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labour law

Disciplinary hearings are often held in an emotional environmental, which can lead to decisions being taken - without consideration of all the circumstances.  This week Ivan Israelstam explains exactly what are extenuating circumstances, and answers the question - how important are they to the dismissal decision? 

This week, Ivan Israelstam explains how an employer can inadvertently guarantee an employee further employment - even though their contract states that it is a temporary period of employment. He explains the dangers to employers, who attempt to avoid their labour law obligations, by manipulating employment contracts, for example with fixed term contracts.

What is insubordination, and what does it mean "to obey a reasonable instruction"? This week Ivan Israelstam explains what happened in a case where refusal to obey a reasonable instruction - was the correct response, and the dismissal was unfair.

The section of the Employment Equity Act that prohibits unfair discrimination applies to all employers. Discrimination means making a choice. Ivan Israelstam provides examples of fair and unfair discrimination, and explains what "inherent requirements of the job" mean.

As Ivan Israelstam explains this week, employers may sometimes decide to "get rid of" an employer for reasons of age. However, if the decision does not follow an established, documented, fair, and legal policy and practice, the action could prove not only - very expensive for the employer, but also damaging to the company reputation. 

Employers range between those, who are over-sympathetic towards employees, and those who feel they have no responsibility at all, to deal with employee grievances. Ivan Israelstam explains that although there is no statute, that requires exployers to handle employee grievances, it is always advisable for employers to investigate the full circumstances of the grievance, and not to pre-judge based upon the person who is lodging the grievance.   

For employers, any form of workplace disruption causes concern and frustration. Ivan Israelstam explains why it is important that employers do not respond emotionally to such disruptions, and only respond once their actions have been carefully considered.

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.

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