Before you charge your employee with gross insubordination, consider these five points

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 12 Aug. 2014

Tags: discipline, gross insubordination, insubordination

According to Taryn Strugnell, the Managing Editor for Labour Law for Managers, gross insubordination is an employee’s deliberate defiance of your authority.

In terms of labour law, an employee has a basic duty to follow your instructions. This is because you base all employment relationships on different levels of power.

So a deliberate and wilful refusal goes against the most important duty of an employee and is the perfect example of gross insubordination. You can take action against your employee for this.

Take a look at the five things you must consider before you charge your employee with gross insubordination so you can discipline your employee correctly.

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Consider these five things before you charge your employee with gross insubordination

#1: Is the employee subordinate to the person who gave the instruction?

#2: Does the person who gave the instruction have authority. In other words, the person giving the instruction must be the manager or supervisor of the employee or any other higher level position.

#3: Was the instruction lawful and legitimate?

Examples of unlawful instructions include instructing an employee:

  • Who isn’t qualified to drive a forklift to drive one;
  • To work more hours than allowed in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA); or
  • To “cook the books” to hide certain profits etc.

#4: Was the instruction reasonable under the circumstances?

For example, it isn’t reasonable to humiliate an employee. You can’t tell him to stand at the gate with a sign around his neck saying no one’s getting an annual bonus because he’s always late for work.

#5: Was the refusal deliberate defiance or challenge to your authority?

When we say deliberate, we mean did he break the terms and conditions of employment. For example, your employee refuses to carry out your instruction and tells you to do the work yourself.

Being rude, reluctant or slow to carry out the instruction doesn’t count.

There you have it. These are just some of the things you must consider before you charge your employee with gross insubordination. To get a full list of the things you must consider, check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service so you can discipline your employees correctly.

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