Use this six-point checklist to deal with absconding employees and avoid paying up to 12 months’ remuneration as compensation

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 07 Jan. 2015

Tags: abscondment, absconding employees, dealing with employees who abscond, dealing with absconding employees, absconding from work


If we were to draw up a list of problems employers face at the start of the new year, abscondment would make it on the list.

Abscondment happens when, for example, your employee doesn’t come to work for a number of weeks. During this time, you can’t get hold of him and you have no idea if he’s coming back to work. As a result, you get the impression he doesn’t intend to return to work.

While this is frustrating and disruptive to your business, it’s crucial you deal with it correctly.

If you don’t and dismiss your employee, he can challenge the fairness of his dismissal. If he succeeds, you may have to take him back or pay him 12 months’ remuneration as compensation.

Since that’s a risk you can’t afford to take, use this six-point checklist to correctly deal with absconding employees in your workplace.



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The abscondment solution you’ve been waiting for

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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The ultimate checklist for dealing with employees who abscond

 
1. Don’t assume your employee is absconding from work and that he has no intention of coming back.
 
You must try all means to contact him. For example, call him, write a letter and send it to his home, email him and get in touch with his relatives to find out where he is.
 
2. Keep a record on your employee’s personnel file of all your attempts to contact him. This will come in handy if you dismiss him and he challenges you at the CCMA later on. You’ll be able to prove your case.
 
3. If you find that your employee is in jail or in hospital, try to find out which prison or hospital he’s in.
 
4. If you manage to contact your employee, tell him to attend a disciplinary hearing.
 
To make sure your disciplinary hearing is fair, check out The Chairman’s Guide to Disciplinary Hearings: How to Chair 100% Legally Compliant Hearings.
 
5. Give your employee a chance to explain the reasons for his absence from work. You can then use these reasons to determine whether dismissal is fitting.
 
6. If your employee indicates an unequivocal intention not to return to work, you don’t have to hold a hearing, says AWOL! Your guide to dealing with employees who abscond.
 
The guide adds that in this case, it’s a good idea to document the evidence and rationale for dismissal.
 

Dealing with absconding employees isn’t straightforward

 
The important thing is you have to take reasonable steps to find your employee and get his reasons for not coming to work.
 
To safeguard your company, advise your employees to regularly update their and their next-of-kins’ contact details. Tell them that if they don’t do so, they can’t hold you responsible if they don’t get any communications from your company when you’re dealing with abscontion.
 
There you have it: Use this six-point checklist to deal with absconding employees legally and avoid paying up to 12 months’ remuneration as compensation.
 
PS: For more information on how to deal with absconding employees, check out AWOL! Your guide to dealing with employees who abscond. It will help you confidently deal with absconding employees while protecting yourself and your company from an unfair dismissal case.
 

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