Don't lose at the CCMA because of a technicality!
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Did you know: There are only three grounds for dismissal that's fair! But even if you dismiss
someone for a fair reason, but don't follow the correct procedure, it'll be unfair!
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and I'll show you how you can dismiss
Out-of-office misconduct: Is dismissal justified?
Yes, you can dismiss
your employee for misconduct
outside the workplace. But, doing so isn't straightforward.
You can only dismiss
your employee if you can show there's a link between the misconduct and your company or operational requirements.
You must prove the misconduct affects your business negatively. For example, it brought your company into disrepute and you lost clients.
And you can't just dismiss
right away. You must hold a disciplinary hearing
before you dismiss
your employee for misconduct.
That said, dealing with misconduct outside of work is difficult
The difficult part is describing the misconduct.
According to lexisnexis.co.za
, if you want to charge your employee for misconduct outside work, framing the charges is a challenge. This is because most disciplinary codes focus on at-work misconduct and don't cover misconduct outside of work.
To overcome this, you must prove the rule your employee broke is so obvious and well known, there was no need to communicate it.
The site explains that in the case between Tibbett & Britten (SA) (Pty) Ltd v Marks & others
(2005) 26 ILJ 940 (LC), the court found that there's a standard of ethical behaviour you don't need to remind your employees about.
If you can prove this, it doesn't matter that the offence isn't in the code, you can discipline your employee for the misconduct.
The good news is you can avoid these difficulties if you just follow this rule…
Here's the rule you must follow to deal with out-of-work misconduct
You must 'state in your disciplinary code that you can discipline employees for external misconduct,' advises Taryn Strugnell, Managing Editor Labour Law For Managers.
'Let employees know they're free to do as they please when they leave work, but they mustn't act in a way that will negatively affect their job or your company,' she cautions.
To find out the other rule Strugnell recommends you follow and a sample misconduct clause to include in your disciplinary policy, check out this article.
There you have it: Proof that you can dismiss
your employee for misconduct outside work as long as there's a connection between his misconduct and your company.
PS: If you have any questions about dismissals
, ask our experts at the Labour & HR Club.