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Just because your employee resigned doesn't mean he can't take you to the CCMA!

by , 01 February 2013
Just because your employee resigned doesn't mean he can't take you to the CCMA!Just because you have your employee's letter of resignation in your hand doesn't mean your labour problems are over, warns Rachel Patterson in the Labour Bulletin. In certain circumstances, he can still take you to the CCMA! Here's what you need to know to ensure it doesn't happen to you...

Just because you have your employee's letter of resignation in your hand doesn't mean your labour problems are over, warns Rachel Patterson in the Labour Bulletin. In certain circumstances, he can still take you to the CCMA! Here's what you need to know to ensure it doesn't happen to you...
 
Problem employees – we've all had them! And you certainly wouldn't be alone if you express a sign of relief when your problem employee finally hands you his letter of resignation. But don't think that's the last time you'll have to deal with his nonsense. If he takes you to the CCMA on grounds of constructive dismissal, his resignation could be just the start of your problems….
 
Constructive dismissal is the term used to describe what happens when an employee resigns and claims he did it not because he wanted to leave but because you (his employer) made it impossible for him to work at the company anymore. 
 
If he takes you to the CCMA and the court rules in your employee's favour, you could be liable for compensation of up to 24 month's salary, says Patterson.
 
Here are five common mistakes that could lead to a constructive dismissal case
 
There are a number of factors the CCMA will look at to see whether you've initiated changes that amount to constructive dismissal, explains Matt Lalande on Haber-Lawyer.com.
 
These include negative changes in:
 
  1. Remuneration (e.g. a reduction in your employee's salary)
  2. Company benefits – this includes discretionary bonuses as well as removing the right to a travel allowance.
  3. Your employee's work hours – while a slight variation in hours is permissible, transferring an employee from day shift to night shift may be construed as unfair
  4. Job status (e.g. a demotion)
  5. Working conditions – where the working environment goes from amicable to humiliating or bullying.
 
If you're guilty of making one or more of these changes to your employee's terms of employment, you could be opening your company up to a constructive dismissal court case. So before you implement any of these changes, make sure you speak to a labour lawyer to find out what you can do to ensure you stay on the right side of the CCMA.

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