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Misconduct In The Workplace
The Labour Court recently handed down a judgment in the matter of Nhlanhla Christopher Makhoba and the CCMA (September 2021) in which the Court addressed a number of interesting issues. The applicant was dismissed for having posted a racist comment, ‘Whites mz b all killed’, on his Facebook page. Following his disciplinary hearing he was...
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When an employer loses the end of its patience with the conduct of an employee, it is often just a small straw that breaks the camel’s back and puts an end to the employment contract. That much was obvious in the matter of Malimba v Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and Others (JR1594/18) [2021]...
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Dismissal is an appropriate sanction for employees who fail to self-isolate when they have symptoms of Covid-19, or who continue to come to the workplace after having tested positive for the virus. The Labour Court not only confirmed that dismissal was an appropriate sanction when a Covid-19 health and safety policy was breached, but also...
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We have accepted for a very long time that the decision to terminate an employment relationship by means of a resignation constituted a unilateral act effected by the employee. This meant that employees could either resign “with immediate effect”, or by giving notice, whereafter they worked out the notice period if so required. When the...
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After 24 years of service, Ms Malukela (the employee) was dismissed over three boxes of chocolates. The employee was employed at Pick n Pay as an E-service manager. The position required the employee to operate a till and to train other cashiers on company policies and procedures, including those relating to returns, exchanges, and gifts....
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We live and work in a permissive society marked by increasingly informal dress and speech codes. Speech is often peppered with fashionable expletives, and more particularly, with the many variations of the F-word. Although conservative work structures have broken down and almost everyone is on first name terms, regularly share tweets and are friends on...
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Employers are often perplexed when a dismissed employee is retrospectively reinstated by the CCMA or a Bargaining Council. The employer not only has to take the employee back, but he also has to pay that employee for the period between the date of dismissal and the date of reinstatement. Employers react differently to a reinstatement...
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Most companies state quite categorically that the disciplinary code is a guideline. It is usually also recorded that it is not exhaustive, meaning that there are instances of misconduct which were not included in the code. It is understood that even these so-called unlisted acts of misconduct may attract a number of different sanctions, depending...
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Any and all evidence that is placed before either a disciplinary hearing or an arbitration must be taken into consideration. In the matter of City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality v South African Local Government Bargaining Council and Others (19 August 2019) the Labour Court emphasised the necessity to heed circumstantial evidence and to draw the...
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When sales had decreased while costs had increased, Aveng – a large steel manufacturer – had no choice but to restructure in order to save costs, and to ensure its continued viability.  This meant that certain functions were combined in what was described as “redesigned job descriptions”. Following extensive consultations, Aveng presented the employees with...
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