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JUDITH GRIESSEL

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Flaunting Covid-19 protocols can get you dismissed

May 08, 2021

The Labour Court, in a recent case, has confirmed that dismissing an employee who came to work knowing that he had been exposed to the virus, was fair in the circumstances of this case. 

The facts in Eskort Limited v Stuurman Mogotsi and Others (JR1644/20) [2021] ZALCJHB 53, were that the employee (Mogotsi) was an assistant manager and a member of the in-house “Coronavirus Site Committee” at work - which, amongst other things, was tasked with informing employees about the risks of COVID-19, what symptoms to look out for and what to do in the event of exposure.

Mogotsi usually travelled to and from work with a colleague. The colleague started feeling unwell, was booked off from work and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Mogotsi also started experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19. Despite him being booked off and his employer advising him to stay at home, he however persisted in coming to work. During the period when he was awaiting the...

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Breaching company procedures and dishonesty in the workplace

Dec 17, 2020

 

The Labour appeal Court confirmed a number of important principles around misconduct and workplace discipline in the case of Pick ’n Pay Retailers (Pty) Ltd v JAMAFO obo Maluleke and others (2020) 29 LAC.  

The employee was a trainer of cashiers. She and a colleague were gifted boxes of chocolates by a customer of the store, which she did not declare and then attempted to exchange for cash. In doing so, she breached a number of company protocols and policies (which she had been well aware of as the trainer) and when she could not succeed, tried to reverse the transactions to try and cover up her activities - involving names and passwords of other employees. She was dismissed by the company on the basis of breaching company policies and attempted fraud, despite her service of 24 years and clean disciplinary record.

The employee did not deny what she had done, but tried to justify her actions by saying that she had not wanted to siphon money from the store, but just...

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Managing Workplace Discipline - do so timeously

Nov 18, 2020

 

An employee is pushing the boundaries. You get complaints about performance and client service. You call him/her in, express your discontent and tell them to do better. This happens a few times, but you just do not get around to formalising these little chats (who has the time, and who needs the conflict?). Then something happens that gets the attention of senior management / the Board / social media..........and all eyes are on you to address this issue once and for all. What do you do?

Famously, in our experience, a disciplinary hearing is called. This latest incident is taken and dissected to see how many of the boxes in the company's disciplinary code can be ticked in order to formulate as many charges as possible from this one incident - because this was now the last straw and the pressure is on to dismiss the employee.

So, the bulked-up disciplinary charges for the hearing include added charges like dereliction of duties; bringing the company's name into disrepute; and...

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