The Labour Court has found that an Arbitrator may make a settlement
agreement an Order of Court provided that the terms of the agreement
fall within the power she has and is in accordance with the terms of the
Labour Relations Act.
In this instance, a Municipality had entered into a settlement agreement with
an employee in terms of which they were to pay the employee the equivalent
of 5 years salary. The Court stepped in and set aside the agreement
saying that it is absurd and that the award of compensation must
be limited to the cap set out in the Labour Relations Act.
An employee challenged the employer when the employer did not pay a
performance bonus or provide a salary increase. The test is whether or not the
employer had adhered to its own policy and whether it, in fact, acted in a
capricious and unfair manner exercising this discretion.
Status of shop stewards
When an employee is appointed a shop Stewart by a Union this does not automatically
give that employee the licence to dominate and bully management
That employee still remains subordinate to the employer and is bound by
the same rules and conditions of employment as the other employees.
The employer’s discretion regarding an outcome of Disciplinary
The employer has the discretion to change the section imposed by the disciplinary
hearing chairperson. This is a tool to correct a sanction where the
sanction imposed by the chairperson is wholly or shockingly inappropriate
. The court will intervene when an employer has acted unfairly
and particularly when the sanction of a final written warning or
suspension has been altered to a termination of employment.
A Deliberate refusal to comply with a lawful and reasonable instruction
constitutes insubordination, be it a refusal by the employee to return to
work or by a shop steward to open the gates to the premises at the
request of the employer.