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Offer you injured employee alternative or adapted employment before rushing into an incapacity hearing!

by , 04 April 2013
In North Carolina the US, teachers worried as reasons for dismissal increase drastically. One of these is dismissal for physical or mental incapacity. This is an area that attracts lots of interest locally too, as hardly a day goes by without managers fuming over poor performers in the workplace... But if your poor performer literally can't do the job he was hired for because of illness or injury, you need to put him through a medical assessment to determine if an incapacity hearing is necessary.

Do you have a poor performer in your workplace?
 
You're not alone.
 
But you don't have to put up with the situation any longer.
 
Because you actually have grounds for fair dismissal if your employee no longer has the capacity or ability to do his job, says the Labour Law Handbook.
 
What constitutes incapacity?
 
An employee's sudden ill health or injury counts as incapacity, as this means your employee can no longer perform the job he was hired for.
 
In this case, you can request the employee to undergo a medical assessment at a qualified medical practitioner of your choosing at the company's expense.
 
This will give you proof of whether your employee is still able the job he was hired for, says Janine Nieuwoudt in the Labour Bulletin.
 
If so, you can consult with your employee to temporarily accommodate his illness or injury, says CapeLabour.
 
Offer your employee alternative or adapted employment if his injury or ill health is temporary
 
It could be as simple as giving him a different, more ergonomic seat and workstation or adjusting his responsibilities and deadlines slightly until he's recovered.
 
But if your sick employee can't do the job he was hired for, you'll need to follow an incapacity hearing process, says FSP Business.
 
And if the outcome of the incapacity hearing shows your sick employee's illness makes it unlikely that he can continue to work as before, you'll need to have him medically boarded and start looking for someone to replace him right away to minimise loss of productivity.
 
You're within your rights to do so if the employee's been counselled, his medical condition now makes it impossible for to perform his normal duties, and his working conditions can't be adapted, says Cape Labour.
 

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