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labour law

Employers are sometimes disappointed and angry that a CCMA arbitration award has gone against them. This week Ivan Israelstam explains why this sometimes occurs, and what the standards are that CCMA Commissioners must meet. Ivan explains how this helps an employer deciding whether they should challenge the award.

When faced with challenges raised by employees, employers may be tempted to opt for a retrenchment exercise to remove employees who may seem to be too challenging of management authority. This week Ivan Israelstam explains what may genuinely be regarded as an operational requirement and why employers should be careful not to concoct reasons that will not stand up in court.

The world of work is changing rapidly. As a result of technological advances, globalisation, and competition employers need to make changes to their working conditions. This week Ivan Israelstam deals with how an employer should react when employees are reluctant to change their working arrangements, such as shift patterns. How should the employer respond?

In the past, employers has consistently refused to allow lawyers to be present at internal disciplinary hearings. However, the ground has shifted slightly and employers would be well advised to consider the individual circumstances and individual disciplinary matter that is being heard. This week Ivan Israelstam explains how the ground has shifted.

A second generation transfer arises when a company first outsources a part of the company to a service provider company, who takes over the employees related to that company department or service. The contract is for a fixed period and the orginal company then re-tenders to a different service provider company to take over the provision of the services. The question arises: does the second service provider company have to take over those employees who were part of the original transfer?

Activities that may be classified as misconduct are sometimes provoked, causing raised emotions, which sometimes result in retaliatory action. However, whatever happens a senior manager needs to remain in control of their emotions at all times, and to ensure that only disciplinary actions consistent with the Code of Good Practice: Dismissal (Schedule 8) are taken against employees. This week Ivan Israelstam explains why resorting to biting a junior employee is inadvisable.

Employers may feel that an assault does always merit dismissal of the offender's employment. This week Ivan Israelstam explains why this may not always be the case, and why the CCMA arbitrator may re-instate a dismissed employee. He explains the procedural and substantive issues that need to be considered.

Employers who conclude employment contracts, and then terminate the contract for some reason prior to the employee commencing work, need to be aware that the CCMA and Labour Courts will regard this as a dismissal. The meaning of the wording "...works for ..." has been interpreted to include after the contract has been signed, but before actual work has begun. This week Ivan Israelstam explains further.

Benefits paid to employees may represent an increasing cost to employers, but it is not possible for an employer to simply remove benefits that an employee previously enjoyed without challenge. Such challenges will be heard at the CCMA. This week Ivan Israelstam explains just how much a successful challenge may cost an employer who loses their case.

In a country of high unemployment rates, competition for jobs is fierce. Some individuals feel that they will improve their chances of employment by enhancing the contents of their job history - or alternatively hiding the details of previous disciplinary action, or dismissals. While some personal information is protected by the Constitution to prevent unfair discrimination, the recruiting employer is entitled to all details relevant to the job requirements. Ivan Israelstam explains the types of deception and how they have been handled by the CCMA.

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