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 […]

Working virtually is liberating

Despite the many downsides brought by the lockdown, the most important upside is probably the fact that it has liberated us from the old 8 to 5 routine – being chained to the workplace, or looking for parking to attend to business obligations outside of the office. Since the start of the lockdown on 27 […]

Virtual hearings are no longer science fiction

Lockdown has taken its toll on the hearing of disputes in general. Like the different courts, the CCMA could not open its doors again until quite recently. To ensure the safety of everyone who attended the CCMA premises, a Standard Operations Procedure (“SOP”) guideline was issued in line with section 27 (2) of the Disaster […]

Mediation Advocacy – the Art of Strategy

With mediation becoming formally entrenched in High Court practice through the introduction of Rule 41A, legal practitioners will need to be equipped to represent clients effectively within this new arena. Mediation Advocacy is the technique of strategically presenting a client’s position, needs and interests in a non-adversarial way, recognizing that the negotiated outcome to a […]

A contractual clause can’t cure fraud

Namasthethu Electrical[1] learnt the hard way that it could not enforce a contractual right it had secured through its fraudulent conduct. The SCA not only confirmed that the City of Cape Town correctly terminated Namasthethu’s tender, but ordered punitive costs when it held that the arbitration clause on which Namasethethu relied did not survive the […]

The new normal: remote dispute resolution

The entire world has a new mantra: Keep your social distance and wash your hands thoroughly, regularly, with soap and water. Like so many other countries, South Africa is in lockdown which will be followed by many months of social distancing. We are all holding thumbs that we will soon start returning to work, and […]

Employers have the right to recover losses

Employees can cost employers millions through negligence, gross dereliction of duty, mismanagement, fraud and corruption, dishonesty or theft. While employers seldom lay criminal charges or initiate civil litigation because of time and cost factors, they could in fact both dismiss the employee and get some of that lost money back. Employers can either approach the […]

When the sheriff comes knocking: enforcing awards

Arbitrators often award compensation, or reinstate an employee retrospectively. This means that the employer must pay the employee his salary/wages from the date of dismissal until the date on which he is to be reinstated. The CCMA’s functions do not, however, include the enforcement of its awards. While that is the end of the arbitration, […]