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How an employee's private hunting trip almost cost Anglo Platinum 11 years' salary and legal fees

by , 31 August 2016
How an employee's private hunting trip almost cost Anglo Platinum 11 years' salary and legal feesIn a recent case law, Anglo Platinum dismissed their employee Mr P De Beer for receiving gifts and favours from suppliers, which was against their policy.

De Beer was the engineering overseer. He was in charge of conveyor belts and processing supplier quotations. The sales rep of their exclusive supplier Mr N Scheepers, was a friend of De Beer. Scheepers would submit quotations for processing to De Beer.

De Beer wasn't happy about being dismissed and took the case to the CCMA and the Labour Court. He almost won his case. Read on to find out the facts of the case and how to fire someone legally and make it stick!

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Anglo Platinum vs. De Beer - What were the facts of the case?

 
·         On 1 July 2005 Anglo sent an email to all their staff with their new gifts and favours policy. It said gifts and favours were no longer allowed, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

·         But two weeks afterwards, Scheepers and De Beer went on a hunting trip together and Scheepers transported a blou wilderbeest De Beer shot. This was a favour neither of them spoke about.

·         Once found out, De Beer was suspended and charged with misconduct, including 'dishonesty'. After a disciplinary hearing, De Beer was dismissed.

·         De Beer took the matter to the CCMA. But the CCMA found in favour of Anglo saying the dismissal was substantively fair.

·         De Beer then took the matter to the Labour Court. Here the judge said the hunting trip occurred during private social interaction between friends and set the CCMA arbitration award aside.

·         But Anglo didn't agree with this. They had proof De Beer had read the staff email. They took the matter to the Labour Appeal Court (LAC).
·         At the LAC the Judge said the Labour Court didn't consider some of the matters of the case and made an erroneous ruling. They didn't look at the fact that De Beer was aware of the gifts and favours policy, and his actions broke the trust relationship. So the Labour Appeal Court judge overturned the ruling and held up De Beer's dismissal!
 
So before you dismiss that employee, make sure you can prove this one thing! Find out what it is below…
 
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Before you dismiss that employee, make sure you can prove this one thing!

Dismissal is an old issue which employees are constantly challenging. We all know that a dismissal is the appropriate sanction when the trust relationship between the employer and the employee has irretrievably broken down. But before you dismiss that employee, make sure you can prove the breakdown of the trust relationship like Anglo Platinum. 

Attend the Labour & HR Case Law Update Breakfast where Labour law expert Lizle Louw will:

  • Give you all the facts of the Anglo Platinum case;

  • Show you how the employers successfully led evidence to show a breakdown in the trust relationship; and

  • Give you some top tips of how you can deal with issues of dismissal in your company.

Book your seat here…

P.S. Attend the Case Law Update Breakfast and avoid costly labour lawsuits. Join labour law expert Lizle Louw as she takes you through six biggest and most recent labour cases that have a huge impact on your business. Click here to book your seat now. 



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