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Three legal reasons you can use to dismiss an employee

by , 22 September 2014
Unfair dismissal is the main reason employers find themselves at the CCMA over and over again.

They keep making errors when dismissing employees. Unfortunately for them, this leads to unnecessary and often huge expenses.

The good news is, you can avoid falling into the same trap if you know the three legal reasons you can use to dismiss employees.

Read on to find out what these reasons are so you can avoid landing at the CCMA and paying up to 24 months' salary as compensation!

Three legal reasons for dismissing an employee

Reason #1: Your employee's conduct

According to the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, you can use misconduct as a fair reason to dismiss for the following offences:
  • Theft;
  • Fraud;
  • Physical assault;
  • Sexual offences;
  • Criminal offences;
  • Gross negligence;
  • Gross insubordination;
  • Continual late coming;
  • Absenteeism;
  • Absconsion; and
  • Failure to follow procedures.

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Reason #2: Your employee's capacity

You can dismiss for incapacity for poor performance or illness.

You could dismiss for poor performance if you find your employee doesn't have the capacity to perform his job to the standard you require. And you could dismiss for illness when your employee is too sick to continue working.

Reason #3: Your business's operational requirements 

Dismissals for operational requirements are 'no fault' dismissals and are known as retrenchments. They generally occur for two reasons:
  1. Your company is in financial distress; and
  2. The position is redundant.
It's that simple.

Whether you're dismissing due to conduct, capacity or operational reasons, you MUST follow the correct dismissal procedure.

These are the only three legal reasons you can use to dismiss an employee. Now that you know these reasons, don't make errors that could result in CCMA trips and compensation costs.

PS: We strongly recommend you check out the "You're Fired!" Your guide to substantive and procedurally fair dismissals. It has all the information you need to make sure your dimissals are legally compliant.

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