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 […]

Can tender validity periods be extended?

All tenders are subject to certain time periods. Once the tender closes, a decision must be taken within a certain number of days, as to who has been awarded the tender. It is usually stated upfront that the period in question would, for example be 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and so forth. This […]

Presiding officials, wakey-wakey!

Chairpersons frequently impose or recommend a sanction of summary dismissal where security guards face allegations that they were caught sleeping on duty as such conduct exposed the premises, which were to be secured by the security provider, to some danger. Regardless of the nature of the workplace, it is generally accepted that no one should […]

When is a polygraph mandatory?

Many employers still believe that they have the right to simply subject an employee to a polygraph test, and that the result provides conclusive evidence that the employee is guilty and may therefore be dismissed. Those employers would be wrong on all counts. The question as to whether an employer can rely on a polygraph […]

Courts frown on delayed proceedings

The well-known adage “justice delayed is justice denied” is often alleged in instances where employers fail to finalise a disciplinary process for some months or years. Edwin Cameron, who is now a judge in the Constitutional Court, wrote an article in 1986 which was published in the Industrial Law Journal (183). He said it was […]

Bad language ends in bad news

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 […]

When is an utterance racist?

In 2016 City Press carried a story with the headline, “We know racism when we hear it.” Although there is no single legal definition for the term “racism”, this confident headline crumbles somewhat when tested against the guidelines for determining when an utterance is racist as laid down by the Constitutional Court in relatively recent […]

Beware of the tender fraudsters

Don’t be flattered when you receive an invitation out of the blue to tender for what appears to be a lucrative government contract. The normal process is that you look for a tender – the tender does not come looking for you. As the economy opens up again with the promise of increased business activity, […]

Signatures in electronic transmissions: a word of caution

We accept that an illiterate person can sign a document by way of affixing his thumbprint or by making an X whilst literate people do so in handwriting. The intention in both instances is the same – it not only serves to verify that the content of the document is true, correct and valid, but […]

Observing the principles of fairness during virtual hearings

Since the introduction of lockdown, employers and employees have found themselves in an environment of unprecedented change and uncertainty. Instead of getting up on the morning of Friday, 27 March 2020 to go to work, large numbers of employers and employees were wondering how they could work without going to the workplace. Employers who had […]