Expert Labour Lawyers near Johannesburg – Help with Matters of Poor Work Performance

If you have an employee or several employees who fail to perform at the required standards of their employment contracts, you can dismiss them, but you cannot use retrenchment procedures to do so. You cannot dismiss them for misconduct if the reason for dismissal is poor performance. With lack of performance affecting your business negatively, it is understandable that you want to replace the employees who do not keep to the requirements of their employment contracts.

However, unless you follow the correct procedure in addressing the poor performance, you cannot simply dismiss employees. We strongly recommend seeking legal guidance from expert labour lawyers near Johannesburg on the matter before dismissing non-performing employees.

True, you are required to use objective criteria when having to decide who should be retrenched. However, you must discuss the retrenchment policy with the chosen representatives and can thus not decide based on performance. With retrenchments, the general rule is to retrench the newest employees first, but it is not law. We also recommend seeking legal guidance from expert labour lawyers near Johannesburg on the selection criteria for retrenchments. For your criteria to be fair, you must have a valid performance measurement system in place.

If a specific department’s inefficiency is the reason for financial losses in your company, you can, if all requirements are met, consider retrenchment of the entire department. However, also seek legal advice on the matter from expert labour lawyers near Johannesburg. Only if the employees in the department as a collective cause the financial losses due to poor performance can you consider retrenchment, and only if the restructuring is essential to ensuring the business’s operational success. Several factors must be considered, which are best discussed with our attorneys.

Further to the above, the targets must be reasonable. It must have been possible for the company to have reached the targets if the employees had performed at the reasonable performance standards of their employment contracts. In addition, the employees must have received the required warnings for non-performance.

As can be seen from the above, it can be difficult to substantiate retrenchments based on poor performance. It is thus better to dismiss employees for poor performance according to the correct procedures, if they fail to perform to the reasonable and stated standard. In this regard, you will also appreciate the advice and guidance from our team of expert labour lawyers close to Johannesburg.

Poor work performance is a sufficient reason for dismissal if all procedures in dealing with the matter have been followed. An employee who fails to perform satisfactorily according to the standards set by the employer is incapable of doing the work for which they are employed.

Disciplinary action, however, is not the solution. An employee may not have been properly trained or may not have received proper instruction as to what is expected. An employee cannot be held responsible for sub-standard performance if the tools for the job are not sufficient. Lack of experience may also have been the reason for poor performance or the quality of training may have been sub-standard. Addictions to drugs or alcohol can also cause poor work performance. Family-related matters, illness, death in the family, financial problems, or work-related stress can all be contributing factors. As such, the employer must consider the factors and must take the necessary steps in training and supporting the employee. Consult with our expert labour lawyers in Midrand (near Johannesburg) regarding procedural fairness in dealing with the matter.

We highly recommend seeking legal advice on the matter of dismissing an employee for poor work performance. Our expert labour lawyers not far from Johannesburg will help you assess the matter and guide you through the process of improving performance where possible.

*This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You are advised to consult with us before using/relying on this information.