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Four occasions when you can dismiss for insubordination

by , 15 July 2013
John just told you to 'get knotted'.

Mary ignored your direct instruction and Peter just cost you one of your biggest clients for not doing his job properly.

These are all cases if insubordinations and it's always such a tricky subject because it's so difficult to prove. And that's why it's so difficult to dismiss for it! Keep reading to find out when an employee's being insubordinate and what you need to ask yourself before you even think about dismissing him for insubordination.

What does insubordination mean?

It's an employee's failure to obey your (manager, supervisor) direct and specific order.

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Know the difference between insubordination, gross insubordination and insolence

There's a fine line between insubordination, gross insubordination and insolence of an employee. Do you know the difference? How would you discipline an employee in each instance? If you get it wrong you could lose at the CCMA!
Don't end up on the losing side of the CCMA because you didn't know the difference!

In The Insubordination Toolkit: How to deal with insubordination, gross insubordination and insolence in the workplace we'll show you the difference between these and what you can do to discipline your employee in each case.

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Four occasions you can dismiss for insubordination

This is when you can dismiss for insubordination:
 
1)    When the employee is not only being insubordinate, but extremely insolent too. Insolence is when an employee swears or threatens you, especially if he wasn't provoked.
 
2) Where the employee makes it clear he has no intention of ever complying with future instructions from you.
 
3)    Lack of remorse on the part of the employee. Basically, where he's not sorry for what he's done.
 
4)    Insubordination that results in serious, or potentially serious, risk you, especially if the employee was aware of the potential consequences. This serious risk could be financial risk that the company has faced or some financial loss that has resulted because of the insubordination.
 
And if you're a Labour Law for Managers subscriber you can go through chapter I01: Insubordination to find out more about insubordination.
 
But before you do, keep reading to find out five questions you need to ask before disciplining an employee for insubordination.
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Are 20% of your employees causing 80% of your headaches?
 
Here's how you can get rid of that poor performer without landing at the CCMA!
 
Find out how here.
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Five questions you need to ask yourself before following disciplinary procedures for insubordination
 
1) Can you prove the instruction was given to the employee? Do you have an email or witnesses to the instruction?
2) Can you prove the instruction was lawful? Does it fall within the scope of the employee's duties?
3) Can it be proved the instruction was reasonable?
4) Can you prove the employee was guilty of defying the instruction?
5) Was the insubordination sufficiently serious to justify dismissal? If so why?
 
Once you're able to answer these questions then you can proceed with your case.
 
Want to know how to dismiss an employee in a way that's substantively and procedurally fair? Make sure you get your copy of 'You're Fired!' Your guide to substantively and procedurally fair dismissalsClick here now.
 
Until next time...
 
Taryn Stugnell
 
PS. For more tips on how to dismiss employees for insubordination go to the Labour Law for Managers and read how it'll help make managing employees easier.






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