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labour law

The recent Labour Court judgment in Botes v City of Joburg Property Company SOC Ltd and Another [2021] 2 BLLR 181 (LC) put it beyond doubt that issues which fall under section 23 of the Constitution, the right to fair labour practices, are governed by the principles of procedural and substantive fairness. Furthermore, the Court indicated that such issues are primarily dealt with through the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 ("LRA").

packing boxes

Very few workplace issues elicit as firmly held views or fears as the topic of constructive dismissal. Whether it is a manager, fearful of doing something wrong and at risk of an employee lodging the dreadful claim of constructive dismissal, or Harvey Spectre wannabes cascading their views on the legal impact of such a claim: say "constructive dismissal" and you have everyone's attention.

This week,  Ivan Israelstam applies decided cases of the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to explain what should be considered before an employer takes a decision to dismiss an employee. The examples also highlight some inconsistecies in the decisions of the CCMA, which do make the employer's job more difficult.

This week Ivan Israelstam lists the type of services that employers can expect from a labour law expert, and what qualifications a reputable lawyer or consultant should hold.

Ivan Israelstam

A very topical question this week. Ivan Israelstam provides his assessment of why business owners and managers will want to have everyone vaccinated, and he addresses the legal questions - the rights afforded to individuals by our Constitution.  How will these be balanced against the requirements that employers provide a safe working environment? Ivan notes that section 36 of the Constitution may reasonably limit the individual rights.  

This week, Ivan Israelstam starts the 2021 year with a question on disciplinary hearing procedures. What is hearsay evidence? What is the consequence of using hearsay evidence? Is hearsay evidence ever acceptable?  

South African labour law - often criticised for restricting recruitment because employers believe that they cannot dismiss an employee. Whereas, as Ivan Israelstam points out, investing the time and money into good quality training on labour law for management, will pay off many times over in costs saved from adverse CCMA and Bargaining Council decisions.

This week, Ivan Israelstam sets out what the term "dereliction of duty" means. He explains why it is important for management to use the term correctly, neither to come on too strong against an employee, when other factors could explain events, nor to be too soft when the allegation of dereliction of duty would be correct.

Retrenchment exercises are defined as dismissals for operational requirements, and may be contemplated by employers for economic, structural, or technological reasons. During the difficult economic times of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers may be contemplating retrenchment of employees. This week Ivan Israelstam lays out the requirements for large scale retrenchments - with the definition of constitutes large scale.  

This week Ivan Israelstam explains how the Labour Relations Act (LRA) affects labour brokers. The LRA refers to a Temporary Employment Service (TES) - that is a labour broker. Therefore, Ivan explains exactly how this can affect the labour broker adversely, when they try to dismiss one of their employees. 

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