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What is summary dismissal?

by , 02 September 2014
Our labour experts get a lot of questions from confused employers.

One question that keeps coming up is: What is summary dismissal?

Employers what to know what is and how exactly it works.

If you want to know the answer too, keep reading so you can always make an informed decision that won't lead to legal comebacks.

Here's what you need to know about summary dismissal

According to Wouter Van Heerden, Human Resources and Industrial Relations Consultant and expert at the Labour & HR Club, a summary dismissal is a dismissal based on the capacity or the conduct of the employee.

When an employee is dismissed 'summarily', she's dismissed without notice. Her dismissal takes place immediately following a disciplinary enquiry.

What makes this dismissal different from other dismissals is that your employee isn't entitled to notice as agreed in her contract of employment or, as set out in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 (BCEA). In addition, your employee isn't entitled to payment in lieu of notice.

By dismissing your employee summarily, you effectively declare you are no longer bound to the contract of employment from that moment onwards. This stops your employee from continuing to work in terms of her contract of employment from the moment of termination.

So when does summary dismissal occur?

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Summary dismissal usually happens when an employee commits a serious act of misconduct

This includes wilful damage to property, physical assault, gross dishonesty, fraud etc.

For example, Janet is summarily dismissed for theft and fraud following a disciplinary enquiry and her employment is terminated immediately. She doesn't work her notice period or receive payment in lieu of notice.

Now that you know what summary dismissal is make sure you make an informed decision to avoid any come-backs!

For more information on summary dismissal, check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.


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