An evaluation of the fairness criteria for dismissals due to absenteeism and desertion from the workplace
The dissertation investigates the fairness criteria pertaining to absenteeism and desertion. It should be recognised that desertion is a special case of absenteeism. Desertion is absence from work with the intention of not returning, thus terminating the employment contract. Absenteeism is absence from work with the intention of returning. The intention of the employee determines the employer’s cause of action. The dissertation investigates fairness criteria and applicable action by the employer pertaining to such cases in order to avoid unfair dismissal. Procedure should be fair, but can only be judged on the merits of the specific case. Fairness requires the employer to afford the employee an opportunity to state his or her case at the disciplinary hearing. In other words to give a reasonable explanation for his or her absence. Fairness also requires the court to take all surrounding circumstances into account, such as the reasonable period of absence, the employees work record and the employers treatment of similar offences in the past. Absence does not warrant automatic dismissal nor does it justify extended absence. Ultimately, the burden is to be shared by both employer and employee to ensure that the employment contract is constitutionally fair, clearly defined and precisely communicated to parties. The workplace is only an extension of the individual and the collective constitutional birth right; we all have equal right to justice, yet not all cases are the same.
- Law