When an employee is absent from work, and the employer is not aware of his whereabouts, the law requires that the employer takes certain steps before deciding that the employment relationship is terminated.
If the employee at a later stage decides to refer the matter to the CCMA or the Bargaining council, the employer must be able to prove to the commissioner that the necessary steps were taken to try and locate the employee’s whereabouts. This is where Legal Dispatch’s Legal Notice (historically Telegram Service) automatic proof of sending and delivery is essential.
Legal Dispatch provides employers with a copy of the Legal Notice they sent, as well as proof that the document was delivered with essential date and time stamps for reference. A delivery is successful if it is, either handed to the person concerned, a person who appears to be at least 16 years old and in charge of the person’s place of residence, or left at the last known address of the employee or an address chosen by the employee to receive service.
Legal Dispatch also provides an SMS service with proof of sending, should an employer further wish to prove that they attempted to contact the employee by cellphone message.
What is the recommended procedure?
Where the employee has been absent from work for three or more consecutive days and the employer is not aware of his whereabouts, the employer must first make all attempts to contact the employee and summons him to report for duty. According to the CCMA rules, this can be done by sending him a telegram (a message sent by telegraph and then delivered in written or printed form – last used in 2013) or leaving a copy of a document at his last known address.
The following procedure may be followed:
- A letter is sent to inform the employee that they must contact their employer or report for duty within a specified time frame, failing which a disciplinary hearing will be held.
- Should the employee fail to contact the employer, a second notice should be sent informing them of the date, time and place where a disciplinary hearing will be held.
- Should the employee fail to respond or arrive at the disciplinary hearing, the hearing is usually held in the employee’s absence. A third and final communication will be sent confirming the findings and ruling of the hearing (usually dismissal if the employee has made no contact or provided no valid reasons for their absence).
Bulk Legal Notices
Often used for Striking Employees or Bulk suspensions/terminations.
We will merge your template with your recipient list and send them out for delivery.
You will receive a proof of delivery for each recipient as well as a consolidated report after the entire run is complete.
Email us your requirements to [email protected]