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B-Tech students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) were challenged to find solutions to re-use waste generated by local printing company, Paarl Coldset Cape Town that could also provide a platform for a profitable business opportunity. Up for grabs was prize money to the value of R48 000.

B-Tech students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) were challenged to find solutions to re-use waste generated by local printing company, Paarl Coldset Cape Town that could also provide a platform for a profitable business opportunity. Up for grabs was prize money to the value of R48 000.

Mfundo Radebe, who made waves last year after being accepted into Harvard on a full scholarship, will return to South Africa next month to launch an ambitious initiative to assist underprivileged learners throughout the country.

Ivan Israelstam

This week Ivan Israelstam explains why it is so important for management to be knowledgeable in labour law. The management of discipline is part of management responsibility and should not be seen as a specialist area for the HR or IR people to handle. Therefore training of all management is extremely important.

Innovative solutions to South Africa’s socio-economic challenges could be found at the tenth annual Trialogue Business in Society Conference in Johannesburg next month (16-16 May).

Ivan Israelstam

Many employers will be able to relate to the situation of being infurirated by employee behaviour. However, as Ivan Israelstam explains this week, it is very dangerous for an employer to react emotionally and overstate the allegation of misconduct - by alleging dereliction of duty. This term has a very specific legal meaning and therefore at the CCMA the employer will have the responsibility for proving that the misconduct was a deliberate and intentional action by the employee.

Before embarking upon large scale retrechments, employers need to have a very clear understanding of what labour law requires. This week Ivan Israelstam explains the definition of large scale retrenchment and describes how the Labour Court has decided on retrenchment procedures. He concludes that everything is not clear and advises employers to seek legal assistance before embarking on large scale retrenchments.

The managerial ladder is often built with rungs that depend on technical expertise. If an employee proves that they have the skills to perform the business tasks required of their position, they are promoted to the next rung.

The book industry – like many others – is under pressure from technological change. Can it re-invent itself leveraging off this technology? Will the book format as we know it today survive? What do consumers really want from a book – the tactile or technological?

Labour brokers - or temporary employment services (TES) - provide staff to companies, but sometimes fail to realise that they are also bound by the rquirements of labour law as employer. In addition to the legislation there may also be additional bargaining council determinations, which set conditions such as minimum wage rates. This week Ivan Israelstam explains how the CCMA has decided dismissal arbitrations involving labour brokers.

President Jacob Zuma has made changes to the National Executive in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

This week Ivan Israelstam expresses his view that the employer’s right to dismiss has been weakened. He explains how the Sidumo matter proceeded through various courts ultimately ending in a Constitutional Court decision, which provides the standard for employers to adhere to when deciding upon a dismissal sanction.

President Zuma has sent his deepest condolences to the family of anti-apartheid struggle veteran, Ahmed Kathrada and his political home, the African National Congress, which Uncle Kathy served selflessly throughout his adult life.

The creative economy is one of South Africa’s most underappreciated economic drivers, keeping thousands in jobs and contributing almost 3% to GDP.

The 61st Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which is currently underway in New York, is discussing “Women Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work”.

In dismissal or other disputes, when employers believe that the employee is not telling the truth or misrepresenting the facts related to the case, it is very important that employers take it very seriously and carefully prepare their own case, so that the Commissioner is able to reach the correct conclusion. Ivan Israelstam explains further.

This week Ivan Israelstam provides examples of how under-prepared, or inexperienced and untrained employers go wrong - and the financial an industrial relations implications when dismissed employees are re-instated.

Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, released updated tax tables on the 22 February as is customary in the budget speech towards the end of each government financial year.

The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) is participating during Scifest Africa, a platform promoting public awareness, understanding and appreciation of science, technology and innovation, which started on March 8 and ends on March 14 in Grahamstown.

Many women managers have found that getting in touch with their masculine side is one way of getting to the top. But in future it may no longer be the best career option. In fact, in the long term it could hinder a breakthrough to the very top.

Employers who use consecutive fixed-term contracts for an employee, and then don't issue one for whatever reason - need to understand that the CCMA Commissioners will regard that employee as being permanent. This is just one of the examples that Ivan Israelstam quotes this week to explain why employers should not misuse fixed-term contracts. Using a fixed-term contract for probationary purposes is also not correct. Where the position is permanent; probation should be covered by a probationary clause in a permanent contract. There is also a requirement to provide instruction, guidance and counselling prior to reaching a dismissal decision for poor performance during the probationary period.

Over a long period of time, many employers will be able to recall employees, who have not fitted in well in the organisational culture - despite being qualified for the position. However, sometimes the responsibility for not being able to get on with other employees does not rest with the employee, but elsewhere - and possibly with the manager or boss. This week Ivan Israelstam provides a practical example of the limits of managerial prerogative, and how any apparent incompatibility should be identified and handled. He also explains how this differs from misconduct such as the refusal to follow company rules..

Leadership skills and organisational ability are required by a union organiser as much as a supervisor or manager. Employer development and promotion policies and practices are likely then to identify someone who is a union member for promotion to a managerial or supervisory position. This week Ivan Israelstam quotes from a Labour Court case, which covers the employee rights and how the employer should handle the apparent conflict of interest.

Do not dilly dally in bringing disciplinary charges. This is the advice of Ivan Israelstam, who explains exactly why disciplinary action should be timeous - not overly hasty, but definitely not long overdue. This week, Ivan explains what to take into account and how to achieve this balance.

President Jacob Zuma will this evening deliver the State of the Nation Address (SONA) to a Joint Sitting of Parliament. The theme for this year’s address is: “The Year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Unity in Action Together Moving South Africa Forward”.

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