labour court

When business conditions change, employers may want to change the terms and conditions of employment of the employees. This week Ivan Israelstam explains what employers should not do in these circumstances. 

Over the last few decades, many companies have transferred parts of a business to another company, which continues to provide a service to the original company. Transfers of the employees takes place under Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act. If the company subsequently decides to cancel that arrangement and appoints another company to provide the service, do all of the employees move over again? Ivan explains the complexities and implications of this question.

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. 

You can be an employee before you start work! This week Ivan Israelstam explains that there gap in employent law. That is because neither the Labour Relations Act, nor Basic Conditions of Employment Act, nor the Employment Equity Act adequately cover this question. Ivan advises on the limitations in finding a way forward by relying upon the law of contract. So, Ivan explains how have the Labour Court, and Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) have responded - and the Labour Appeal Court has stepped in.

One of the unfortunate consequences for employees of this outbreak of corona virus, is potential retrenchment. This week Ivan explains the benefits offered by the Department of Employment and Labour to mitigate this eventuality, and reminds employers of the importance of following the consultation steps as set our in the retrenchment clauses of the Labour Relations Act. 

The retrenchment of a senior management employee will always be a difficult exercise, and all the more reason why the employer should ensure compliance with the Labour Relations Act and Codes of Good Practice, and that the correct procedures are followed. Ivan Israelstam quotes a case where the employer tried to both retrench and disciplline a senior employee.

This article explains the challenges labour brokers experience, when the employer refuses to accept the person, who has been placed at their site.

Ivan Israelstam

Although there is a formal Code of Good Practice for Dismissal it is also possible to have a less formal approach to disciplinary procedures in certain circumstances.

"Whistleblowing" - not the making of noise with a little mouth toy - making a report, which "exposes secretive information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within a private or public organization" (Wikipaedia definition). What are the consequences of an employee making a report about something happening reporting on administrative, or other actions, which are being carried out in the organisation, or institution of their employer? Ivan Israelstam explains how the Protected Disclosures Act, protects whistleblowers, but also how employers are protected.

Two important issues are raised his week by Ivan Israelstam - first that employers should not use retrenchment as an excuse to deal with their failure to manage employee performance, and when conducting restructuring and retrenchment exercises, there are clear steps to be followed to consult with employees - these include consultation, information sharing, and consideration of alternatives. For details on the requirements - see Labour Relations Act sections 189 and 189A, and the Code of Good Practice on Operational Requirements Dismissals.

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