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Warning! Your probationer will take you to the CCMA for unfair labour practice if you do these two things

by , 28 April 2014
If you think employees on probation don't have any rights, you're wrong. Probationers have the same rights as any other employee. This means you can't subject him to unfair labour practices. If you do, he'll take you to the CCMA and you'll lose your case. But you can avoid this if you NEVER do these two things to your probationer.

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Too many employers lose their cases at the CCMA because of technical or procedural slip-ups...

Even when the employee was guilty of misconduct. You can protect yourself against this risk if you get it right. This applies not only to dismissals, but to things like warnings and references as well.

Protect yourself here

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To avoid an unfair labour practice lawsuit, you first need to know what qualifies

Before we get to the two things you must never do to your probationer, let's look at a definition of unfair labour practice

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service says unfair labour practice is any unfair act or failure to act, or any unfair conduct on your part in connection with an employee's:

  • Probation
  • Promotion
  • Demotion
  • Training or lack of training
  • Provision of benefits
  • Suspension
  • Failure or refusal to re-employ the employee in terms of any agreement
  • Occupational detriment (Protected Disclosures Act No 26 of 2000)

Now that we know what unfair labour practice, let's look at why a probationer would allege unfair labour practice.

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Your probationer will allege unfair labour practice if you do these two things

#1: Make a unilateral extension of his probation period without prior discussion

You can't extend a probationary period unless you're reasonably certain the extension will allow your employee to succeed.

The important point here is that you inform your probationer about everything regarding his probation period.

Don't forget to document everything. You'll need these records if your probationer lodges a dispute at the CCMA.

#2: Fail to provide reasonable training, guidance, instruction and counselling

In this article, we explain that you must give your employee training so he can do his job properly. And you must provide advice (guidance or counselling) on how he can improve.

There you have it. Probationers have rights and will definitely take you to the CCMA for unfair labour practice if you do the two things we've outlined. Don't take that risk.



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