Labour Law

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When the employment relationship ends due to the death of the employer, it terminates by operation of law, absolving both parties from their contractual obligations. 


What is an employer to do when an employee is booked off on sick leave, only to be seen engaging in social activities that a “sick” person ordinarily should not or could not be engaging in?  


On 1 March 2024, the national minimum wage increased by 8.5 percent from R25.42 to R27.58 per ordinary hour worked. But is it enough?


The Chartered Institute for Procurement & Supply has submitted a series of detailed recommendations for South Africa’s Public Procurement Bill with the intention of advancing the principles of ethical procurement practices within the Southern Africa region.


It’s the law. If you are absent from work for more than two consecutive days, or more than twice within eight weeks, you have to provide a doctor’s note to your employer, according to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).


An increase in the minimum wage would have come as a welcomed development for thousands of workers in South Africa. However, one of the country's largest worker's unions believes the increase does not make much of a difference. 


Labour law amendments could boost job creation in South Africa. This is the message from the Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. 


On 1 February 2024, new Draft Regulations were released, containing new Draft Sectoral Targets, and unpacking what businesses need to consider when setting goals. The public now has 90 days from release to comment on the Draft. 


You’ve just received your dream job offer, but there’s a catch. You need to start the new job in a month’s time, but your current employer requires you to give three months’ notice.


Companies and organisations across South Africa may be required to re-evaluate how they conduct business in 2024. This is because the labour laws are on the verge of significant transformation over the next twelve months. 
 


The Rustenburg Platinum finding and the Shoprite Checkers finding that I discussed in previous articles show that arbitrators and judges are ready to overturn dismissals of employees who have committed serious offences.


A default award is one made by an arbitrator where the employer fails to attend the arbitration hearing. The arbitrator is entitled to do this unless he/she has received an acceptable reason for the employer’s non-attendance. In the employer’s absence the arbitrator has little or no way of checking as to whether the employee’s version is true.


The law does allow employers to dismiss employees for dishonesty. This is because dishonesty can destroy the ability of the employer to trust the employee. However, this does not mean that all decisions to dismiss dishonest employees will automatically be upheld by the CCMA and the courts.


The purpose of a disciplinary hearing is to give the parties the opportunity to present all their evidence. The chairperson of the hearing is required to hear and understand all evidence presented so that he/she can properly take it into account on completion of its presentation.


Can an employee be dismissed if they misrepresented their qualifications and/or professional memberships? This issue was considered in the Labour Court (LC) in the case of Lesedi Local Municipality v Mphele and Others.


Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act allows the dismissal of guilty employees only as the last resort. The Act, together with its Code of Good Practice: Dismissal, effectively places the duty on the employer to justify the imposition of dismissal by showing that the employee’s misconduct is so serious that it makes continued employment intolerable.


The practice of disciplining an employee twice for the very same infraction is called “double jeopardy”. In most cases, such practice would be found to be unfair because it both excessive and punitive instead of corrective. 
 


The Labour Relations Act provides for fixed-term employees to have a reasonable expectation of renewal of their contracts at the expiry date. In addition, the Act, together with case law has narrowed those circumstances under which an employment agreement can legitimately be accepted as a limited duration contract. 


The retail sector is often burdened with the issue of stock losses or shrinkage. Employers also grapple with identifying the perpetrator(s) of the offence who sometimes act in concert with other employees. 


Important labour legislation applies to circumstances where a business or part thereof is transferred by one employer to another as a going concern. That is, section 197 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) forces the new entity to take over all the employees of the old undertaking. 

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