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Incapacity leave management

The Labour Relations Act (LRA) guidelines for incapacity dismissal provide for the dismissal of an employee based on incapacity, provided that a fair procedure is followed. But when is an employee disabled and when is she incapacitated? The LRA guidelines contemplate a four-stage enquiry* – why should your organisation tackle it uninformed?

(* Standard Bank of South Africa v CCMA & Others; Hugo v Joshua Doore)

In addition to its support of companies involved in incapacity dismissals, Soma believes that employee incapacity management – in compliance with the LRA Code of Good Practice and other relevant labour laws – contributes to improved workplace productivity. It ensures that temporarily or permanently disabled employees are reasonably accommodated in productive work and considers the medical and vocational needs of ill and injured workers, so as to reduce the cost impact of disabilities and absences.

When implementing an incapacity process, it is important that Soma first establish whether the employee has a disability. Then, Soma assists the employer in establishing the extent to which it can adapt either the employee’s work circumstances or duties to accommodate the disability; in other words, in finding alternatives short of dismissal.


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