Dismissed for one day’s absence while on a final written warning

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] […]

The saga of a hairpin: insubordination and a dismissal

What happens when an employee steadfastly refuses to remove a light blue hairpin in contravention of a dress code that requires hairpins to be navy blue or black? She is charged with insubordination, and when found guilty, she is dismissed. At first blush, the decision to dismiss the employee, who was employed as a cashier […]

Workplace safety is paramount during pandemic

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 […]

Was lockdown a good reason not to go to work?

The CCMA has rendered a number of arbitration awards after employees referred alleged unfair dismissal disputes for having failed to report for duty. In each instance the employee concerned claimed that the national lockdown was the reason for the absence. Just how valid the saying that “each case turns on its own facts” is, becomes […]

Dismissal over chocolates

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. […]

Establish the true reason for the dismissal

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 […]

Resignation to Avoid the Chopping Block

The moot question as to whether an employer may lawfully proceed with and conclude disciplinary proceedings against an employee, post-resignation, before the end of the employee’s notice period, is now settled. What was known as a trite legal position was disturbed in the Labour Court matter of Kalipa Mtati v KPMG Services (Pty) Ltd . […]