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The one thing you must get right to fire a thieving employee successfully...

by , 14 June 2017
Your employee stole a laptop from you. And you have all the proof you need. Pretty much an open and shut case. So you give him his notice to attend a disciplinary hearing, which says 'you stole from us' and hope the obvious ruling will be his dismissal.

But... You're wrong. You didn't get this one thing right...

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The one thing you must get right to fire a thieving employee successfully
To fire him, you must hold a disciplinary hearing, and give him a notice to attend it. As part of this, you must decide what the allegations against him will be. Like I said, you can't just tell him 'you stole from us'.
So what did you do wrong?
You didn't give the employee a proper detailed, description of what he did when you gave him the notice. So he can't prepare for his disciplinary hearing properly – which means, you don't stand a chance of actually firing him successfully.
Keep reading to find out what exactly you need to say.
Ensure you make legally watertight decisions in every hearing you chair
If you dismiss an employee who takes your company to the CCMA, you'll have to provide proof you followed a fair disciplinary and dismissal procedure...
If you can't, your company will lose the case at the CCMA! And your CEO will only have one person to blame – YOU!
That's why it's vital you know what records you need to keep to show procedural fairness and that you took the right steps to ensure the hearing was fair. Click here to read more...

The five elements that will make your notice stand up in court…
Make sure the detail you write on the notice to attend the disciplinary hearing is right… Here are the five elements you must look at:

1.The exact date of when he stole the laptop;

2.Tell him in detail what he did (see sample below);

3.Don't bluntly accuse him. Use words, like 'alleged', 'suspected' and 'removing property' instead of 'you did' and 'you stole';

4.Use language the employee will understand. Don't use words and terms he won't know;

5.Keep the description simple. Stick to short facts and describe what you say he did wrong.

Sample to get the notice to attend a disciplinary hearing right
'It's alleged that on 9 April 2016 you took a laptop from the server room. From the document we have, it seems as if you forged your manager's signature. This made it look like you had permission to take the laptop, when you didn't. It seems as if you were trying to remove it without paying for it, which, in line with company policy is theft.'
Do you need more information about allegations against an employee? Go to D12 Disciplinary hearings: Drafting the allegations in your Labour Law for Managers Handbook. Still not a subscriber?

Until next time,

Annabel Koffman
P.S. Take charge of poor performance and fire that problem employee! Legally! We'll show you how…

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