WHEN WILL THE CHAIRPERSON OF A DISCIPLINARY HEARING BE CONSIDERED TO BE BIASED
The Court noted that a Disciplinary Hearing is not a criminal trial and must at a minimum comply with the statutory code of good practice: dismissal or alternatively with the employer’s Disciplinary Code if it is more generous. An independent legal practitioner who is appointed to chair a hearing satisfies any requirement that there be an independent-minded enquiry.
INTERRUPTING PART – HEARD DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS
The Court has expressed its displeasure at the many applications which are brought to stop or prevent disciplinary hearings from completing or continuing. These Applications, in essence, circumvent the statutory dispute resolution structures, put in place via the LRA as amended such as the CCMA, whose primary role is to determine the procedural and substantive fairness or otherwise of a dismissal. The Court
stated that it was not a court of the first instance in determining dismissal disputes. In the reported Judgment referred to a punitive Costs Order was made against the employee / Applicant who brought the Application to interrupt the disciplinary hearing.
WHEN IS INSUBORDINATION A DISMISSABLE OFFENCE
It was held that when an employee was persistent and deliberate and also public in his or her insubordination, and therefore gross, this would normally justify a dismissal.
It cited, as an example of insubordination, an employee’s persistent refusal to follow a reasonable instruction.