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labour law

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.

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:

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.

offce dispute

Employees do not ordinarily have an automatic entitlement to a pay increase or to advancement up the corporate ladder. However, the Labour Relations Act (LRA) does allow employees who have been passed over for promotion to lodge an unfair labour practice dispute at the relevant bargaining council. Should the industry in question have no bargaining council the employee may lodge the dispute at the CCMA.

labour law

The Employment Equity Act (EEA) prohibits sexual harassment of employees by other employees and holds the employer liable in such cases even if the employer does not know that the sexual harassment is going on. The courts have upheld this provision.

Businessman touching an employee on her shoulder

Conservatively estimated, one in four women will experience sexual harassment in the workplace at some stage during their working lifespan. The personal toll on these women - and those around them who deal with the secondary effects - is immense.

prisoner in hand cuffs

The employment of certain sex offenders is regulated under chapter 6 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 32 of 2007 (CLAA) and prohibits certain employers from hiring or continuing to employ sex offenders. For the purposes of this law “employers” are defined as those that employ staff who, directly or indirectly, deal with or come into contact with children or mentally disabled persons (MDP) in the course of their work.

employees at a work hearing

Should an employer fail to bring any witnesses to a CCMA arbitration the employer’s representative will find it extremely difficult to win the case because witness testimony normally forms the crucial core of the procedure at any hearing. 

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