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What procedure should you follow to deal with an absent employee?

by , 27 August 2013
Absenteeism isn't just about your staff not being at work. It costs your company a great deal in money, time and productivity not to mention frustration. Read on to discover what you must do to deal with an absent employee so you can minimise financial losses.

It's important to manage absenteeism in your workplace. Overlooking this area will cost your company thousands of rand.

But do you know the correct procedure to follow when dealing with an absent employee?

Has your employee been absent for a number of days? Here's how to deal with him

If your employee is absent for a period of days without any communication, you must attempt to contact him. You can do this via telephone, sms and email or send a registered letter to his last known address, explains the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

In your communication to your employee, request that he contacts his manager by a certain date to indicate his whereabouts and when he'll return to work.

If your employee doesn't respond, send a second communication. Notify him that you'll take disciplinary steps against him that may result in dismissal.

If he doesn't respond, you can view his conduct as desertion. In a sense, he's indicated he no longer wishes to be bound by the employment contract.

You must still tell him to attend a disciplinary enquiry and advise him of the allegations against him. If he doesn't attend the disciplinary enquiry, you can conduct it in his absence.

Remember, your employee could change his place of residence without notifying you. You could find this out from a third party.

If this happens, the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says that you're only required to send the correspondence to the employee's domicilium et executandi (the address that he gave you) and not to try to track him down. It's your employee's obligation to update his personal records.

When you've conducted a disciplinary enquiry, you must notify your employee about the outcome of the enquiry.

In addition, keep detailed records of any attempts to contact him. You can use the records as evidence you made an effort to inform your employee about your intended action against him, should the need arise.

What happens when your employee returns to work after a long absence?

If your employee unexpectedly returns to work after the termination, you can allow him to give you an explanation for his absence.

If he doesn't give you a satisfactory explanation then the dismissal will stand. If his explanation is a good one, you can treat this as an appeal against the dismissal and reverse your decision.

Well there you have it.

Knowing what to do when your employee is absent without any communication will ensure you follow the correct procedure to minimise financial loss.

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