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Disciplinary procedures

This week Ivan Israelstam lists the type of services that employers can expect from a labour law expert, and what qualifications a reputable lawyer or consultant should hold.

South African labour law - often criticised for restricting recruitment because employers believe that they cannot dismiss an employee. Whereas, as Ivan Israelstam points out, investing the time and money into good quality training on labour law for management, will pay off many times over in costs saved from adverse CCMA and Bargaining Council decisions.

This week, Ivan Israelstam sets out what the term "dereliction of duty" means. He explains why it is important for management to use the term correctly, neither to come on too strong against an employee, when other factors could explain events, nor to be too soft when the allegation of dereliction of duty would be correct.

This week Ivan Israelstam addresses questions about: the loyalty that an employer can legitimately expect from employees; what employees' rights are, for example to join a union; what a conflict of interest is, and how an employer should deal with conflict of interest.

This week Ivan Israelstam explains exactly why employers who have disciplinary procedures - and put those disciplinary procedures in the employee's contract - need to make absolutely sure that they follow exactly the procedures that have been set out. The Labour Court will take a dim view of employers who simply make minimal effort to ensure that the procedures are followed.

"I'll give you a warning". That is something heard by employees, when a supervisor or manager makes the statement as a threat because they are frustrated with the behaviour or non-compliance of an employee. This week Ivan Israelstam explains exactly how warnings should be viewed, and when different levels of warning are appropriate. 

This week, Ivan Israelstam explains two aspects of the interview and employment process. This article explains what information the law requires a job applicant to provide to the potential employer. Then, what action an employer may take - if they find out that the - now employee - misrepresented any aspect of their qualifications or experience.  Cases are quoted to indicate why it is necessary to follow the correct procedures prior to taking such action. 

 

Last week, Ivan Israelstam explained the personal reasons employers may have to utilise probation to dismiss employees. This week, Ivan describes the alternative action the employers may take - instead of dismissing the employee, the employee is demoted.  This action, equally as with the dismissals, may run into criticism at the Commission for Conciliation Moderation and Arbitration (CCMA). 

When may an employee reasonably refuse an instruction? When will a refusal to carry out an instruction be insubordination? Important questions for an employer to be clear about - to avoid launching into disciplinary action that will be unfair.

What are the policies that an employer should have in place to deal with allegations by an employee of sexual harassment? What steps should the employer take if they receive an allegation, and is dismissal always the correct disciplinary action? This week Ivan Israelstam provides guidance for employers.

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