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How to deal with misconduct that also happens to be a criminal offence

by , 25 August 2014
Employee misconduct is a complex issue.

For instance, an employee's act of misconduct could also be a crime.

This case is unique and you need to handle it correctly. The last thing you want is to break your workplace rules and criminal law.

Keep reading to find out how to deal with misconduct that also happens to be a criminal offence.


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Discover the correct way to deal with misconduct that's also a criminal offence


If your employee's act of misconduct is a crime, you can call the police and lay a criminal charge against him.

After this, you can take disciplinary action against your employee.

You don't have to wait for the criminal case before taking disciplinary action against your employee.

The reasons?

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service explains that the two issues (disciplinary action and criminal case) are completely separate even though they stem from the same misconduct.

The disciplinary enquiry only has to prove your employee's guilty on a balance of probabilities. This is a much easier test than in a criminal case.

In a criminal court, the State prosecutes an individual for a criminal offence and has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt he's guilty – which is a lot harder to prove.

Essentially, the outcome of the criminal procedure doesn't have an effect on the result of the disciplinary enquiry and vice versa.

But what if your employee is in jail?


If your employee in jail and can't make bail while awaiting trial, don't dismiss him in his absence. Rather wait until he can attend the disciplinary enquiry. He'll be on unpaid leave during this period – 'no work, no pay'.

Just don't agree to wait for the criminal trial before you start with discipline. Trials can take a very long time and delay your process.

Knowing how to deal with misconduct that also happens to be a criminal offence will help ensure you discipline your employee correctly.



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