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Towards the end of 2015 an administrative staff member of a small company submitted a request for leave from 23rd December and returning on Monday the 4th January 2016.

The staff member did not arrive on Tuesday the 22nd December for work; neither did he phone in to give reasons for his absence.

The owner of the company saw this in a very serious light and wanted to dismiss him for fraud. We were fortunate to be called in before the written warning was issued.

After some investigations and a meeting with the owner we were able to convince him to issue a written warning for:

a) Absence from work without reason and without informing the employer and / or
b) Completing an application form for leave incorrectly

We were able to convince the owner to drop the “fraud charge” as it would be impossible to “prove beyond reasonable doubt” that the person intentionally wanted to defraud the company.

We chaired the disciplinary hearing. The employee maintained that he unknowingly completed the form incorrectly.

The employee was found guilty of:

a) Completing the application for leave incorrectly
b) Absent from work without informing his employer.

He was given a written warning.

Had the employer gone ahead and done the disciplinary matter entirely on his own, he would have charged the member with fraud. The member would have gone to the CCMA and the entire case thrown out. This would have resulted in an irreversible situation.