McCarthy Attorneys Inc

Workplace

RETRENCHMENT AND SEVERANCE PAY

Retrenchment and Severance Pay

Severance pay is given to an employee where they are “dismissed for reasons based on the employer’s operational requirements.” However, there are instances where an “operational requirements” retrenchee is not entitled to severance pay.

Misconduct in the workplace

Misconduct in the workplace

Workplace disciplinary codes and policies usually set out the types of behaviour which will be considered unacceptable and further regulate the conduct of employees as a whole. 

How To Present Evidence At A Disciplinary Hearing – Types Of Evidence

Disciplinary hearings exist to either discipline or ultimately dismiss an employee. In either instance, the course of action must be justified, which is found when the chairperson analyses the evidence presented at a disciplinary enquiry. Evidence proves the points raised by a party and gives validity to their arguments.

ALCOHOLISM AND THE WORKPLACE

Alcoholism and the Workplace

Dealing with an employee who battles with alcoholism is frustrating and can destroy the employment relationship.
Alcoholism, per se, does not constitute misconduct. It is being under the influence of alcohol and the consequences thereof that amount to misconduct.

Dealing With A Drunk Employee

Dealing With A Drunk Employee

The unfortunate appearance of drunkenness on duty does not only happen during the “silly season.” Employers often call for advice on how to deal with an employee who is drunk on duty. The first thing to be done is to get proper evidence.

Fixed Term And Fixed Purpose Employment Contracts

Fixed Term And Fixed Purpose Employment Contracts

A Fixed Term Employment Contract has a specific time period, with dates known to the employee. A Fixed Purpose Employment Contract is used when an employer wishes to employ someone for a specific purpose, and it is difficult to determine how long it will take the employee to complete the project or task.

A Fixed Term Employment Contract has a specific time period, with dates known to the employee. This contract is necessary when an employer wishes to employ someone for a particular period only (for example, when an employer needs to hire a temporary employee whilst an employee is on maternity leave or off for surgery). The dates where the employee will be leaving to go on maternity leave and return from maternity leave are made known to the temporary employee. A Fixed Purpose Employment Contract is used when an employer wishes to employ someone for a specific purpose, and it is difficult to determine how long it will take the employee to complete the project or task (for instance, planting, burning firebreaks, or entering data into a new computer system). Employers need to understand that when the end date is reached (fixed term) or the project is completed (fixed purpose), the contract must be terminated, and the employee joins the ranks of the unemployed. When employers use these contracts to avoid the implications of a permanent contract by re-employing the same employee repeatedly using one of these temporary contracts, employers risk the employee being viewed as a permanent employee by the CCMA. The test is whether the repeated renewal of temporary contracts has created the expectation of continued employment in the employee's mind. To avoid this risk, where employees have been employed in terms of temporary contracts, these employees should not be re-employed for a period of 3 – 6 months.

Presenting Evidence In CCMA Matters: The Benefits Of Comprehensive Heads Of Argument

Appearing at the CCMA can be stressful. Proper preparation can alleviate a lot of that stress. Preparing comprehensive Heads of Argument is part of that preparation. Heads of Argument are used to save time and trouble by directing the CCMA Commissioner’s attention to the appropriate and relevant portions of the record so that a proper analysis of the issues can occur.

Heads of Argument are a compilation of the significant points and the reasoning process of one’s argument. Heads of Argument are used to save time and trouble by directing the CCMA Commissioner’s attention to the appropriate and relevant portions of the record so that a proper analysis of the issues can occur. It also helps the Commissioner to deliver an award expeditiously.

The purpose of Heads of Argument is to deliver a persuasive argument to the Commissioner to rule in one’s favour. It helps the Commissioner to understand what one is addressing and what one needs to prove to be successful.

Heads of Argument:

present the relevant points or arguments relied on in a manner that is concise and easy to understand; and

provide a summary of the evidence to be presented and advance submissions concerning it; and

deal with legislation, case law, and past judgments pertinent to the case at hand; and

contain the necessary documentary evidence (such as photographs, minutes, notices, transcripts, etc.) as Annexures. This is particularly important as all the required documents will be centralised and easily accessible.

The Commissioner may want time to consider both arguments and will draft a written award at a later stage. In these instances, Heads of Argument serve as a reminder of one’s argument. It is, therefore, imperative that the Heads of Argument are detailed, contain all the necessary documents, and will provide the Commissioner with all the pertinent points of your case.

It is advisable to seek legal assistance with drafting Heads of Argument in a CCMA matter to ensure that it contains all the necessary information and is prepared following the Rules and the Practice and Procedure Manual of the CCMA.