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Former Cape Times editor takes her dismissal case to the Labour Court - Follow these five rules to ensure your next dismissal doesn't follow suit

by , 11 July 2014
Former Cape Times Editor, Alide Dasnois, is taking her former employers to the Labour Court for unfair dismissal.

The former editor contends that she was unfairly dismissed in December following her decision to run a story which painted Sekunjalo Investments in a negative light. The Cape Times falls under Independent Newspapers, whose controlling shareholder is Sekunjalo.

This case, along with many others we've talked about in the past, has once again cast the spotlight on unfair dismissal in the workplace.

Our advice is; you're better off avoiding an unfair dismissal case. It's time consuming, it costs money and it's not worth the negative publicity your company could get.

Keep reading to discover five rules you need to follow to ensure dismissal is ALWAYS fair so you can avoid the Labour Court.

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Before we give you the rules for fair dismissal, take a look at the steps in the labour dispute resolution system

If your employee believes his dismissal is unfair, he must first refer his dispute to CCMA. There, a conciliating Commissioner will try to help you and your employee resolve the dispute.

If conciliation fails to settle the matter, your employee will take you to the Labour Court.

This is what happened in Dasnois' case.

Her legal team says the matter has been conciliated by the CCMA and they're now heading to the Labour Court and will file papers within a month.

Now that you know what's involved, let's take a look at the rules you must follow to ensure dismissal is fair, so you can avoid going through this process all together.

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Use these five rules to make sure your employee's dismissal is substantively fair

When we talk about dismissal, substantive fairness is key. It simply means there must be a fair or valid reason for you to dismiss your employee.

To ensure this is the case, you must:

  1. Establish if your employee broke your rules;
  2. Establish if your employee was aware of your rules;
  3. Apply your rules consistently;
  4. Establish if the sanction (dismissal) is appropriate; and
  5. Establish if the rules apply outside of the workplace.

If you follow these five rules, you can be assured your dismissal is substantively fair. Now be sure to check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service to discover the rules you must follow to ensure dismissal is also procedurally fair. Remember, dismissal must be both substantively and procedurally fair.

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