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HR 101 – What to do When . . . Staff are Negligent in their Duties – Part 2

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Please note that this pertains to South African Labour Relations & Best Practice requirements.

So here we are again with Mike and George and the disciplinary is now taking place. You will remember that George has failed in his duty as the Security guard, to either search the employees as they were leaving or to search them in the correct manner. George has also allowed employees to sign the register evidencing that they have been properly search when they haven’t and all of this has been captured on video.

At no time during the disciplinary did George challenge any of what Mike had found. In other words he did not deny that he had not searched some of the employees, he did not deny that he had not searched some of the employees in the manner prescribed in the procedures as laid down or even that he had allowed staff to sign the register indicating that they had been searched, when in fact they hadn’t. George did not deny anything.

What George did say however, is that he had not been trained properly – in fact he stated that he was upset at the lack of training that he had received by Mike at this store. He further stated that the search “procedures” which he had not received any training for at this store, were completely different to the search “procedures” that he had been trained in at a previous store that Mike owned.

The Chairman presiding over the disciplinary, after weighing up all the evidence and taking into account the fact that George had been with the Company for 15 years, found George guilty of misconduct in that he had failed in his duty to properly carry out the required search procedures. George’s misconduct had created a potential loss or theft situation and had therefore put the company at risk. The Chairman also took into account that ‘as far as was known’ no theft or loss had taken place during this particular shift.

The Chairman further found that despite all of the mitigating circumstances (being the long service and that no losses appeared to have taken place during this particular shift), that the relationship of trust and confidence had been broken down irrevocably. This was shown and highlighted by the video footage that had been provided proving that the employee had failed in his duty and that as a result of this the employment relationship could no longer continue.

George was dismissed.

In accordance with Mike’s internal appeal procedure and in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, George lodged a formal appeal.

Now of course, an appeal hearing had to take place.

Next time we will continue with what happens.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@nullviljoenconsulting.co.za

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