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Starting a new job can be exciting, but also intimidating. This is especially true during the first week when you're getting used to the new office dynamic. 


What rights do employers have to discipline employees for misconduct perpetrated outside the workplace? 


Every business has a top employee, perhaps a few if you're lucky. This is the kind of person who works harder than anybody else and never fails to produce quality work. This is the type of employee that you want to stay with you until the end. 


Employers frequently suspect that serious misconduct has occurred but are unable to prove which employee or employees are responsible. Some case law has given the impression that, in such circumstances, group dismissals may be justified. This impression has been given by two important cases; those involving Score Supermarkets and Snip Trading.


As employees and employers embark on yet another business year, Helene Vermaak, Director at corporate culture experts – The Human Edge, recommends that feedback must be a key focus within company culture.


The hiring process is a complicated one. And for good reason. You obviously want the best employees so that your business can succeed. This is why you check potential candidates’ references, take a thorough look at their CVs and interview them more than once. You want to be sure that you’re choosing the best person for the job and not just someone who can quickly fill a role. 


The future is bright for two small businesses from Postmasburg, after 40 of their employees received technical skills training that will significantly enhance their ability execute complex Anglo American projects that they are contracted to and improve their prospects to ultimately acquire new business within and outside the mining industry.


This week, Ivan Israelstam explains the legally distinct reasons for dismissal: for misconduct, for poor work performance, and for operational requirements.  These are distinctly different reasons, and each has a distinctly different procedure to achieve a legally compliant dismissal. There are always exceptions in the cases, but employers are well-advised to follow the standard methods for each circumstance. 


This week Ivan Israelstam explains that employees have many rights, but there is also a fiduciary duty towards the employer.  He explains what this means, and why there is a stronger duty to be trustworthy upon the more senior the employee.  

 


The Code of Good Practice: Dismissal (the Code) in Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) has been, in effect, provided for in section 188 (2) in Chapter 8 of the LRA. This chapter provides for this Code as part of its purpose of ensuring that employers accede to the rights of employees not to be unfairly dismissed as required by section 185(a) of the LRA.


Double Jeopardy occurs where an employee is punished twice for the same incident of misconduct or poor performance. Normally, such discipline would be found to be unfair. However, one view is that a second disciplinary process might be justified if the employer is able to present evidence that:


As a result of Covid-19, employers need to re-look office culture, teamwork, and talent strategies to acknowledge both a shifting business landscape and changing employee expectations.


In response to the income lost by workers due to the Covid-19 related lockdowns, a relief scheme was introduced to supplement their income.


The Temporary Employer/Employer Relief Scheme (TERS) was introduced to supplement the loss of income workers experienced due to the Covid-19 related lockdowns.


The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) introduced the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) to supplement the loss of income experienced by workers in South Africa.


Dishonesty has traditionally been seen as a serious offence and one that could render an employment relationship intolerable. This is because dishonesty damages the ability of the employer to trust the employee. 


In the case of Maepe vs Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration & another (CLL Vol. 17 June 2008) a senior commissioner at the CCMA was brought to a disciplinary hearing on charges of sexual harassment and improper or disgraceful conduct. A CCMA receptionist had accused the senior commissioner of having professed his love for her, blown her kisses and told her that he clutched her photo to his chest. 


Focusing in the office has long been difficult, especially since companies became evangelical about knocking down walls in the name of open plan collaboration and lowering costs. But now, after nearly two years at home for many people, the return can feel almost designed to undermine your productivity.


South Africa’s progressive employment equity legislation has not gone far enough to enable people with disabilities to fully integrate into workplaces and perform their jobs optimally.


Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) comes into effect where an undertaking (or part thereof or a service) of any kind is transferred by one employer to another as a going concern. This forces the new entity to take over all the employees of the old undertaking. 

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