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Thread: Abuse of absenteeism policy

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    Abuse of absenteeism policy

    I am faced with an employee who has used up all her sick leave (probably fraudulently), family responsibility leave and vacation leave and who continues to randomly take periods of absenteeism because her child is sick. Regardless of proof of illness the business cannot afford to run this way. she refuses to sign a Final written warning for unauthorised absenteeism. If i hold a hearing for absenteeism can I dismiss her if the code of conduct says FWW for first attempt (but was not really written for this situation) or is there a better process to follow?

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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    I hope you are not paying her for time taken off that she doesn't have ......
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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    May I suggest that you list the dates of absence, and then very important, mark off the days of absence that preceed or follow an of day.
    If there is a pattern this pattern will point to abuse.

    Child sick doe snot qualify as sick leave.
    The contract is that the employee provides service and the employer pays.
    If unable to do so then the contract is not being honoured.

    Abuse, with sick notes can point to dishonesty which opens the door for possible dismissal.

    It is worth mentioning, that you do not, of necessity, need an employee to sign a warning for it to be valid.
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

  4. Thank given for this post:

    adrianh (12-Jun-16), AndyD (08-Jun-16), Vanash Naick (08-Jun-16)

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    Thanks guys, I am going to regard the unsigned warning as valid and hold a hearing whether attended or in absentia. If she does not bring convincing new evidence she will have to face dismissal.

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    Hi Glen
    I am concerned with the tone of your thread. One needs to be (or at least try be) objective and keep an open mind, until the hearing. It appears that you are premediating dismissal and this will probably be noticeable to others, in your conduct and discourse on the topic of this employee. If this employee is dismissed and goes to CCMA with proof of her child's illness, and the commissioner happens to be female, sympathy might not be on your side. Payment for unauthorised absent periods is not mandatory. If this employee is a single parent her case is even more meritorious and you may be seen as an insensitive employer. May I suggest a softer stance, i.e. have a conversation with the employee in private and try understand her situation, respond to her in a caring concerned manner, yet indicating the impact of her absenteeism on the business. Is it possible to assist her in another way, changing her position to half day, perhaps. Clearly, if there is a case for leave abuse, this could lead to a fair dismissal, but showing compassion and understanding for her possibly unique set of circumstances, makes you a better person in the eyes of your staff, your clients and especially, hers. I think you have an opportunity to turn this recalcitrant employee into a star employee. You're probably swearing at me while you're reading this, but this is sound advice.

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    premediating should be "premeditating", apologies.

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