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Warning: You CAN'T dismiss your employee on the spot just because he was arrested

by , 02 September 2014
One of the situations you could face as an employer is finding out that your employee was arrested.

People get arrested all the time. In fact, after every weekend, police officers report high numbers of people they arrested for things like drunk driving, public drinking and so on.

So it's quite possible that one Monday morning, you could find out that your employee was locked up.

While this situation is infuriating, you can't dismiss your employee just because he was arrested.

Read on to find out why so you won't find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

It's natural to want to dismiss an arrested employee because of these reasons

#1: You worry about having a criminal, or someone suspected of a crime at your workplace and you feel you, your business, your property, your employees and your clients could be at risk of criminal activity if he returns to work;

#2: You had to hire another person and don't want two employees in one job;

#3: You don't want the name of your business to be associated with a criminal; and

#4: Your policy or disciplinary code states a criminal act or conviction will lead to dismissal.

While one could argue that these are sound reasons, you CAN'T terminate your employee's services just because he was arrested. You also can't treat him as a deserter who's 'fired himself' when you know why he hasn't been coming to work.

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If you dismiss your employee just because he was arrested, it'll be unfair dismissal

You can only dismiss an employee who was arrested after following proper disciplinary procedures, says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service

Even if you have a number of pressing reasons to dismiss him, don't do it. Firing him is against his legal right to a fair disciplinary process and could land up costing you for reinstatement or compensation.

The important point here is that you mustn't let your anger consume you. Follow the correct disciplinary process if your employee was arrested. Don't dismiss him on the spot.

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