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.
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 (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?
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.