Desertion vs AWOL

APRIL 14, 2016

Should an employee be charged with AWOL or desertion if the employee  is absent for 5 days without notifying the company?

In answering this, it is important to appreciate that the evidence needed to proof AWOL and desertion is different. 

Desertion requires the employer to show, on a balance of probabilities that the employee DID NOT intend returning to work.

This is quite difficult to prove.  It is thus suggested that when charging an employee, the company keeps it simple.

AWOL for five days will also result in a dismissal, but all that is required to be proved is that the employee was absent and did not have permission to be absent.

For more information on the above topic or the

manner in which to draft  charges, please contact

Tracey Mouton on 041 501 9832.