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probation

This week Ivan Israelstam explains why employers get into - expensive - difficulties at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration, or bargaining councils by incorrectly using fixed-term contracts. Why does this happen, and what should employers take into account to ensure that they can defend their actions if a dispute is lodged against them?

This week Ivan Israelstam answers these questions: What is a Con-Arb, and how does it differ from conciliation and arbitration? What the implications if an employer receives a notification for a Con-Arb at the CCMA? How should an employer respond to a notice of Con-Arb? Can an employer object to a Con-Arb?  

Last week, Ivan Israelstam explained the personal reasons employers may have to utilise probation to dismiss employees. This week, Ivan describes the alternative action the employers may take - instead of dismissing the employee, the employee is demoted.  This action, equally as with the dismissals, may run into criticism at the Commission for Conciliation Moderation and Arbitration (CCMA). 

This week Ivan Israelstam explains why "James Bond" employers, who use probation to simply dismiss employees - whether they have broken rules, or just simply because they are not popular with the boss, will be tripped up at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Employees may be hired on a variety of different forms of contract. This week Ivan Israelstam explains what the implications of the various contracts are, when employers are not happy with employee performance and seek to terminate the contract. 

Employers who use consecutive fixed-term contracts for an employee, and then don't issue one for whatever reason - need to understand that the CCMA Commissioners will regard that employee as being permanent. This is just one of the examples that Ivan Israelstam quotes this week to explain why employers should not misuse fixed-term contracts. Using a fixed-term contract for probationary purposes is also not correct. Where the position is permanent; probation should be covered by a probationary clause in a permanent contract.

Employers may view probation as a means of easily terminating employees, who don't quite "fit in" or don't meet company standards. There are clearly set out requirements for employers to comply with before dismissing a probationary employee. This week Ivan Israelstam explains what happens when the James Bond type employer meets the CCMA commissioner.

An employer may think that by offering an employee a fixed term contract, they will be able to simply terminate the employee at the end of the contract. However, as Ivan Israelstam explains it depends upon the circumstances and company policy and practice. An employer may inadvertently give a temporary employee an expectation of further employment.

Ivan Israelstam

This week Ivan Israelstam explains what happened to employers who tried to avoid the requirements of the section on probation in the Code of Good Practice on Dismissal. Pretending an employee is on a fixed term contract - or an independent contractor - will cause just as much trouble at the CCMA. So the best practice is to provide the counselling, guidance or training that a probationary employee requires.

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