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Can you fire an employee on the first day of the job?

by , 04 June 2014
Our labour experts get a lot of questions from employers who want to ensure they follow the law to the letter.

This week, they got a strange question from a reader who wanted to know if employers can fire an employee on the first day of the job?

Read on to find out what our experts have to say on this issue so you can comply with labour law.

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Want to find out if you can fire an employee on his first day on the job? Here's the answer
 

Whether or not employers can fire an employee on the first day of the job is quite complex.

The experts behind the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service say, it all depends on the case you're dealing with.

For example, let's say you hire Sipho and he signs his contract of employment on his first day of work. On that same day, you get a call from security that Sipho has badly assaulted his colleague. You can fire him even though it's his first day on the job.

But there's a small catch…
 

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Firing an employee on the first day of the job is only legal if you meet this requirement
 

If we take Sipho's example, you can only fire him on his first day for assault if you have a policy that says so.

This goes to show the importance of having proper policies and procedures in place.

Firing an employee on the first day of the job is complex because you have to assess the situation before you make a decision and check what your policy says. If you're not sure what to do, consult a lawyer so you don't open yourself up to labour disputes.

In addition, our labour experts are more than happy to answer your questions on this issue on the Labour & HR Club.



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