Labour Law Blog

Extending probationary period of employee

The objective of extending a probationary period is to provide the employee more time to improve their performance. If a probationer’s performance is not acceptable in some areas, but the manager feels that more training and support can improve the employee, they can consider an extension. A manager should only give an extension where extraordinary situations are justifying such a decision.  The manager should provide the extension before the end […]

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Firing staff for refusing Covid-19 vaccination — these 10 steps must be followed

South African companies that plan to implement a mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy have several legal obligations to meet before firing an employee for refusing to get the jab. Mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations in the workplace in South Africa may be justified in certain circumstances. “The most controversial issue in relation to mandatory vaccination appears to be the extent to which employees may rely on their constitutional rights not to be vaccinated, […]

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Can employees be disciplined for criminal activities which took place outside the employer’s workplace premises and outside working hours?

There are instances in which employers may have the right to discipline and potentially dismiss employees who engage in misconduct outside of the workplace and outside of working hours. Whether this is permissible in principle will depend on whether the conduct impacts on the employment relationship and whether the employee has sufficient and legitimate interest in the conduct. It is not necessary for an employer to await the decision of […]

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Driving company vehicle for private use, in excess of speed limit of 120kph and after regulated lockdown curfew hours

The above-combined offences committed by the employee constitute gross misconduct. Unauthorised use of the employer’s vehicle for private purposes constitutes a serious breach, in terms of the employer’s disciplinary procedure and code. Furthermore, if an employee drives the employer’s vehicle in excess of the South African national maximum speed limit, it shall constitute gross negligence and/or gross carelessness and/or gross recklessness. Finally, if the employee drives the employer’s vehicle outside […]

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Is Employer still liable for employee’s health and safety even if employee works from home?

With the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of companies have allowed employees to start working from home. How does this then affect the employer’s responsibility for their employees? Especially in terms of the health and safety of each employee. The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act defines the workplace as any place where a person performs work for the employer. Employers, therefore, have a legal obligation, as far as reasonably practicable, […]

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Religious Leave

In South Africa, companies are used to giving their employees time off for Christian religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas. They fall within the “statutory” 12 public holidays annually. But what do you do if your employees have other religions and need time off for their own religious holidays? Policy  The Company recognizes that the employees may wish to observe festivals and holy days required by their religious beliefs. […]

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Maternity Leave

When it comes to Maternity Leave, here is what employers and employees need to know The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) (Section 25) entitles the pregnant employee to at least four consecutive months’ unpaid maternity leave. It further stipulates that the maternity leave must commence no later than four weeks before the expected date of birth of the child. The employee may return to work before the six weeks […]

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Study Leave

What do Employees and Employers need to know about Study Leave? Labour legislation is silent on the matter of study leave. This is a matter of arrangement between the employer and the employee and if the employer stipulates that study leave must be deducted from the employee’s annual leave entitlement or be taken as unpaid leave, then that decision must apply. You will need a policy that covers various aspects. […]

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Family Responsibility Leave

When it comes to Family Responsibilities. How much is the Employee Entitled to? Employees who have been in employment with the same employer for more than four (4) months and who work for the same employer for at least 4 days per week are entitled to three (3) days Family Responsibility Leave on full pay, per annum, with the exception of domestic workers, whose entitlement is five (5) days. Family […]

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ANNUAL LEAVE

All you need to know regarding Annual leave. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) Section 19 onwards in Chapter 3 covers employee’s rights with respect to all types of leave. The provisions regarding all types of leave do not apply to employees who work less than 24 hours per month. Employees are entitled to 15 workings days per annum on full pay. The Act states “21 consecutive days” (section […]

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