’t mean an employee who takes off the odd day here and there because “he’s not feeling well”, but someone who’s at work the one day and then doesn’t arrive again.
Judging by the questions I get, this is a problem a number of you have faced. The question is: how do you deal with it? You can’t simply fire him because he could come back and you’d lose at the CCMA.
8 steps to deal with abscondment
You must follow very specific steps to make sure you get rid of him legally. That way he can’t come back after a month and insist you let him return to work.
Follow these eight steps to make sure you do things correctly if you think your employee’s absconded:
Step #1: Understand the difference between absenteeism and abscondment
Step #2: Find out if your employee has the authorisation to be absent
Step #3: Find out if the employee has contacted his manager
Step #4: Try to make contact with the employee
Step #5: Take steps to notify your employee about what will happen if he doesn’t come back to work
Step #6: Terminate your employee’s contract
Step #7: Pay your employee what you owe him
Step #8: Give your employee an opportunity to explain
This list may seem straightforward, but there’s more to it…
For example Step 4 might seem like you simply need to call him, and if you can’t get hold of him, then no worries, at least you tried. Wrong!
You must use some or all of the following methods of communication to prove you tried your absolute best to contact him:
- Contact the employee on his home telephone
- Contact the employee on his cell phone by phoning and/or sending an sms
- Send someone to the employee’s place of residence
- Attempt to make contact with his next-of-kin. Make sure your employees provide this information when they start working for you
- Send him a telegram
- Send him a letter by registered post
- Send an electronic mail to the employee’s personal email account and/or his work account if he has remote access
Once you’ve really covered your bases, you can get rid of an employee who doesn’t pitch up at work. Please remember, your employee will be the one who wins if you get it wrong!
Until next time
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