What does dismissal actually mean?
- an employer has terminated a contract of employment with or without notice;
- an employee reasonably expected the employer to renew a fixed-term contract of employment on the same or similar terms but the employer offered to renew it on less favorable terms, or did not renew it;
- an employer refused to allow an employee to resume work after she took maternity leave in terms of any law, collective agreement or her contract of employment;
- an employer who dismissed a number of employees for the same or similar reasons has offered to re-employ one or more of them but has refused to re-employ another; or
- an employee terminated a contract of employment with or without notice because the employer made continued employment intolerable for the employee;
- an employee terminated a contract with or without notice because the employer, after a transfer in terms of section 197 or 197A, provided the employee with conditions of service that are substantially less favourable to the employee than those provided by the old employer.
What does Unfair Dismissal mean?
An unfair dismissal is when your employer is in repudiation of contract; an example will be if you are fired without giving you notice. In an employment situation, you have to know your rights and read through your contract properly, as well as brush up on your labour law knowledge every now and then so you know what’s going on. You should know a little more than just the definition of statements like unfair dismissal.
Unfair dismissal embodies one of the main elements of modern labour law, providing employees with practical solutions to workplace issues. The law concerning unfair dismissal has worked to place the steps of fair procedure at the forefront of an employer’s mind when contemplating disciplinary procedures or the dismissal of an employee.
There are numerous situations where past employees have been unfairly dismissed but due to their lack of knowledge about the current labour law, have no idea that they have a legal standing to voice these concerns. The act of unfair dismissal covers a wide range of inappropriate activities and behaviour by employers. A detailed knowledge of the labour law and the situation relating to the unfair dismissal is required to build a rational and well-meaning case against those accused of unfair dismissal; otherwise, the chances of successfully bringing an unfair dismissal action against a current or former employer is limited.