In the intricate landscape of employment law, employers often grapple with whether or not to dismiss an employee. Two primary grounds for dismissal, incapacity and misconduct, stand out, each requiring a distinct approach and understanding.
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.
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.
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.