How to solve 40 labour problems that drive other people nuts...

Labour Law for Managers – Practical Handbook Bonus Report

Be smart on labour issues wherever you are with your Labour Law Pocket Companion. This practical report addresses 40 questions every employer and manager has to deal with, from poor performance and overtime, to privacy and bonuses, contracts and dismissals to types of leave and night work.

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•    Absconding employees
•    Annual leave
•    Annual leave – taking sick days
•    Bonuses
•    Broken service
•    Children in the workplace
•    Children in the workplace – playrooms
•    Deductions from employee salaries
•    Displaying labour Acts
•    Family responsibility leave
•    Fixed-term contracts
•    Fixed-term contracts – public holidays
•    Health and safety in the workplace
•    HIV
•    Honesty
•    Insubordination and insolence
•    Internal advertising
•    Late coming
•    Managing poor performance
•    Maternity leave – annual leave
•    Maternity leave – informing employer
•    Night work
•    Night work and shift allowance
•    Notice
•    Overtime
•    Policies
•    Privacy
•    Privacy – CCTV cameras
•    Restraint of trade
•    Retirement
•    Shift allowances
•    Sick leave – depression
•    Sick leave – entitlement
•    Sick leave – Fridays and Mondays
•    Smoking
•    Transferring employees
•    Unfair dismissal
•    Unpaid leave
•    Warning letters
•    Witnesses - intimidation

Absconding employees

We had an employee who was a suspect in a theft case (stealing from the company) who the police have been investigating since June. He was paid for the full month of July on 26 July, and didn’t return to work after that date. On 4 August, management asked another employee who knew the absconding employee to make enquiries about his whereabouts. As a result, the absconding employee submitted his resignation to our Branch Manager via the enquiring employee.

We have discovered that he started work with another company, around the time of not returning to work on 27 July. In addition, the employee has an outstanding loan of R1 200 from our company. At the time he absconded he had four days’ leave due to him, and is entitled to a refund from the company’s provident fund.

We intend issuing a garnishee order for the R1 200 against his new employer.

However, before we do this we want to confirm other claims we’re entitled to, so we can combine the full amount.

The best course of action is to formally record in a letter to the employee that you were informed of his resignation, are aware he had started working for another company and you accept his resignation with effect from the date you became aware of it. You should get the employee to sign the letter, if possible.

You’ll be obliged to pay the employee for his outstanding leave. The employee isn’t entitled to notice pay if he resigned without giving you notice.

Given that he has tendered his resignation and immediately started working at another company, he isn’t tendering his services to you during his notice period and you can certainly refuse to pay him notice.

Whether he’s entitled to pension withdrawal benefits is an arrangement between the employee and the pension fund – and not the employer. But if he has stolen from the company you can ask the trustees to withhold payment of his pension benefits to allow you time to get a court order for the monies due to you, so you can obtain payment from his pension benefits.

Other than the R1 200, you would be able to claim the amount he stole from the company, provided you can prove how much that was. These are the amounts you can claim from the employee (and you may be able to recover the stolen money from his pension benefits as mentioned above).