Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Dealing with Desertion

  1. #1
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts

    Dealing with Desertion

    An employee deserting their post seems to be an issue with is quite difficult to deal with under South African labour law. I was just reminded of this when reading the latest Labour Guide newsletter on desertion.

    The following is quoted in the arbitration award : “ desertion is distinguishable from absence without leave, in that the employee who deserts his or her post does so with the intention of not returning, or, having left his or her post, subsequently formulates the intention not to return. On the other hand, the AWOL employee is absent with the intention of resuming his or her employment.”

    The arbitrator observed further that “most deserters do not inform their employer that they are abandoning their job - they simply do not turn up for work.”

    How then, does the employer establish whether or not the employee has the intention of returning to work?
    This whole issue has come up here before, and I would say that most employers have no idea how to deal with this type of situation when it arises. This problem has come up here before (I just can't find the thread now - Marq has had issues in the past).

    How would you feel about attempting to determine a protocol for dealing with this situation? i.e. set up a list of things to do to provide you the relevant information to "prove" that an employee has absconded were the case to go to arbitration.

    Some input from those who have experience with this, or knowledge of the law would help a lot. Obviously this would not be a panacea, but could possible provide some guidelines that employers could work within.
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 11-Jun-07 at 07:39 AM.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    I think the thread you were looking for is Absconding Desrting Employees.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  3. #3
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts
    At what point can you stop paying an employee who is absent without leave?
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  4. #4
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    I think a major factor is if you have dealt with desertion in your employment contract.

    I'd pay timeously for days worked. For anything past that, I'd argue there is a difference between suspending payments pending clarity and dismissal for desertion
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  5. #5
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts
    So would it be within the bounds of our labour law to have a contract that says that AWOL will be considered to be unpaid leave? Or alternatively that leave will be paid out until there is no leave left, and then unpaid leave from then on?
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  6. #6
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    The wonderful part of our labour law is that it defines what must be paid leave. Accordingly there seems to be no obligation to pay for absences that don't fall in the defined "paid" categories.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  7. #7
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts
    Well, there we have the first two steps figured out,

    1. Make sure your contract deals with desertion/absconding (anyone have some particular guidelines for this?)
    2. If the employee is AWOL there is no need to pay them.


    Disclaimer: I (we) am (are) not a labour lawyer. I (we) take no responsibility if any suggestions come back to bite you in the bum. Please see the site disclaimer.
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 12-Jun-07 at 09:57 AM.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

  8. #8
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    20,980
    Thanks
    3,055
    Thanked 2,463 Times in 2,068 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Do you think I should add a link to our wiki disclaimer to the fine print at the bottom of the forum?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  9. #9
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    2,642
    Thanks
    119
    Thanked 94 Times in 77 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Do you think I should add a link to our wiki disclaimer to the fine print at the bottom of the forum?
    Yes, I think that is a good idea. If anyone feels they are providing info that requires a disclaimer, they can then just link to that too.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
    Turn ideas into products | The Art of Engineering blog

Similar Threads

  1. Dealing with criticism.
    By Dave A in forum General Chat Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 25-Jan-07, 10:00 AM

Tags for this Thread

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •