Labour Law Blog

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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Warning in respect to Bogus Department of Labour Inspectors

Labour inspectors do not issue spot fines. Under no circumstances shall a Labour Inspector issue on-the-spot fines for non-compliance. In terms of non-compliance, a Labour Inspector, guided by the labour laws, can only issue the following notices – 14 days undertaking for non- compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act while for non-compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an Inspector can issue a 60 days improvement notice […]

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Appeal Against Written Warning

General steps by an employee to appeal against a written warning: 1. An employer should establish the facts by doing an investigation in relation to the allegations being made against the employee. This may involve perusing documentary evidence, the employer’s written policies, video/social media evidence, engaging with the employee and witnesses who may shed light i.r.o the allegations. 2. Dependent on the outcome of the investigation, the employer may draft […]

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

This bill proposes to extend benefits to domestic workers. COIDA is a national law that provides for employees to claim compensation from the Compensation Fund for injuries, illnesses or diseases sustained in the course of their employment, or death resulting from such injuries or diseases. In its current form COIDA expressly excludes domestic workers from the definition of “employee” and precludes them from claiming from the Compensation Fund for work-related […]

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Night Work Allowance

  Employees who work from 18h00 to 21h00 are entitled to a night work allowance.   The Sectoral Determination 14: Hospitality Sector does not prescribe what this allowance must be. It is an allowance for the fact that night work is being rendered and is not based on the hours worked or the hourly rate paid to each employee.   The allowance ought to be set out in the employment […]

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