When is dismissal fair?

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Ivan Israelstam | Chief Executive | Labour Law Management Consulting | mail me |


In the case of Moloi vs Quthing Construction and Developers CK (2007, 8 BALR 720) the accused was given a final warning after he had been repeatedly late for work and had displayed a ‘negative attitude’.

When he refused to sign for receipt of the warning the employer felt that this was the last straw and decided to dismiss the employee for his negative attitude.

The CCMA found that the dismissal was unfair because the employer had failed to give the employee a hearing to answer to the charge of refusing to sign for receipt of the warning and also found that refusal to sign such a document does not merit a dismissible offence.

Employers should learn the following from this case:

It is very risky to charge and/or dismiss an employee for something as nebulous as ‘negative attitude’. Rather, the charge should relate directly to something specific that the employee did that they were not supposed to or to something they were supposed to do that they failed to do.

For example, it is better to charge the employee for late coming than for …


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