We had a gardener who has worked for us some 14 years. Been fairly reliable in the past.
In June, he developed a boil on his left leg by the knee.
He went to hospital locally, but then reached the conclusion that he had had a curse put on him, and he had to return to Zimbabwe to see the Sangoma to lift the curse.
He took his leave, was due back at work on 6th July.
We SMSd him, asking what was happening. He ignored it.
Follow up - also ignored.
Followed up with a wording provided by an HR person who knows legal requirements, stating unless we heard from him by a set date we will take it that he is not coming back, he has absconded, etc.
Then sent next message that he was no longer employed as he has absconded.
His brother, who lives just up the road, then came to us to object to us "firing" his brother. We pointed out that we had not fired him, but he had absconded. Action on his side.
He suddenly re-appears last week, expecting to work for us. Three months later, as near as dammit is to swearing. Told him that we had told him that he had no job, etc. "But I was sick". Yes - but it is your duty to keep us informed, you ignored all the messages. Did you get the messages? Yes, he confirms it. (Brother pitching up also proves it?!
Now we have a Con/Arb hearing scheduled at CCMA.
The Commissioner called me, telling me he is told we have "fired" him.
I told the facts, and his whole attitude changed - almost friendly. He asked, if due to the long service, we would consider making some form of payment. We offerd two months' salary.
Declined by him - he wants about 8 months' salary .....
Hearing date is set - but we are away in the Cape on the date it is set.
Phoned to ask for postponement, to be told "we do not postpose Con Arb hearings",
Then told we could email an objection to the date, and it "may" be considered....
No wonder we don't want to employ staff...