Labour Bulletin | 14 April, 2011 | Hot Topics:
I hope the last full work week of April is treating you well.
The public holidays are around the corner, but unfortunately as an employer you can’t wind down just yet. Managing employees is a full time job and hopefully you have more positive than negative experiences when dealing with your staff!
I’m sure you’ll feel for this subscriber who’s been dealing with his problem employee for years! He wants to dismiss her, but knows he can’t just jump in and do it. So he turned to our experts for help.
Let’s see what advice they’ve given him
My employee has worked for me for just over five years. I initially appointed her to work twice a week, but increased this to three times a week after three years.
In the five years she’s been off sick a lot. I’ve discussed this issue with her on numerous occasions, but nothing much has changed. She doesn’t come to work, doesn’t let me or her direct supervisor know and doesn’t supply a medical certificate when she returns. After a few incidents like this, I gave her two verbal warnings. This made no difference, so I gave her a written warning 11 months ago for absence without informing management.
Five months after the first written warning, I gave her a second written warning for the same problem. I issued her third and final written warning to her last week, after she’d been absent without informing me or her supervisor again. Her manager tried to contact her but she didn’t answer her phone.
When she arrived back at work the next day, she claimed she didn’t know she had to let anybody know if she’s not coming to work. I don’t believe this as I’ve explained the process to her many times before.
I decided to suspend her. I gave her a letter informing her of her suspension and date of her disciplinary hearing.
Can I dismiss her based on the information I’ve outlined?
Whether or not she’s dismissed depends on a number of factors that the chairperson of a disciplinary enquiry will have to decide on. For example, whether he finds her guilty of the charges, the mitigating and aggravating factors if she’s found guilty and whether dismissal, as a sanction, is appropriate.
It seems to us that you undertook progressive disciplinary measures which included the issuing of warnings.
You must highlight this to the chairperson. Further, despite a final warning, the employee has transgressed again. In the circumstances, you could motivate for her dismissal at the enquiry.
I’m sure this subscriber is relieved he doesn’t have to deal with this troublesome employee any longer!
Remember, you too can ask our expert consultants for advice on your specific labour query. Only if you’re a subscriber to the Labour Law for Managers of course. Don’t worry if you’re not though, you can solve that problem easily. Just click here to see what other outstanding benefits you’ll receive from this service.
Until next time...
FSP Business: Personnel Division
Labour Bulletin Editor
The Labour Bulletin team speaks to subscribers every week on landmark labour events and offer valuable and practical information from the Handbook, from questions and answers and from our experts that subscribers can use now to benefit their business.