Labour Law

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Dismissing employees who have been arrested can be dangerous.It seems obvious to employers that, if an employee is arrested by the police he has ‘dismissed himself’.

 


While South Africans enjoyed a public holiday in celebration of Women's day on Tuesday, data shows that women earn less than their male counterparts for working the same jobs.

 


Where businesses and other organisations are unable to get work done by robots they need to acquire the necessary skills by hiring staff. A key  question then arises as to whether the money expended in order to acquire and retain these employee skills should be seen as an expense or as an investment.

 


The law considers absenteeism over short periods (a day or two) without leave or without good reason as minor misconduct. However, when even short periods of absence become the norm amongst a workforce this can constitute an extremely serious problem for the employer.


South Africa’s Constitution gives all accused persons the right to defend themselves. Cross examination is a key tool used for this purpose. It is used universally in courts and tribunals and gives an accused the opportunity to challenge his/her accusers.


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.


Think you can resign to avoid being dismissed? You'd be wrong. Employees are taking to resignation as a way of avoiding the sting of being dismissed, but as Nicol Myburgh, Head: CRS Technologies HCM Business Unit, points out, this is not an approach that's going to work.

 


South Africa’s labour legislation was largely conceived by our country’s trade unions. As a result the statutes heavily protect employees and, in particular, protects the jobs of workers.


Yes, it is true that our government has lifted its Covid restrictions as a means towards promoting economic activity. While this will assist businesses to improve their sales, employers and employees need to bear some important things in mind:

 


Ministers, deputy ministers and parliamentarians will be pleased after President Cyril Ramphosa accepted recommendations which will result in an increase in their remuneration. However, the move has not been well received.

 


The Labour Relations Act, seven other labour acts and numerous codes of good practice have all been designed to protect employees. And indeed, employees need protection from unscrupulous employers. However, the imbalance is so great that our labour laws leave employers virtually unprotected.


Our labour dispute resolution system often claims jurisdiction over foreign employers. When a foreign embassy is situated in South Africa it is in fact, according to law, based on foreign soil.


While it can be extremely difficult to not immediately sign on the dotted line after getting your job offer, the importance of reading your contract thoroughly and understanding the terms of your contract cannot be understated.

 


The law makes it essential for employers to act with great care and expertise in gathering evidence and in designing and applying their disciplinary policies. The Labour Courts are most intolerant of employers who do not follow their own disciplinary policies and who cannot justify their dismissal decisions based on the facts of the case at hand.

 


There are many different reasons that employers lose at arbitration despite their confidence that they would win. Some of those reasons include:


Employers too often misuse disciplinary warnings or avoid using them at all because they are unsure of how the law allows them to use such warnings. In labour law the main purpose of giving warnings is to remind employees of the employer’s standards of conduct and work performance and to give them a chance to improve.

 

 

 


Due to state capture, loadshedding, unexpected power outages, Covid and maladministration South Africa’s economy is in crisis. The biggest fallout of this economic weakness is the very high number of retrenchments in this country.

 


The Covid state of disaster regulations expired on 15 April 2022. However, these were replaced by a code of good practice for managing Covid in the workplace. The purpose of the code is to ensure that employers go the extra mile to protect employees from contracting Covid.

 


The CCMA, from time to time, suffers case backlogs and delays in resolving disputes. One of the reasons for this is the fact that the CCMA is overloaded with cases, and the caseload is constantly increasing.


It is contentious as to whether second generation outsourcing falls under section 197 of the Labour Relations Act, which is the law protecting employees when a business or a part thereof is taken over.

 

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