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6 Actions to follow when dealing with an absconded employee

by , 25 February 2016
Has one of your employees absconded?

If so, then there are 6 important actions you must take in dealing with it correctly. If you don't, you could be sitting with a bad case of unfair dismissal.

They are as follows...

***Must have***

What can you do when you think your employee's gone AWOL?

Your employee hasn't shown up for work all week. And you have no idea if he's ever coming back to work!
You've tried getting hold of him to no avail.
What can you do when you think your employee has absconded?
You have to follow the right process before you dismiss him
Click here to find out how to deal abscondment legally…  


DON'T merely assume your employee has absconded with the intention to never return.

The last thing you want to do is be too hasty here. So keep reading…


Make EVERY reasonable attempt to contact the employee.

Examples of such attempts include:

·         By hand (if you know his whereabouts);
·         Written communication by registered post to the last known address;
·         SMS's, emails or telephone messages to any contact details which you have on record or which you are able to retrieve.

The point here is that you need to make some effort to get in contact before jumping to conclusions.


Keep a detailed record on the employee's personnel file of all attempts to contact him.


If the employee's been jailed or hospitalised, try to find out exactly which hospital or prison he's in.


If you do manage to get in touch with the employee, instruct him to attend a disciplinary hearing.


It is VITAL that you give your employee a chance to explain why he was absent from work.

You should then seriously contemplate these reasons to determine whether or not dismissal is actually appropriate.

If you do decide to dismiss, make sure the reasons were not adequate, and that this would even be the case in the eyes of the CCMA.

TIPS: Encourage all of your employees to regularly update their, and their next-of-kin's, contact details. And tell them that if they don't, then you can't be held liable for your communications not reaching them.

NOTE: You don't have to hold a disciplinary hearing if an employee has in fact shown an unmistakable intention not to return to work. Nevertheless, you should STILL document the evidence and rationale for the dismissal.
*To learn more on absconding employees, go to chapter A 02 in your Practical Guide to Human Resources Management today.
Otherwise click here to order yours today. 

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