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dismissal

Absent employees do constitute a problem for employers, particularly is the absence is frequently repeated. The employer is required, however, to ensure that the rights of absent employees are adhered to - before dismissing them from the company. Ivan Israelstam explains that the courts have repeatedly confirmed - an employee cannot dismiss themselves. So before taking the decision to dismiss an employee, it is necessary for employers to do everything possible to make contact with the absent employee, and to advise them of their rights to a hearing. 

This week Ivan Israelstam expresses his interpretation of Code of Good Conduct: Dismissal; that is: Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA). While cross examination is a constitutional right afforded to accused persons in courts of law, and extended to bargaining council and Commission for the Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) arbitrations, it is not clear whether this right extends to disciplinary hearings. Ivan explains his view of whether the Code provides for cross examination at disciplinary hearings.  

Ivan Israelstam quotes from two cases of the same employer, with similar facts, but with different outcomes. Read carefully the facts that Ivan lays out to see how you would have acted in your company. 

This week Ivan Israelstam explains how a CCMA Arbitrator dealt with a dismissal where an employer mistakenly thought that an employee could "dismiss themselves" - and exactly what the mistake cost the employer. The employee "self-dismissal" was found to be both procedurally and substantively unfair.

This week Ivan Israelstam explains exactly why employers who have disciplinary procedures - and put those disciplinary procedures in the employee's contract - need to make absolutely sure that they follow exactly the procedures that have been set out. The Labour Court will take a dim view of employers who simply make minimal effort to ensure that the procedures are followed.

"I'll give you a warning". That is something heard by employees, when a supervisor or manager makes the statement as a threat because they are frustrated with the behaviour or non-compliance of an employee. This week Ivan Israelstam explains exactly how warnings should be viewed, and when different levels of warning are appropriate. 

This week Ivan Israelstam answers these questions: What is a Con-Arb, and how does it differ from conciliation and arbitration? What the implications if an employer receives a notification for a Con-Arb at the CCMA? How should an employer respond to a notice of Con-Arb? Can an employer object to a Con-Arb?  

When should the chairperson of an internal disciplinary hearing consider allowing a lawyer to represent the employee facing the disciplinary hearing? Ivan Israelstam explains how the courts have considered this question, and what employers should take into account in order to respond to such requests. 

This week Ivan Israelstam explains why it is important for management to understand the difference between mitigating circumstances and extenuating circumstances. He argues that there is a difference - and explains how this understanding relates to provocation and affects decisions to dismiss.

This week Ivan Israelstam answers the question on whether an allegation of assault will automatically always lead to a decision to dismiss. Ivan looks at how the authorities have dealt with the question, and concludes that the specific circumstances of each case need to be carefully considered before reaching a decision.

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