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The saga between Marcel Golding and HCI casts the spotlight on constructive dismissal: Here's what you need to know about defending this type of labour case

by , 30 October 2014
Boardroom wars are making headlines.

In particularly, the 'war' between Marcel Golding and e.tv's holding company, Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI).

Last week, HCI suspended Golding over allegations of misconduct. Following that move, Golding resigned from HCI and announced he'll be pursuing a claim of constructive dismissal at the CCMA against HCI.

While this saga has highlighted just how ugly boardroom wars can get, it's also cast the spotlight firmly on constructive dismissal.

And one thing employers want to know is: How do you defend this type of labour case?

If you want to know the answer, read on...


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Here are the four points you need to know about defending a constructive dismissal case

 
1. In a constructive dismissal case, your employee bears the burden of proof. He must prove on a balance of probabilities that you constructively dismissed him and that he had no alternative but to resign because of your intolerable conduct.
 
2. The court or arbitrator will look at your conduct as a whole to see if it really was unacceptable.
 
3. The court or arbitrator will judge your conduct (as the employer) objectively on what a reasonable employee would generally feel under the circumstances.
 
4. If your employee proves you constructively dismissed him, you (as the employer) must prove that the dismissal was fair. In other words, you had a fair reason to dismiss and followed a fair procedure.
 
If your employee's claim succeeds, he could get compensation for both substantive and procedural unfairness relating to his constructive dismissal.
 
Now that you know the important points about defending a constructive dismissal case, check out the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management to discover what you must do to avoid constructive dismissal claims altogether so you don't find yourself in HCI's shoes.
 

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