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You have two options if you catch your employee stealing from you

by , 28 October 2016
You have two options if you catch your employee stealing from youIs your employee stealing from you? If so, read on to find out what your two options are regarding employee theft.

The Labour Law for Managers says theft in the workplace happens when your employee takes goods to which he has no lawful right and with the intention to keep the goods to use or sell or for any other purpose.

Essentially, he has no intention of returning the goods to you as the owner.

So what choices do you have when your employee steals from you?

You have two choices if an employee steals from you:

  1. Follow your disciplinary procedure and dismiss your employee or
  2. Call the police and have your employee arrested, as it's a criminal offence to steal.

Sounds simple?

Not quite.


Revealed: How to legally deduct money from your negligent employee's salary without landing up at the CCMA

As an employer there are deductions you can make and then there are deductions you can't. And it's your responsibility to follow the correct rules and procedures to make sure you get it right.

If you don't and your employee disputes this deduction, you'll land up at the CCMA. And you WILL lose!


If you call the police and have your employee arrested, he'll remain your employee until you dismiss him.

Also keep in mind that if your employee is in jail, you can't notify him to attend a disciplinary enquiry and then hold it in his absence, as you know he won't be able to attend. It'll be procedurally unfair if you dismiss him because he's in jail.

The best thing you can do is to hold the disciplinary hearing first. If the chairperson finds him guilty and dismisses him, then contact the police. This will ensure you complete your internal processes and then decide whether to have your employee charged in a criminal case and possibly jailed.

That said; if your employee has stolen potentially harmful or dangerous items such as arms and ammunition, drugs, poisons or a very expensive item, you must notify the police at once.

Get him arrested so he's not on your company premises and then dismiss him later.

Here's a useful tip to help you deal employee theft:

The Guide says you must incorporate theft into your disciplinary code as a serious offence where you dismiss for a first offence. Or as part of a group of offences which fall under 'dishonesty'.

Important: 'In a small business, stealing by a single employee can have a significant negative impact on both productivity and the bottom line. A thieving employee won't advertise his illegal activities, so managers must be alert to any suspicious signs and be prepared to investigate when necessary,' says Small Business Chron.

Knowing what to do when an employee steals from you will help ensure you deal with the matter effectively.

You can deduct money from negligent employees!
Picture this... Your driver Tim skips a red robot to get to your supplier before they close on Friday and collides with another car. What a mess!
This minor mishap is going to cost your company R5 000 in insurance excess and a traffic fine of R1 500!
That's a total of R6 500 you have to pay because of damages your employee caused.
But this isn't the first time Tim's cost your company money.
While you let the other time slide because he was new on the job... This time, you want him to take responsibility for his mistake and he agrees that he'll pay back the money.
After three months, you're still waiting for payment.
So how do you go about actually retrieving the R6 500 he owes you?
Do you write that R6 500 off as a financial loss?
No! You deduct it from his salary!

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