A Dishonest “I’m Too Sick to Come to Work” Excuse is a Firing Offence

August 25, 2023 Kapp Van Wyk Van Zyl Inc

“…an employment relationship is predicated on trust” (Extract from judgment below)

Our courts have once again confirmed that dismissal is justified when employees lie about their state of health in order to get sick leave.

A recent Labour Court case provides a perfect example.

Too sick to work, but caught on TV at a protest march
  • An employee called in sick for a few days, and to support his claim of illness produced a medical certificate of sorts (albeit a meaningless one, certifying the nature of illness as being “Absence due to medical condition”).
  • Unluckily for the employee, his supervisor happened to be watching the evening news on TV and what did he see on the screen but his “too ill to work” subordinate participating in a protest march, singing and clapping his hands.
  • Long story short, the Labour Court upheld his dismissal for “gross dishonesty” in breach of the trust relationship that underlies all employer/employee interactions.
  • In doing so the Court found on the facts that the employee had clearly been malingering in order to attend the protest, noting that an employee claiming to be too ill to work must prove it. In that regard the supposed medical certificate just didn’t cut it without being confirmed on affidavit.
Important takeaways for employees (and their employers)
  • Falsely claiming sick leave fundamentally breaches the employer/employee trust relationship and in appropriate cases our courts will not hesitate to uphold dismissal even for a first offence.
  • If queried, it is for the employee to prove that an illness genuinely prevented attendance at work.
  • A sick note or medical certificate should be meaningful as to the nature of that illness and the issuing medical practitioner may have to confirm its contents in an affidavit or under oath.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

© LawDotNews

The post A Dishonest “I’m Too Sick to Come to Work” Excuse is a Firing Offence appeared first on KVV Inc.

Previous Article
Landlords: You Cannot Cut a Defaulting Tenant’s Water and Electricity
Landlords: You Cannot Cut a Defaulting Tenant’s Water and Electricity

“A fundamental principle in issue here is that nobody may take the law into their own hands. In order to pr...

Next Article
Debt Collection – Two Recovery Options
Debt Collection – Two Recovery Options

“Creditors have better memories than debtors” (Benjamin Franklin) How well you manage your debtors’ book, a...


Get the latest in Property Law straight to your inbox!

First Name
Last Name
Welcome to our Blog!
Error - something went wrong!