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Two things you should NEVER do when firing an employee

by , 14 May 2013
You might think that getting rid of a problematic employee is the end of your problems, but it's not if you make errors in your procedure to dismiss him. Read on to discover the two things you should never do when you dismiss an employee to avoid being forced to pay 12 to 24 months' salary as compensation.

Do you make common errors when dismissing employees? These can lead to unnecessary and often huge expenses in compensation.

That's why you must consider substance and procedure when dismissing. The CCMA considers 'procedural and substantive aspects separately. If your dismissal was substantively correct but procedurally incorrect, you'll lose your case at arbitration,' explains the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

So steer clear of the following transgressions when dismissing employees…

Avoid these dismissal pitfalls

  1. Never be inconsistent. You must apply your discipline consistently to ensure your labour practices are fair. Ensure you can defend your decision if you decide to dismiss one employee for an offence, but don't dismiss another for the same offence. For example, you can't dismiss an employee for absenteeism if you don't discipline other employees for the same thing. Keep in mind that different penalties for the same offence are only acceptable if mitigating and aggravating circumstances allow it.
  2. Never take it for granted that your employee is aware of your policies and procedures. Ensure your company has a disciplinary code detailing the likely penalties for each offence. Ensure all employees are aware of the code. Never contravene your procedures and try to apply them consistently when something happens. 'You can't discipline and dismiss your employee if he can honestly say he didn't know his action was a punishable offence and can prove it's been done before without sanction,' warns the Loose Leaf.

Knowing what you should do when dismissing employees will help ensure you follow a fair procedure to avoid landing at the CCMA or paying compensation.

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