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If your employees take unauthorised leave this December, here's how to legally deal with them

by , 16 December 2014
The way some employees behave at this time of year is astonishing.

Their behaviour suggests they believe business takes a back seat just because it's December.

Employees start to arrive late or make holiday plans during office hours instead of doing their work.

Some go against your leave policy and take unauthorised leave. As a result, productivity suffers.

While you can forgive lateness here and there, you don't have to put up with employees who take leave without your permission. You must deal with them ASAP before they cripple your business.

How do you do this without landing up at the CCMA?

Read on to find out how to legally deal with employees who take unauthorised leave this December.


Here's how to legally deal with employees who take unauthorised leave

 
The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says you must call your employee and tell him he's on unauthorised leave. And he must come back to work.
 
When he comes back, you MUST insist on the 'no work, no pay' rule. You can do this even if he has a valid reason for the absence. The fact is you didn't give him permission. Therefore, it's unpaid leave.

 
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What if your employee doesn't come back from leave after you get in touch with him?

 
You must send a notice to his home and tell him he's absent from work without permission. And this is unacceptable. In the notice, put down a specific date for him to come back to work.
 
If he returns, discipline him. You must treat the absence as misconduct and have a disciplinary hearing. And you don't have to pay him for the time he was away.
 
To find out how to conduct a legally compliant hearing, check out The Chairman's Guide to Disciplinary Hearings: How to Chair 100% Legally Compliant Hearings.
 

What if your employee fails to return after you send notice to his home?

 
In this case, send another notice and tell him to attend a disciplinary hearing.
 
At the hearing (whether or not he attends), deal with the issue as misconduct and discipline him accordingly.
 
Remember, you must follow your HR policies and procedures when you take action. If you don't, things could back fire and you could land at the CCMA for unfair labour practice.

 
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You have to follow the right process before you dismiss him

Click here to find out how to deal abscondment legally…

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Is there a way to reduce the risk of employees taking unauthorised leave in the first place?

 
You can remind your employees of your leave policy during this time. And make the consequences of taking unauthorised leave clear to them.
 
A reminder will make them think twice about going on leave without your permission.
 
Now that you have the know-how, deal with employees who take unauthorised leave this December legally before they cripple your business.
 
PS: For more information on leave, check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.


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