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Best you ensure the Labour Court will see your employee's dismissal as substantively fair...

by , 31 May 2013
Former SAA chief executive Vuyisile Kona isn't going easily. He's just launched an application with the North Gauteng High Court to challenge his dismissal by Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba. Here's how to ensure a dismissal stands up as 'substantively fair' if an employee takes you to the Labour Court, and the consequences if the Court rules it's not...

 
Former SAA chief executive Vuyisile Kona was only in the position for a few months.
 
Ironically, he was head-hunted to bring stability to the company, says TheMail&GuardianOnline.
 
Now, Kona has applied for a review of Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba's decision to dismiss him, as he wants to claim damages after his dismissal for allegedly contravening the Public Finance Management Act, adds TheSowetan.
 
Unfortunately, this happens all too often.
 
Even if employers follow internal disciplinary procedures correctly, like the investigation into Kona's contravention of the Public Finance Management Act which led to his dismissal, he can refer the dispute to the CCMA to decide if his dismissal was substantively fair, says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.
 
Make sure employee dismissal stands up as substantively fair by meeting one of these grounds for dismissal
 
For a dismissal to be seen as substantively fair, the Labour Relations Act says the dismissal must be based on one of three grounds:
 
  1. Conduct of the employee, 
  2. Capacity of the employee, and 
  3. The operational requirements of your business. 
 
But the Labour Court will also check whether your employee actually broke a rule that he was made aware of your rules, and that you've applied these rules consistently in your business.
 
You should abide by these grounds to stay on the right side of the law, says FSPBusiness.
 
If not, your employee has reason to approach the Labour Court as his dismissal may well be seen as 'unfair'.
 
Here's what'll happen if the Labour Court rules your employee's dismissal as unfair 
 
If this happens, the Labour Court can either reinstate the employee or award compensation against the employer of up to 24 months remuneration, says The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.
 
Prevent this in the first place by making sure you're dismissing your employee on grounds that are seen as substantively fair!
 

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