Desertion or abscondment is when your employee is absent for so long you get the impression he doesn't intend to return to work. He hasn't informed you of his whereabouts, whether he's ill or when he intends to return to work, says the Labour law for Managers
But the big question is: What do you do when your employee has absconded?
What to do when dealing with absconding employees
Step1: Don't assume your employee has absconded with the intention never to return.
Step2: Make every attempt to contact your employee.
Write a letter and send it by post to the last known address you have on file, contact his family members, friends or colleagues who may know his whereabouts. Or send emails, sms and phone messages to any contact numbers or email addresses you have on file or which you're able to locate.
Step3: If your employee's been jailed or hospitalised, try to find out which prison or hospital he's in.
Step4: Keep a record on your employee's file of all attempts to contact him.
Step5: If you manage to contact your employee, instruct him to attend a disciplinary hearing.
Step6: Give your employee the opportunity to explain the reasons for his absence from work. Use these reasons to determine whether dismissal is appropriate.
Keep in mind that you don't have to hold a hearing if your employee's indicated a clear intention not to return to work. But it's a good idea to document the evidence and rationale for dismissal. And remember, you CAN'T assume this intention if your employee's in hospital or jail.
It's also a good idea to advise your employee's that they're required to regularly update their and their next-of kins' contact details. Tell them that if they don't do so you can't be held responsible if the employee doesn't receive any communications from the company.
Well there you have it. Follow this procedure if your employee has absconded to comply with labour law.