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Labour Law

Covid-19 mask

Covid has very severely weakened business, eroded job security and spurred unemployment. While strikes have been fewer and shorter during Covid, their effect is greater because of the very weak financial circumstances of businesses and workers resulting from the pandemic.

meeting with mediator

It happens too often that I receive panicked phone calls from employers who had received an unfavourable arbitration award in respect of a CCMA case that they never knew existed. That is, the employer had never received a summons to appear at the CCMA. In one such case the award required the employer to pay many tens of thousands of rands to an ex-employee. This can happen for a number of different reasons including:

We too often hear the shout from business owners and managers: “Get rid of him now; we’ll worry about the legal costs later!” Little do they realise that ‘the costs’ they are shouting about could be immense.

Earlier this year I wrote an article warning of the dangers of enforcing compulsory Covid vaccinations at the workplace. Despite this, a trend towards compulsory vaccination has begun.

co-workers sitting in virtual meeting

Hearings are a critical part of the business machinery. They provide parties with an opportunity to resolve conflict, and they can mitigate risk for employee and organisation alike. However, the past 18 months have not been ideal for organisations undertaking hearings.

co-workers in a meeting

Despite South Africa’s employment equity legislation, the biases and discrimination that characterised the ‘old South Africa’ still exists in the hearts and minds of many people.

employee in an office meeting

Employers use alternative and temporary labour sources for numerous reasons including:

disciplinary hearing

Item 4(1) of the Code of Good Practice: Dismissal (the Code) attached to the Labour Relations Act (LRA) states, in effect, that the employer should conduct an investigation and allow the employee to state a case in response to disciplinary allegations as part of the requirements for rendering dismissals procedurally fair. Countless case law decisions have upheld this requirement.

person signing contract

Lack of awareness of Constitutional and labour law protections of employees from foreign countries has prompted many employers to mistreat illegally employed staff. That is, employers have paid illegal immigrants low wages, deprived them of employee benefits and have dismissed them at will.

woman wearing mask at work

There is little doubt that the cracks around COVID-19 are starting to show. From rapid lockdown regulations to hybrid models of working, organisations have been juggling changing rules and safety protocols for nearly two years.

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