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10 Common mistakes employers make when it comes to dismissal

by , 26 October 2015
Fighting an employee case at the CCMA is daunting. It's even worse when it's constructive dismissal.

Constructive dismissal is when an employee resigns and claims it's because of unfair treatment by you.

For example, Susan resigns from employment and says she wants to focus on her studies. Two weeks later you get a notification from the CCMA stating that Susan has filed a constructive dismissal case against you. She claims she had no choice but to resign because you treated her unfairly at work.

Trying to defend yourself in this sticky situation will cost you time and money, and the results may be fruitless.

So instead of going through all that trouble, rather avoid it all together.

Here are 10 common mistakes you should avoid so you don't land at the CCMA for constructive dismissal...

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 Everything you need to know about substantively and procedurally fair disciplinary hearings
So… Your employee's guilty of misconduct. Let's say he took a company laptop home, without asking permission. It's a simple open and closed case of theft, isn't it?
Not so fast! You can't just say 'that's it, you're out of here' and think that's the end of that. No… You have to have a disciplinary hearing so you can prove your case, and give him a chance to defend his… And this is where most employers fail.

Get step by step instructions on how to follow a substantively and procedurally fair disciplinary hearing.

10 Common examples of treatment that can lead to a constructive dismissal claim

1. Offering the employee a more junior position. If he doesn't take it, you threaten to dismiss him.
2. Taking an illegal deduction from his salary, so he resigns.
3. Giving him an illegal instruction which then forces him to resign.
4. The employee's being sexually harassed and you don't do anything about it.
5. A reduction in his pay or salary without reason.
6. Demoting him without a good reason.
7. Unnecessarily disciplining the employee.
8. You completely change the nature of his job.
9. Harassing or humiliating him constantly.
10.Victimising the employee.

These are just a few of the common reasons for constructive dismissal, but there are others you can find in the D10: Constructive dismissal chapter of your Practical Guide to Human Resources Management. If you don't have a copy yet, click here.

Remember, if you act in any way that's unfair and the employee resigns, he can claim constructive dismissal.

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