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Do you follow these rules before you dismiss an employee for misconduct?

by , 21 November 2013
Johannesburg police have come under fire for reportedly demanding bribes of up to R5 000 a week from informal traders who want to avoid eviction. Surely, these cops are guilty of misconduct, and they should be demoted or dismissed?

That depends, say the experts at the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf.
If the police's company policies list the acceptance of bribes as a serious misconduct, then yes, they might be dismissed!
But any employer must follow these essential rules before dismissing an employee for misconduct.
Three rules to adhere to before dismissing an employee for misconduct
Rule #1: Only consider dismissal in cases of very serious misconduct or repeated misconduct where less severe penalties have not had the desired effect of correcting the employee's misconduct.
Dismissal in employment law is the equivalent of the death sentence as a criminal penalty and should not be imposed lightly or arbitrarily.
You may dismiss an employee on notice or you may dismiss summarily (i.e. where you give no notice or payment in lieu of notice).
Rule #2: Fair dismissal must be for a fair reason related to proven misconduct and carried out by means of a fair procedure.
Rule #3: Hold a proper disciplinary enquiry prior to imposing dismissal as a sanction.
The employee can challenge the dismissal as being procedurally and/or substantively unfair at the CCMA or a bargaining council.
Keep these rules in mind, whenever you're faced with an employee's misconduct. 

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