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To fairly dismiss an absconded employee, the Chairman of your disciplinary hearing must consider these four factors

by , 17 February 2015
Your employee has absconded. Now you have to contact him to find out where he is. You get hold of him and he agrees to come back to work for a disciplinary hearing.

If after the hearing, the Chairperson finds your employee guilty, he must take into account certain factors to decide if dismissal is the correct penalty. If he doesn't, your employee could challenge the fairness of his dismissal at the CCMA.

And chances are, the CCMA will overturn the decision and you'll have to take your employee back or pay him up to 12 months' salary in compensation.

Don't take chances.

Read on to find out the four factors the Chairman must consider so your employee's dismissal is fair.


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If the Chairman of your disciplinary hearing finds an employee guilty of absconsion, he must consider these four factors to decide if dismissal fits the misconduct

 
When your employee attends the disciplinary hearing, he must explain his absence.
 
The Chairperson of the hearing will then decide on a balance of probabilities whether your employee's explanation is valid. This after hearing your employee's evidence and yours.
 
If he finds your employee guilty of absconding, he must take into account the following four factors to decide if dismissal fits the misconduct. This is the only way to make sure it's fair. He must consider:
 
#1: The number of days your employee was away;
 
#2: The reason he gave for his absence. Or why he didn't tell you about his whereabouts;
 
#3: His role and level of seniority in the company; and
 
#4: Whether he has a previous disciplinary record.
 
Without these four considerations, dismissal is unlikely to be fair.
 
In addition to taking these factors into account, the Chairperson must always remember that dismissal must be a last resort. To dismiss, he has to find that the trust relationship has irreparably broken down, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.
 
Now that you know what the Chairperson must consider to make sure dismissal is fair, keep these two key points in mind when it comes to absconsion…
 
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Two points to remember about absconsion

 
1. It's wrong to assume your employee has absconded with the intention to not come back to work. You must try all means to find him. And give him a chance to explain why he hasn't been at work.
 
If you dismiss your employee right away, he could challenge the fairness of his dismissal at the CCMA or Labour Court. If he wins, you may have to take him back or pay him up to 12 months' remuneration.
 
2. If you get hold of him and he tells you he isn't coming back to work, you don't legally need to hold a disciplinary hearing, but it's in your best interest to hold it anyway. Find out why here.
 
PS: For more information on how to deal with absconsion, get your hands on AWOL! Your guide to dealing with employees who abscond.

 
 


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