Turns out 'No sick note' isn't a good enough reason to fire someone
Insurance company Hollard forced to reinstate employee who took three days off without telling employer
Insurance company Hollard has been ordered to reinstate an employee it fired for taking sick days without a sick note and without informing his manager.
Hollard appealed to the Johannesburg Labour Court after the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) found his dismissal to be unfair and ordered that he be reinstated.
Hollard told the Labour Court that employee Yassen Ebrahim took sick leave from December 21 to 24 in 2015. He informed another manager – and not his own manager – that he was sick on the first day of his sick leave. He did not communicate his illness to the company in the following three days that he also took off. And he did not hand in a medical certificate. In terms of Hollard’s procedures, he required a medical certificate for the sick leave to be authorised.
Ebrahim argued he could not get a sick note because his regular doctor was not available. But Hollard said there was “undisputed” evidence that his medical aid allowed him access to other doctors.
Hollard also said Ebrahim had received a written warning a month earlier relating to poor attendance.
Labour Court Judge Robert Lagrange said Hollard did not dispute that Ebrahim was suffering from a “particular condition”. Neither did Hollard dispute that the doctor who normally treated him was on leave.
Lagrange partly agreed with Hollard about the correct procedures being followed, and found that, procedurally, the dismissal was fair. But he said, substantively, it was unfair to dismiss him over the sick leave he had taken.
The judge ordered Hollard to carry the costs of the court matter.