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This is why you CAN'T dismiss an employee for looking for another job while working for you

by , 01 July 2015
Ashlee works in your accounts department. She took half the day off last Friday to go to a 'doctor's appointment'.

On Monday, another employee, Ryan, tells you Ashlee went to an interview at another company on Friday.

Furious, you want to call Ashlee in immediately for a disciplinary hearing for actively seeking alternative employment without informing you. You're determined to dismiss this deceitful employee. But here's why you can't...

An employee is entitled to seek better employment
Unfortunately for you as the employer, there's not much you can do. In today's modern profession-based society, employees can look for another job if they want to.
 
The only restriction deemed fair is in the case of a restraint of trade agreement. But, this doesn't stop the employee from looking for another job. So long as the other employer isn't a competitor or in an area restricted by terms of the restraint.
 
A restraint clause is concluded by agreement and isn't unilaterally imposed by one side. A restraint of trade also usually only prevents the employee from working for competitors in a specific geographic area.
 
But what about the fact that Ashlee lied to you about going for an interview?
 
***RECOMMENDED***
 
Warning: 1 out of 3 dismissals are deemed as 'unfair' by the CCMA!
 
Chairing a disciplinary hearing isn't easy. With all the disciplinary codes and procedures you have to remember...
 
The roles and rules you need to adhere to...
 
The different questions you need to ask...
 
The different types of evidence that can legally be presented...
 
There are dozens of things you need to keep in mind to give each employee a fair hearing.
 
But what if I told you that chairing a hearing that follows the right disciplinary process is as easy as five simple steps?
 
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The employee doesn't have to tell you she's looking for another job
An employee doesn't have to tell you she's looking for another job. This information is completely confidential. Ashlee can tell you if she wants to, but she doesn't have to – and you can't do anything about that.
 
The bottom line is that, unfortunately, you can't dismiss an employee for looking for another job, nor for lying to you about doing so.

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This is why you CAN'T dismiss an employee for looking for another job while working for you
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