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"I quit with immediate effect" What are your rights with an employee who doesn't give notice?

by , 28 November 2016
Have you ever had an employee resign with 24 hours' notice and then just walk out on you?

He doesn't bother giving you the legally required notice period... And he hasn't even done a proper handover.

What now?

Let's look at what the Basic Conditions of Employment Act says about this...

Let's look at what the BCEA says about this…

When it comes to notice periods, it says you can't give notice of less than-

(a) 1 Week. If the employee works for 6 months or less;
(b) 2 Weeks. If he works for more than 6 months, but not more than one year; and
(c) 4 Weeks, if the employee-
(i) Works for you for one year or more; or
(ii) Is a farm worker or domestic worker who works for more than six months.
These statutory stipulations are all very well, but where does this leave you when the employee walks out on 24 hours' notice?
You'll have to treat this as a breach of contract.
Keep reading to find out how…

The right way to draw up your employment contracts!

You give your employees the terms and conditions of their employment in writing. his document can take the form of a letter of appointment, or you can create a more formal contract of employment – the form doesn't matter it's the content that's important. 

Getting your employee to sign the document avoids disputes about whether or not it was given and what it contains. You must do this when the employee  starts working for you.

Haven't done it yet?

Better late than never! Check all your personnel records and draw up the employment documents now, even if your employees have been working for you for years.

Include this clause in your employment contracts…
You must cover yourself in your employment contracts. Include a clause that says, if an employee terminates the contract without giving the proper notice, you'll deduct an amount equal to the period of notice he didn't give from the final payment you'll pay him.
By including this, it's part of the agreement between the two of you. It also becomes a condition of employment. So he's legally bound to follow this, and if he doesn't, you can deduct the amount. Or sue him for the amount due.
But there's no need to spend hours typing, copying and formatting documents for employees, yourself. Simply adapt these professionally-created templates directly on your PC – they will help you prove the employee didn't have the right to walk out on you.

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