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Dismissal

Numsa challenges Eskom SMS dismissals

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said on Friday that it would challenge power utility Eskom on its decision to fire 1,000 workers at its Medupi construction site by SMS.

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Dismissal is unfair if rehabilitation is needed

Disabled or sick employees are protected by law. They cannot be disciplined for their incapacity (sickness or disability) even if this has been brought on by their own actions. For example, an employee who drinks excessively and becomes an alcoholic is legally classified as being ill and is protected by law. Section 6 of the Employment Equity Act (EEA) prohibits unfair discrimination against employees because of disability. This means that an employer may not discriminate against an employee because he is disabled. In fact, the EEA obliges employers to find ways of recruiting and seeking ways to accommodate people with disabilities.

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Dismissal of employees: complicated by definitions

When it comes to dismissal, the point of departure in the Labour Relations Act No. 66 of 1995 (LRA) appears to be straightforward: "Every employee has the right not to be unfairly dismissed" (section 185). On the face of it, it does indeed look straightforward but when the various definitions applicable to the rule are taken into account, it becomes more complex. Before the above-mentioned section 185 principle even becomes applicable, it's necessary to establish if the person concerned falls within the definition of the term 'employee' as defined in section 213 of the LRA. Why?

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Constructive dismissal: subjective or objective?

Constructive dismissal is a peculiar phenomenon during which an employee's resignation is judged according to substantive and procedural fairness parameters as if it were a dismissal. It's unique in that the employee must prove a continued employment relationship was made intolerable by the employer, leaving them no choice but to resign. But is this standard of proof subjective or objective?

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Dismissal for dishonesty: not a foregone conclusion

Any dishonest conduct by employees can cause an employer to, figuratively, see red. It's common for such an employer to feel that dismissal of the dishonest employee is the only safe course of action because it's believed that a person capable of stealing will steal again or will steal more in future. South African courts seem to take this to heart.

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