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Case law: Thinking of getting rid of a pregnant employee? Think again!

by , 18 August 2016
Case law: Thinking of getting rid of a pregnant employee? Think again!In a previous labour case of Mnguni vs Gumbi (2004 6 BLLR 558), a pregnant receptionist working in a medical practice claimed she was unfairly dismissed.

She'd been complaining of getting tired in the later stages of her pregnancy - which is a fairly common occurrence among pregnant women. But when her employer sent her home, she reported she'd been dismissed for being pregnant.

The employer denied dismissing the pregnant employee, and the matter was taken to Labour Court.

Read on to find out what happened in this case law so you don't make the same mistake.

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For the first time in South Africa: Two new labour law cases on 'equal pay for equal work'

The Employment Equity Act (EEA) has a new provision which says you're unfairly discriminating if your employees earn different pay, when they do work of equal value. Unless, the difference meets the requirements in regulation 7 of the EEA.
At the Labour Case Law Update Breakfast, find out how Pioneer Foods and Philani Mega Spar  justified differences in their pay policies, so you can win your case.
Book your seat now!

- How the Courts interpret the provisions in regulation 7 of the EEA;
- What the judgement means for you when it comes to long-term or senior employees who earn more than entry level employees; and
- Which of your operational requirements can justify the different terms and conditions of employment.
Mnguni vs Gumbi - what were the facts of the case?
The employer said he merely sent the pregnant receptionist home and would call her again at a later stage to come back to work.
But, it was discovered that the medical practice had actually hired a new receptionist the next day, And they didn't call her to return to work at an appropriate stage.  
What did the Court say?
Based on the facts of the case, the employer had actually dismissed the applicant.

The court found him guilty of unfair discrimination. He had to pay the ex-employee 24 months' remuneration!

Read on to find out what you can learn about this case…
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Is it hard to summarise all the information in the Labour laws and keep up with other regulations?
The Basic Conditions of Employment Act, the Labour Relations Act, and dozens of changes and resolutions of Government provisions and the Department of Labour often contradict each other.
But the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service provides quick access to comprehensive and professional information about labour legislation.
Get the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service today - and we'll keep you updated with the latest changes happening in the labour legislation
What can you learn from this case? 
You can't dismiss an employee for reasons linked to her pregnancy (Section 77 (3) of the Labour Relations Act (LRA)). And you can't terminate a pregnant employee's contract, or refuse to re-hire her after her baby is born!

Now that you know what the law and the Courts say, did you know that not having a policy for unpaid leave when it comes to pregnancy could be a basis for unfair discrimination?

It's true. So I'm inviting you to join labour law expert Lizle Louw at this year's Labour Case Law Update Breakfast on 16 September 2016.
She'll discuss several cases where the employers sent pregnant employees who worked in risk areas on unpaid leave until their maternity leave provisions kicked in. This was in line with the employers' policies and procedures. But the employees alleged they'd been unfairly discriminated against on the grounds of pregnancy.
Attend the 2016 Labour Case Law Update Breakfast and find out:

·         Where these discrimination cases are heard – when they go to the CCMA versus the Labour Court;
·         What the employees who allege this kind of discrimination must prove;
·         How you should respond to your employee's complaint;
·         Practical guidance you can use when facing the same situation; and
·         What to have in your labour policies so you don't have to for out thousands in labour law suits.

Plus Lizle will take you through another six of the biggest and most recent labour cases that have a huge impact on your business. Including two new cases on the new equal pay for work of equal value police and more…

P.S: Bring your entire HR and management team to the 2016 Labour Case Law Update Breakfast. If you have 5 or more delegates email me for a special group discount on seminars@fsp.co.za

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