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What to do if your employee takes time off to go to court like Oscar Pistorius?

by , 21 August 2013
Oscar Pistorius hasn't left the headlines since last Valentine's Day, when he allegedly murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He was in court again this past Monday. Although olympians may have no trouble finding the time to go to court, but what should you do if your employee cuts off their working hours to appear in court? Read on to find out...

As an international sportsman, Oscar Pistorius probably has no trouble taking time off for his numerous court appearances. But what should you do if your employee takes the same privilege?
 
Add a clause in your employment contracts to protect yourself
 
Make sure you've got instructions in your employment contracts. When the employee signs the contract, he agrees to the terms of employment.
 
Labour Law for Managers suggests including these conditions...
 
1. You must obligate your employee to tell you if the court charges him with a crime.
2. You must obligate your employee to tell you if he needs to be in court for any reason.
3. Your employee must take leave for the days he has to appear in court.
4. Your employee must give you adequate notice of the leave he needs for court appearances.
 
With these conditions in your employment contracts, you can make sure your employees don't cut into your company's productivity. By obligating them to declare that the court has charged him with a crime, you can decide where to go from there.
 
If the employee's criminal charge alters the trust relationship between him and your business, you can dismiss him. But you must follow proper procedures - you can't simply tell him to leave and not come back. After all, you must have a great reason for dismissing him before the court convicts him.
 
If your employee's court appearances are as prolonged and frequent as Oscar Pistorius', he may burn through his annual leave. If he still needs to take leave that he doesn't have, you can dismiss him for incapacity.

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