DISMISSAL FOR COMPLETION OF INITIATION AND TRAINING AS A SANGOMA
A Labour Appeal Court found that where an employee absented herself without a sick certificate to train as a Sangoma she does not need to justify her absence if she was not sick in the normal meaning of the word but that rather she was answering a call of her ancestors and following her traditional beliefs.
The employer argued that the finding that the dismissal was unfair would open the floodgates to abuse of leave was dismissed by the Labour Appeal Court.
ALCOHOL IN THE WORKPLACE
In awards made at the CCMA and Bargaining Council respectively, the Labour Court held that terminating a person’s employment for drinking on duty and/or reporting for work whilst still under the influence of alcohol was not an appropriate remedy and that progressive discipline would have to be followed.
In various decisions of the Labour Appeal Court and Labour Court recognition has been given to the relationship between an employee, a labour broker and a broker’s client.
In one matter the labour broker was found only to be a facilitator of payment of the wages and the client the ultimate employer.
STRIKE ACTION LEADING TO RETRENCHMENT
The employees alleged that their employment was terminated as they undertook a strike action. The employer however argued and the Court accepted as a valid reason for the retrenchment, that as a result of the strike action it was placed in serious financial difficulties which would be a valid reason for the termination of the employee’s employment. The court, however, found the dismissal to be procedurally unfair as the employer did
not consider any alternatives to the retrenchment nor apply fair selection criteria.
Where the employee has refused to take part in a disciplinary hearing he could not complain that he had not been given a fair chance to present his case. As a result, his dismissal was held to be procedurally fair.