What does desertation mean? In emeployment relationship, this word is normally used when an employee goes missing without an authorized leave. This ia a tricky issue because as an employer you are not sure whether the employee will reappear or not and at the same time you want your business to continue and you end uo hiring someone to replace that employee who had deserted. The million dollar question is, as an employer, the employee has deserted, when am i entitled to dismiss? You may try to locate the employee using all avenues and still fail to find him or her. what do you do? To be honest with you guys, its not proper to just terminate that employee's employment contract. In the event that the employee reappears you still lhave to give him or her the chance to defend him/herself. The Rule of natural justice still have to be observed. Whilst working as an HR Manager at Astra, i once encountered such a situation. To safeguard the Company and also my reputation i did the following; 1. Stupidy Letter- I wrote a letter to the employee requesting him to report back to work within 3 working days or face a disciplinary action. i used his residential address that was in his personal file. A stupidy letter is a document that you can prepare for employee whom you are certain that he or she is not coming back and you still need to terminate the contract procedurally. 2. at the expiry of the 3 days i then asked his immediate superior to formally charge him for absence without leave (desertion) 3. A complaint form inviting him to attend a discliplinary hearing was also send to him on that same physical address. 4. On the day of the hearing, i proceeded with the hearing although he was absent. The Disciplinary hearing committe was properly constituted. He was even represented by members of the workers committee. 5. As the Chairperson of the disciplinary committee, i signed the record of proceedings together with the chairman of the workers committee...
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