Welcome to your Labour Bulletin.
You always want to believe the best of your employees, right? And you want to trust that they’ll be honest in their dealings with you…of course!
Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. You’ll get that unscrupulous employee who will steal from you, not tell the whole truth about his work and lie to you about why he wasn’t at work. If the excuse for the latter is that he was sick, but you don’t completely trust his sick note, you can verify that it’s correct.
Our expert helped out a subscriber who did catch his employee out and advised on what steps he should take…
What action must I take against my employee who submitted a false sick note?
One of my employees only worked for six days in April, and was booked off sick for the rest of the month. She gave me copies of her medical certificates when she returned to work. When I requested the original sick notes from her, she admitted that she’d changed a previous sick note and made a copy of it to provide her with the necessary documentation to justify seven days of sick leave.
After this, I checked previous notes and found a series of suspicious looking documents (signatures that differed greatly, different handwriting etc).
How do I deal with this? Would you suggest a meeting in which I confront her with the additional information and give her the opportunity to confess to the fraud, if that’s what it is? Or should I have a disciplinary hearing and give a chairperson the evidence?
You can have a short meeting at which you ask her to explain the situation. Whether she confesses or not, you should, in our view, level disciplinary charges against her, e.g. falsification of sick certificates/fraud and/or dishonesty and speedily convene a formal disciplinary enquiry.
The charges are serious, in our view, and if proven may warrant serious disciplinary action which could include dismissal. Your meeting with her should be brief. It should serve just to enable you to see what her attitude is to the allegations so you can assess what you might have to deal with if you go ahead with disciplinary proceedings.
Until next time…
Labour Law for Manager
P.S. Don’t forget…if you dismiss your employee as above, he’s got every right to take you to the CCMA and claim unfair dismissal. You know you’ll be able to defend your decision, but you still need to know exactly how the CCMA and its processes work…or you might still come off second best.
P.P.S. This is just a snippet of what you can expect from the Labour Bulletin, to get easy to understand , up-to-date tips, tools and advice sent to you every week day, sign up today!
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