Labour Law Blog

Is the person to whom you report to at the workplace a psychopath?

Psychopathy is traditionally a personality disorder characterized by persistent antisocial behaviour, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited and egotistical traits. A psychopath can seem quite normal and even charming but their normalcy is a mere façade. A psychopath lacks a conscience and empathy thus leading him/her to be calculating, manipulative and impulsive. The corporate psychopath or narcissist can often cause work-related depression, anxiety disorders, burnout, work-related stress that accounts for more than […]

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Don’t lie about your qualifications, face up to 5 years in prison

Job Seekers and prospective students who submit fraudulent qualifications or misrepresent their credentials face up to 5 years in prison in terms of a tough new law criminalising presenting falsified certificates. President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Amendment Act 2019 into law on Monday 19 August 2019. Five-year sentences, unspecified fines or both will be handed to individuals found guilty of making false  entries in the national […]

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Horseplay in the workplace

Horseplay can refer to any unsafe act that is caused by an individual and usually it is seen as “it’s all in the name of fun”. These unsafe acts include but are not limited to:   Pranks Practical Jokes Unauthorized competitions/contests Harassment Damage of company property Intoxication (Year-end functions, Team Building) Poor vehicle operation Unsafe Acts as a result of fooling around.     Horseplay is an activity that usually […]

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Issuing of written warnings

According to the Code of Good Practice, the courts have endorsed the concept of corrective or progressive discipline. Efforts should be made to correct an employee’s behaviour through a system of graduated disciplinary measures such as issuing of related warnings. The normal rule relating to the use of past warnings is that the offence for which the employee is dismissed should be similar to the offences for which the employee […]

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Can the refusal of new T&Cs of Employment Result in dismissal?

Can an employer dismiss employees because they refuse to agree to a change to their terms and conditions of employment? An employer, in the context of a retrenchment exercise, may dismiss employees for refusing to accept a change to terms and conditions of employment, provided of course that the employer can demonstrate that there is a genuine operational need to change terms and conditions of employment; that there is no […]

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Requirements for employees who work night shift

An employer may only require or permit an employee to perform night work, if so agreed, and if—   (a) the employee is compensated by the payment of an allowance, which may be a shift allowance, or by a reduction of working hours; and   (b) transportation is available between the employee’s place of residence and the workplace at the commencement and conclusion of the employee’s shift.   The Basic […]

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Inconsistency – not determinative in establishing unfair dismissal

Once an employer is shown to have acted inconsistently by dismissing one employee while not another who committed the same or similar misconduct, the prevalent view is that it automatically follows that the employee’s dismissal is substantively unfair. Indeed, in accordance with the parity principle, element of consistency on the part of an employer in its treatment of employees is an important factor to take into account in the determination […]

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Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Bill amendments to help extend benefits to domestic workers

Current Minimum Wage for domestic workers from 01 January 2019 to 30 November 2019. SCHEDULE: DOMESTIC WORKER MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES FROM 01 January 2019. Wage Tables for the Domestic Worker Sector Table 1 Minimum wages for domestic workers who work more than 27 ordinary hours per week Area A Bergrivier Local Municipality, Breederivier Local Municipality, Buffalo City Local Municipality, Cape Agulhas Local Municipality, Cederberg Local Municipality, City of Cape Town, […]

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Can a South African employee be fired after being arrested due to criminal act outside the workplace?

South African employers are increasingly confronted with absenteeism due to the arrest of their employees. Whilst, in most instances, the alleged criminal misconduct is unrelated to the business of the employer, an arrest can directly impact both the operational requirements of the employer and the employment relationship. It would not be reasonable to expect employers to keep a position open and available to an arrested employee for indefinite period. This […]

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Valid reasons for postponing a disciplinary hearing

Valid reasons for postponing a disciplinary hearing: Illness: The chairperson should request a medical certificate as proof of the illness. Transport difficulties: The chairperson should determine the validity of the employee’s failure to attend the hearing timeously, as per the scheduled time set down for the hearing, due to transport difficulties encounted by the employee to attend scheduled time of hearing. A family emergency: The chairperson should request sufficient proof […]

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