A reinstatement order does not revive the employment contract

What does an order to retrospectively reinstate an employee mean? Does it mean that it revives the employment contract which was terminated when the employee was dismissed? Does it mean that the employer must unconditionally pay the employee backpay in the amount he would have earned from the date of dismissal to the date of […]

Focus on social media can lead to poor performance

The temptation to constantly check your personal emails, WhatsApps, SMSs or the latest posts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – and to fire off an immediate response – is extremely powerful. Too much time spent on social media during the working day can, however, cost you your job – and the dismissal will be upheld […]

Investing in VBS Bank: A dereliction of duty

A number of municipal employees have appeared in court following the collapse of the VBS Mutual Bank. In many instances the municipal officials in question deposited municipal funds into the VBS Mutual Bank despite a policy prohibiting municipalities from placing deposits in banks which were not registered in terms of the Banks Act. In 2016 […]

Resigning Won’t Prevent a Disciplinary Hearing

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 […]

Dismissal: Fact or Assumption?

One would have thought that an employee would know as a question of fact that s/he was dismissed, but it transpired in the matter of Chantal Bisschoff and Curro Holdings t/a/ Curro Academy Wilgeheuwel (handed down on 11 September 2020) that this is not always the case. Although the matter before the Labour Court turned […]

A peaceful strike? Then why is SAPS present?

Employees strike for many reasons. In the matter of De Heus (Pty) Ltd v South African Commercial and Catering Workers Union (SACCAWU) and Others the strike was precipitated by revelations that an employee in the administrative office displayed symptoms of Covid-19. The employer instructed her to leave its offices, undergo testing, and arranged to have […]

Ignoring a subpoena can land you in jail

CCMA and Bargaining Council commissioners have the powers to issue subpoenas, but unfortunately these subpoenas are usually seen as toothless. More often than not, subpoenas are ignored, and the witnesses fail to attend the proceedings. Commissioners can also cite parties for contempt, but as it is necessary to refer such a ruling to the Labour […]

No work, no pay during lockdown

It is common knowledge that large numbers of employees suddenly found themselves without an income when the strict Level 5 lockdown regulations confined them to their homes from 27 March 2020 until 30 April 2020. In terms of the regulations only the essential services and a limited number of industries such as companies essential to […]

Reason for Suspension – Misconduct or Lockdown?

Since lockdown started on 27 March 2020, CCMA commissioners have had to determine a variety of issues resulting from the lockdown. In the matter of Bobotjane/Sebvest Financial Services Group /Sebvest Development Africa (Pty) Ltd the CCMA commissioner had to determine whether the interruption of the applicant’s services constituted an unfair labour practice, given that the […]

Bullying boss made employment intolerable

The Labour Court recently handed down a judgment that reads a little like a novel. The facts in Centre for Autism Research and Education CC v CCMA (JR 1619/2018, handed down on 19 June 2020) per Van Niekerk J, were briefly that Ms Rozanna Riback (“Riback”),  the sole member and director of the institution, which […]