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Two factors to consider when dealing with an employee's permanent incapacity

by , 18 October 2015
The Labour Relations Act protects employees from unfair dismissal.

In order for a dismissal to be fair, you need to have a valid reason for it.

And one of those fair reasons has to do with the incapacity of the employee.

Incapacity has to do with an employee's inability or failure to meet the specific requirements for the job.

Now when it comes to incapacity, more specifically with regard to ill-health or injury, it's worth noting there's temporary and permanent incapacity, which can be determined through an investigation.

Temporary incapacity doesn't necessarily mean an employee is completely incapable of carrying out the job and may be able to perform some light duties or another function.

But what if an employee's permanently incapacitated?

Here are two factors to consider when dealing with permanent incapacity:


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You must consider the possibility of alternative employment – such as a different position within your business.


Consider adapting the employee's work duties so as to accommodate him, if reasonably possible. This can include reduced working time and work load. You could also adapt his working equipment or implement job sharing.

Note that if the capacity amounts to disability, you have an OBLIGATION to provide reasonable accommodation for the employee.
Those were two factors to consider when it comes to dealing with an employee's incapacity due to ill-health or injury.

To learn more on employee incapacity, subscribe to Labour Law for Managers.


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