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Changing job content is not always unfair

The changing of an employee’s job content is frequently a highly sensitive and troublesome process which often has the potential to spawn individual labour disputes, and at times, collective conflict.  It is not uncommon for employers to hear the refrain, “ .. but...

Ill health absenteeism requires investigation

Prolonged employee absenteeism due to ill health presents employers with a conundrum as lengthy or habitual absenteeism impacts on productivity.  One thing is certain, employers may not simply dismiss employees who are absent for a lengthy period, or have a pattern of...

SETA accredited training is the key to discipline competence

Regardless of the raft of imminent labour law amendments and the introduction of yet further regulation in workplace law, one thing will remain constant.  Discipline and dismissal will continue to account for in excess of all labour disputes country-wide.  This should...

The return of the closed shop

Closed shop agreements are provided for in section 26 of the Labour Relations Act (“LRA”), and are perhaps one of the the most thorny provisions of the LRA, and the most controversial in so far as the constitutionality of such agreements I concerned. Put differently,...

Employment begins on date of signature

The CCMA, on occasion, has been required to determine when an employment relationship has actually commenced. For some time there has been little clarity on whether employment commences on date of signature of an employment contract or offer of employment, or indeed...

Making sense of labour relations jargon

As we head into what will, in all likelihood, be yet another challenging labour relations year, what with a raft of new labour laws and expected heightened industrial action, it is worth re-familiarising oneself with certain of the jargon and terms which are so often...

Conflicts of interest threaten employment

One of the most fundamental of employee common law employment obligations is, at all times in all circumstances, to further, protect and guard the interest of one’s employer at all times.  Put differently, the employment contract is one of the utmost good faith and...

Bosses have rights too

Labour and employment law leaves many employers with the mistaken belief that they have very few rights in the face of increasing trade union power and influence which is not only felt at the workplace, but also seen in strong alliances between trade union federations...

Arbitration costs awards are rare

It’s rare for a winning party to win costs in a CCMA or Bargaining Council arbitration case.  Section 138(10) of the Labour Relations Act makes limited provision for costs to be awarded in favour of a party to an arbitration hearing. In short, costs may be awarded...

Employees cannot withdraw a resignation at will

On occasion, employees seek to withdraw their resignation. The facts of the case were, in the main, common cause. The employee had an altercation with her manager in a store, after which she submitted a letter of resignation giving her employer 24 hours notice that “I...

IR Audits benefit employers and employees alike

Dismissals that occur after normal retirement age present employers with a specific set of circumstances that differ markedly from all other forms of dismissal. Section 187(2)(b) of the Labour Relations Act states that a dismissal based on age is fair if the employee...

Pain of retirement age dismissals

Dismissals that occur after normal retirement age present employers with a specific set of circumstances that differ markedly from all other forms of dismissal. Section 187(2)(b) of the Labour Relations Act states that a dismissal based on age is fair if the employee...