Labour Relations Act

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We’ve all been in a situation where we were at our place of employment but wanted to be somewhere else. Is it correct to use sick leave to attend leisure activities?


The Employment Equity Act promotes equal opportunity in the workplace and seeks to eliminate unfair discrimination.


Labour Laws set out guidelines for employers and employees to follow to ensure that the work environment is safe and fair.


The takeover of an entity or part thereof by a new owner or a new management often causes loss of jobs and employees are often desperate to stay on with the new enterprise. On the other hand, the new owner/management very often already has its own staff and wants to avoid the expense of taking on additional employees.


When an employer sets up a disciplinary hearing, or decides following an investigation that there is more to be answered and investigated, there may be reason to place the relevant employee on suspension. However, as with everything else in employment and labour law, there is a procedure regarded as fair, which should be followed, Is there a reason why the employer feels suspension is necessary, such as threatening or intimidating potential witnesses?  Ivan provides cases to demonstrate this point.


What is "whistle-blowing" , and when is it protected? This week Ivan Israelstam explains what legislation protects employees: not just the Protected Disclosures Act, but also the Labour Relations Act. Then Ivan  looks at cases, where the employee has disclosed information, and explains how the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court have dealt with such cases. 


 Labour law provides scant protection for employers. That is the opinion of Ivan Israelstam. This week Ivan explains why he holds that opinion, and gives advice to employers on how he believes they should react, and protect their businesses going forward.


What is a whistle blower? This week Ivan Israelstam addresses the Protected Disclosures Act, and how it affects employers and employees. Ivan provides examples from cases indicating how the court seeks to protect both employers and employees.


This week Ivan Israelstam explains that the CCMA has produced guidelines, which will guide the work of commissioners arbitrating dismissal disputes. The guidelines explain that rulings should be lawful, reasonable, and procedurally fair, which gives effect to the Constitutional right to fair administrative action (s33(1)).


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. 


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.


"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.


Ivan Israelstam explains in detail employee rights in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), and how the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and the Labour Court may approach disputes, which combine BCEA disputes, with matters under the Labour Relations Act (LRA), such as unfair dismissal disputes.   


This week Ivan Israelstam explains the process an exployer should adopt if a retrenchment of employees is contemplated. He explains what the steps are to be followed, to ensure that the employer complies with the requirements of the Labour Relations Act for what is an operational requirements dismissal.


What is a transfer of a business, and what are the implications for the new owner of the business? This week Ivan Israelstam uses examples of cases to explain the expensive consequences for a business owner, who does not follow the requirements of the Labour Relations Act. 


Businesses - or part of a business - are taken over by new concerns, or required services are outsourced. Then the service provider may be replaced by a second service provider. When do these business transfers fall under section 197 of the Labour Relations Act? Ivan Israelstam explains why it is so important to understand what business transfers are defined as transfers as a going concern.  


This week Ivan Israelstam provides examples from the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitrator and the Labour Court to explain the complexity of decisions on what may be considered as an unfair labour practice.  

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