The Protection From Harassment Act – How does it affect the workplace?

The above act (Protection From Harassment Act) came into legal effect on the 27th April 2013, mainly to provide extra protection from harassment for victims of stalkers and protection from sexual harassment. The act also caters for domestic violence but can also affect the workplace.

Harassment”, briefly, means to directly engage in conduct that causes […]

Can a client demand an Outsource Provider or Labour Broker remove their resources from site? Actually, no!.

Firms enter into outsourcing contracts with clients, providing resources to perform services on site. On occasion, and perhaps increasingly, clients demand the removal of such firm’s resources from site, normally in accordance with a contractual term. Generally the demand is based on lawful and fair grounds such as dishonesty and can be dealt with by […]

Sick but on annual leave? Can I swap between the two?

A client (thanks Christina) recently asked me whether an employee falling ill or being injured during annual leave can “swap out” the annual leave with sick leave. The obvious outcome would be the sick leave decreased and the annual leave extended.

The answer is NO! (At least in South Africa).

Section 20(9) of the Basic […]

Labour Legislation Alert: New Code on HIV/AIDS

Last month, on the 15 June 2012, the South African Minister of Labour issued a revised Code of Good Practice on HIV and AIDS and the World of Work in terms of the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998: as published in GN 451 in Government Gazette 35435.

The preamble emphasises that the Code, in […]

Dismissed for R50! Fair?

A client recently dismissed an employee for dishonesty because the employee had gone to the on-site Deli and ordered from the cashier a large plate of chips, which he paid for. At the orders counter he asked for and received a large plate of chips but also a hamburger and a pie. He made no […]

Can my employees openly discuss their salaries?

I often receive requests from companies regarding their desire to discipline employees because an employee discussed his or her salary with other employees or people outside the company. They are somewhat distraught when I tell them they have no right to discipline anyone under those circumstances, even if they have diligently made such a requirement […]

Brief on proposed section 198 of the LRA

Labour Relations Amendment Bill, 2012

The above Bill is before Parliament and may be further amended. The comments below are based on the Bill before such amendments, if any.

The Bill proposes amendments to section 198 of the Act dealing with temporary employment services (“TES”), commonly referred to as “labour brokers”,

The Bill also proposes […]

New Threshold for the Basic Conditions of Employment Act – Update July 2013

With effect from the 1st July 20123 there has been an amendment to the earnings threshold as contemplated in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (“BCEA”).

The current threshold of R183,008 per annum rises to R193,805. Any employee whose remuneration is higher than R193,805 will not be entitled to certain provisions of the BCEA […]

Sick Leave – The Eight-Week Rule

Management and HR in South Africa often overlook the “Eight-Week Rule” when dealing with employees who take frequent sick leave but less than three days at a time (for which they are not obliged to produce a sick ccertificate).

Section 23 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act states “An employer is not required to […]

Why should we say “disciplinary enquiry” rather than “disciplinary hearing”?

I have been asked this question a couple of times this last week. Although the term “disciplinary hearing” remains in common use in business, the legal fraternity, the CCMA and even the Courts, there is also a growing movement to dispense with terms of a criminal orientation. After all, employees are simply going through a […]