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An employer cannot unilaterally change an employee’s retirement age

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An employer cannot unilaterally change an employee’s retirement age. Should the employer do so and terminate the employee’s employment, the dismissal may constitute an automatically unfair dismissal and amount to unfair discrimination.

DMA vs LRA: what is considered an ‘essential service’ in strike...

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The issue is whether an essential service in terms of the Disaster Management Act (DMA) is deemed an essential service for the purposes of the Labour Relations Act (LRA), thus barring employees from engaging in protected strike action.

Can Zoom be used when conducting retrenchment consultations?

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The issue is whether an employer may utilise Zoom when conducting consultations in a retrenchment exercise. If not, does the continuation of the consultations in such circumstances result in procedural unfairness? The Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (LRA) does not regulate how section 189 consultations are to be held (i.e. in person or via video conference).

An employee may be dismissed for lodging a false grievance

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An employer may dismiss an employee if he or she has lodged a grievance against another employee which is false. Dismissing an employee for doing so does not amount to an automatically unfair dismissal because the lodging of a grievance is not the same as exercising a right conferred by law.

PODCAST | Labour Court provides much needed correction on no-work no-pay...

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An interview with Jacques van Wyk, Director, Werksmans Attorneys, and Dr Ivor Blumenthal, CEO, ArkKonsult, discussing an article penned by Bradley Workman-Davies, Director, Werksmans Attorneys, in the August/September edition of BusinessBrief, apropos an important recent judgement in the Johannesburg High Court which has provided some clarity with regard to no-work no-pay during the lockdown.

Rebuilding and restructuring post lockdown

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With the easing of the nationwide lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Government's 'Risk Adjusted Strategy' (comprising of five lockdown levels), more and more business can lawfully operate again. As a result, employees will be returning to work and employers will be obliged to remunerate them again.

Returning to work: special measures for high risk employees

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On 29 April 2020, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, published regulations in terms of the National Disaster Management Act which regulate the Alert Level 4 conditions during the COVID-19 national disaster.

Parental benefits update in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment...

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On 23 December 2019 a proclamation was published in terms of which sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the Labour Laws Amendment Act 10 of 2018 (LLAA) became effective as of 1 January 2020. 

Employees may approach the labour court directly to enforce their rights

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The Labour Court has exclusive jurisdiction to determine matters arising from the Basic Conditions of Employment  Act (BCEA) regardless of the stage at which the proceedings are at. In limited instances namely, the determination of any matter concerning a contract of employment, the Labour Court shares jurisdiction with the civil courts. The BCEA does not contemplate a situation where an employee should first approach a labour inspector before seeking relief from the Labour Court.

Dismissing employees carrying weapons during a protected strike

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Employees engaged in strike action who carry dangerous weapons during a strike run the risk of dismissal. The act of carrying weapons exposes others to the risk of injury and also serves to threaten and intimidate others. This kind of conduct is not protected by the right to strike.

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