HR - Labour Law

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for economic policy reforms to address deep socio-economic inequalities in South Africa, including transparent pay reporting towards closing the persistent gender pay gap which sees South African women still earning up to 35% less than men for doing the same work.

Employers have normally disallowed external legal representatives to represent accused employees at disciplinary hearings. This is mainly due to the provisions of Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA), which states that when an enquiry is held into an employee’s alleged misconduct “The employee should be allowed …… the assistance of a trade union representative or fellow employee.”

When an employer contemplates disciplining an employee it is required by The Code of Good Practice: Dismissal (the Code) found in Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act, to consider a number of circumstances before dismissing a guilty employee.

A media statement released by the Department of Employment and Labour reveals the outcome of recent workplace inspection conducted nationwide.

The Department of Employment and Labour’s Inspection and Enforcement Service (IES) unit found that, out of every 5 inspected organisations, only 2 businesses were complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

Even serious assault might not merit dismissal if the employer is unable to show that the misconduct rendered the employment relationship intolerable. The Code of Good Practice: Dismissal (The Code) states that:

 

 

A pharmacy based in KwaZulu-Natal has admitted to excessive pricing of face masks in a consent agreement with the Competition Commission.

The Commission received information relating to the inflated prices of face masks by the Mandini Pharmacy in March.

Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke, has announced that Statistics South Africa will conduct data collection for key labour statistics using telephone interviews.

Maluleke said the statistical body will use telephonic interviews instead of having field workers visiting sampled dwelling units (households).

employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi

Some of South Africa’s largest companies have already received the UIF's Covid-19 pay-outs meant to help employees who have been placed on leave, temporarily laid off, or whose employer can’t afford to pay their full salaries during the national lockdown.

The Employment and Labour Department has referred the public wishing to collect their R350 social grant to the Social Development Department.

This follows scores of people visiting the department’s labour centres on Monday with the aim of collecting their social grant.

Nicol Myburgh

Fluid gender definitions have interesting implications for the South African workplace

What if your white male employee self-identifies as a woman? Or your African male colleague identified as an African female to score more BEE points? This is not a test.

Case law makes it very dangerous for an employer to sign employment contracts before it is certain that there is definitely a job for the applicant and before the employer is certain that it wishes to employ the job applicant.

SA in focus

The Department of Employment and Labour is continuing to ease the burden, not only of the lockdown but the financial strain attached to it through timely disbursements of relief benefits to qualifying workers.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has provided more details on the second set of measures that are aimed at assisting individuals and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is a critical need for government interventions to assist with job retention and support businesses that may be experiencing significant distress,” the National Treasury said in a statement on Thursday.

The Department of Employment and Labour has ramped up its payment of COVID-19 benefits to South Africa’s workers and businesses as part of the Temporary Employer and Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) to prevent further disruption for workers during the lockdown.

 Financial constraints not an excuse for failing to promote employees already recommended for promotion. Employees have different reasons for wishing to be promoted. They want the increased remuneration that goes with it, they want the status, the feeling of success and recognition and/or the challenge of the higher level responsibility.

 

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