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Dismissal

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What rights do employers have to discipline employees for misconduct perpetrated outside the workplace? While employers have very few rights under the Labour Relations Act (LRA) they do have the right to discipline and even to dismiss employees for work related misconduct. However, a dismissal will only be upheld by the CCMA, bargaining council or Labour Court where:

When an employer suspects that a group of employees may be cooperating in some way - in dishonest acts to defraud the company financially, or remove property - there is the suspicion of collective guilt. This week Ivan Israelstam examines how the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and labour courts have viewed this kind of collective behaviour. Ivan uses cases won and lost to demonstrate how crucial it is to consider the circumstances of the particular case. A Labour Appeal Court case shows what the employer needs to successfully prove such a case.

This week Ivan Israelstam explains that the CCMA has produced guidelines, which will guide the work of commissioners arbitrating dismissal disputes. The guidelines explain that rulings should be lawful, reasonable, and procedurally fair, which gives effect to the Constitutional right to fair administrative action (s33(1)).

 Dismissing employees who have been arrested can be dangerous. That is the view of Ivan Israelstam, who this week explains why he makes that statement. He provides examples from the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Abitration (CCMA), bargaining council, Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court, so that employers can see exactly how they should interpret their obligations.

This week Ivan Israelstam explains how the word "unfair" is interpreted in labour law, and why it is so important for employers to understand what is regarded as unfair and what is automatically unfair. This is particularly important for employers to understand in relation to reasons for dismissal.

Labour law is mainly devoted to protecting employee jobs and the onus to prove
that
there has been misconduct in the workplace lies heavily on the shoulders of
dissatisfied employers.The
Code of Good Practice stresses that dismissal must be the last resort taken by
employers.

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