Formally break contract with a worker who has absconded
Posted Wednesday, June 20 2012 at 17:47
An employee can be dismissed when his conduct shows he has flouted the contract of service.
The employer should then send a letter to the absconding worker asking him to report within a specific date, failure to which he will be deemed to have abandoned work.
If the employee reports as directed, he should be able to explain why he should not be dismissed for absenteeism. This letter is usually referred to as “notice to show cause” or simply as a “show cause letter” which give the employee time to respond.
Invite the employee to a disciplinary hearing:
The employee should be informed of the right to be accompanied by a colleague or union official to the hearing.
It is after such a session that the employer can decide whether or not the worker has failed to show sufficient cause to stop his dismissal.
This is provided for in section 41 of the Employment Act.
Should the worker fail to respond, the employer should proceed to write a dismissal letter citing his absence without permission and subsequent failure to respond to the “show cause” letter.
Where the employer is sure that an employee has abandoned his job and is working elsewhere, but has not resigned by giving notice or pay in lieu of notice, the company can write to him demanding payment in lieu of notice.
Employers are advised to always take quick action to avoid exposing the organisation to claims of unfair termination or dismissal by ensuring that the record of an employee who has absconded duty is not left hanging in the balance.
Word of advice — always have a record that the employment has ended.
Mrs Mugo is the Executive Director of the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE). Email: Theworkplace@fke-Kenya.org