What is an employer to do if an employee is taken into police custody and is absent from work for an extended period? In some cases, depending on the work done by the employee, the employer may be able to keep the position or use a temporary employee to do the work while the employee is in prison. But this may well rarely be feasible and an employer may have no other option but to dismiss the employee. The question is on what grounds the employer may do so: is it a case of misconduct, incapacity or operational requirements? In a recent Labour Appeal Court decision the Court concluded that the concept of “incapacity” is not as narrow as we may think it is certainly wide enough to encompass a situation where an employee is absent from work because he is in prison.

For further information on any labour related matters, you can contact
Bernard Reisner:

W.Tel no.: 021 423 3959
Fax: 021 423 2105
Cell: 082 433 8714
E-mail: bernard@capelabour.co.za
Website: www.capelabour.co.za