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Before you dismiss an employee for misconduct, follow these three rules

by , 22 August 2014
Theft... Fraud... Bribery... Clock card fraud... Failing to carry out reasonable instruction...

These are just some of the offences that constitute as employee misconduct.

While misconduct is distasteful and disruptive, you can't dismiss your employee without giving your decision a lot of thought or following the proper procedures.

The reasons?

Besides landing at the CCMA for unfair dismissal, dismissal in employment law is the same as a death sentence in criminal law! You mustn't impose it lightly or arbitrarily.

Here are the three rules we urge you to follow before you dismiss an employee for misconduct.

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Three essential rules to follow before you dismiss your employee for misconduct 

Rule #1: Only dismiss an employee for very serious or repeated cases of misconduct and when other penalties have failed to correct his behavior.

According to the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, serious offences that deserve dismissal, even for a first offence include:
  • Dishonesty;
  • Gross insubordination;
  • Deliberate damage to company property;
  • Putting other employees at risk; and
  • Assault.
Rule #2: Dismissal must be for fair reasons in line with proven misconduct. You can only dismiss an employee after you've been through a fair procedure. And that's where rule number 3 comes in.

Rule #3: You have to hold a proper disciplinary enquiry before you can dismiss your employee.

If you overlook this, your employee can challenge the dismissal as procedurally and/or substantively unfair at the CCMA or a bargaining council. Don't take that risk.

There you have it. Follow these rules before you dismiss an employee for misconduct – it's the only way to avoid landing at the CCMA for unfair dismissal.

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