Labour Law Blog

Latest law pertaining to precautionary suspension

In the past the employer (according to CCMA and Labour Court) was obligated to consult  with the employee and allow representation before the employer unilaterally placed the employee under suspension.   An employer is not required to give an employee an opportunity to make representations before a precautionary suspension, the Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday 19 February 2019. Where a suspension is precautionary and with full pay, there is no […]

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All systems go for UIF parental leave claims with effect from 01 November 2019, in terms of Government Gazette No 42678, dated 02 September 2019.

  The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) said it is ready to receive claims for parental benefits. UIF Commissioner Teboho Maruping said the fund would provide necessary financial relief to UIF contributors while they spend time bonding and caring for their new child or children. “It is all systems go. We have finalised the new forms to process claims and payments. Our systems have been upgraded to enable us to process […]

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Entitlement to representation at the CCMA or Bargaining Council

A legal representative (an attorney or an article clerk) is not entitled to represent an employee nor an employer at the conciliation stage. There is no automatic right to legal representation at an arbitration hearing, concerning the fairness of a dismissal for misconduct or incapacity. Legal representation may be permitted only when both parties and the  Commissioner consent thereto, or otherwise on successful application to the Commissioner. If the facts […]

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Both employer and employee are lawfully entitled to record conversations between themselves in the workplace.

Employers and/or employees are entitled to secretly record conversations in the workplace, such as general meetings and disciplinary hearings. These recordings can be made without the consent of the other party, in terms of the Rica Act. An employee may record workplace conversations between him/her and the employer especially when the employer has a history of misconstruing the truth. Having evidence in the form of audio recordings shall avoid disputes of facts […]

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When can an employer dismiss an employee for incompatibility?

An employer is entitled to ensure that his employees work in a harmonious working environment. Incompatibility relates to an employee’s inability to maintain a cordial and harmonious relationship with his/her colleagues or owners of the business. It results in an irretrievable breakdown in the employment relationship, caused by the employee. The employer has a duty to engage with the employee to ascertain the reasons for the incompatibility, properly counsel the […]

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Posting of inappropriate comments by employee on social media about employer or colleagues

When an employee posts defamatory comments on social media in his/her personal capacity, either during or outside of the employer’s working hours, using either his/her private or company resources, the employer has the right to discipline the employee as it has a prejudicial effect on the employment relationship. However, the employer must ensure that it affords the employee the right to make representations as to whether he/ she is guilty […]

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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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