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Can employers object to employee t-shirts?

How far can employers go in banning employees from wearing t-shirts which the employer considers inappropriate, and can such a ban ever infringe upon a union member’s right to freedom of association?  This was the question posed in the Labour Court case NUMSA obo...

Strike management comes to the fore in strike season

Managing strikes is a topical subject, with the current bus drivers strike and the prospects of a teachers, police and nurse public sector strike, also over wages and conditions of service. Section 213 of the Labour Relations Act defines a ‘strike’ as “the partial or...

Employee dishonesty invariably warrants dismissal

Employers are quite rightly entitled to view employee dishonesty in a very serious light.  Regretfully, theft-related and dishonesty cases are quite common in the workplace.  In our experience, for example, half of the disciplinary cases in the hospitality industry...

The 2019 labour relations outlook

2019 is going to be an interesting year in the South African labour relations environment.  There are a number of reasons for this.  To begin with, the evolution of the South African Confederation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) will continue to influence the labour relations...

National Minimum Wage Act – the lowdown

Two pieces of legislation are relevant to the new minimum wage law effective from 1 January 2019, namely the National Minimum Wage Act (2018) and the Regulations to the National Minimum Wage Act (2018).  It has been estimated that approximately six and a half million...

Social media e-misconduct is on the rise

The explosion of social media platforms, and their usage, has unsurprisingly spawned a fast growing plethora of workplace social media ‘e-misconduct’ cases. Put simply, this primarily involves cases in which employees insult and/or offend their employer and/or its...

Zero-tolerance policies in the spotlight

It is not unusual for employer’s to designate so-called ‘zero tolerance’ policies for certain acts of misconduct. For example, an employer will often adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards theft related cases and alcohol related offences. The upshot of this is that...

Failure to disclose prior criminal convictions

To what extent is a job applicant obligated to reveal to a prospective employer, that they have a criminal record?  Is a job applicant obligated to reveal to a prospective employer, that they have a criminal record?  To what extent are employers able to fairly...

Strikes and the law

The right to strike is recognised in most so-called western democracies, and is considered to be a necessary element of a trade union’s options when a deadlock is reached with an employer on various agenda items such as wage negotiations. Some commentators would argue...

The terrible twins: insubordination and insolence

You’ll often find the terrible twins, insubordination and insolence, hand in hand. Employees have a common-law obligation to subordinate themselves to the legitimate authority of their employer, and to the extent that they refuse to do so, they are insubordination....