Implement these two measures today to overcome the difficulty of proving your employee doesn’t intend to come back to work

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 08 Jan. 2015

Tags: dealing with absconding employees, absconding employees, absconding, desertion, abscontion


When we say dealing with desertion or absconding employees is complex, we’re not kidding.

After all, before you can consider your employee’s absence desertion, you must make sure four elements are present.

One of these elements is showing your employee’s intention is never to come back to work. Once you’re sure he’s not coming back, you can safely take steps to dismiss him.

This is incredibly difficult because, let’s face it, you can’t read your employee’s mind and know for sure he doesn’t intend to come back to work.

So what can you do to get round this problem?

Implement these two measures. They’ll help you overcome the difficulty of proving your employee doesn’t intend to come back to work. After all, prevention is better than cure.



If you put these measures in place, you can overcome the intention aspect when it comes to absconding employees

 
According to AWOL! Your guide to dealing with employees who abscond, it’s almost impossible for you to prove your employee’s intention is to never return. But, if you put in place the following measures, you can overcome the difficulty of establishing the intention:
 
1. Put a desertion clause in your employment contracts and disciplinary code
 
This must say your employee has a duty to tell you when he’s going to be absent and the reasons for it.
 
Make it clear that if, for example, he’s off work without telling you, he must give you reasons for the absence (for example, within two days) when he comes back.
 
Your desertion clause can also say if an employee is absent from work for a long time (for example, three days or more) and he doesn’t contact you, you’ll take it as absconding or desertion and assume he’s chose to end his employment for unknown reasons.
 
You can find a sample desertion clause in AWOL! Your guide to dealing with employees who abscond.
 
 
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AWOL! Your guide to dealing with employees who abscond is a step-by-step guide on the process you need to follow to make sure you deal with absconded employees correctly and effectively.

With it, you can confidently deal with absconding employees while protecting yourself and your company from an unfair dismissal case.

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2. Make it clear how you’ll respond to your employee’s absence
 
Your disciplinary code or employment contract must also say what your response to employee absence will be.
 
For example, you can state that if your employee is absent for three consecutive working days without informing you, you’ll:
 
  • Call him;
 
  • Send a letter to his home;
 
  • Send an email to his personal email address; or
 
  • SMS him.
 
Doing this will make sure you treat all cases of desertion the same way. But more importantly, it also shows you’ll take reasonable steps to check reasons for the absence and if your employee intends to return. This will be useful if your employee tries to challenge you on his dismissal in court.
 
There you have it: While these measures won’t prove your employee isn’t planning to return to work, they’ll help you overcome the difficulty of establishing the intention. Make sure you implement them today.
 
PS: To confidently deal with absconding employees while protecting yourself and your company from an unfair dismissal case, check out AWOL! Your guide to dealing with employees who abscond.

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