Labour Law Port Elizabeth

By the sweat of your brow - The Labour contract

Work is something that we all do, even housewives who do not receive remuneration for all their hard work. It dominates our lives. But work is one of the ways in which our society is organised and is a political act.

The relationship between employer, worker and the State, which use to be regulated only by the Common Law, is now further governed by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, the Labour Relations Act and the Employment Equity Act.

Labour Law is continually changing, so that any overview will by necessity be like looking at a river in that what you see now is not what you’ll see a moment or two later.

Unfair labour practices

In Lay mans terms an unfair labour practice amounts to bad manners in the workplace.

In legal language it is something that unfairly prejudices either the employee, or the employers business, or the relationship between the employer and the employee.

Therefore these are unfair acts by the employer committed during the course of the employment relationship.

To protect employees against such unfair treatment, the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (LRA) provides a closed list of unfair acts by an employer which is short of dismissal and each of these acts constitute an unfair labour practice.

An employee may only refer unfair labour practices that are mentioned in the list to the CCMA or a bargaining council.

One must however note that an act performed by an employer which is not specifically listed in the LRA can however be challenged in terms of our Constitutional Rights which provides that everyone has the right to fair labour practices.

What is the CCMA?

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, is an independent entity, which means it has no link with any particular political party, or business.

The CCMA resolves labour disputes and provides the public with advice and training on various labour issues.

How does the CCMA resolve labour disputes?

Firstly once a dispute has been raised, a Commissioner is allocated to the case to resolve the dispute within 30 days.

The Commissioner then compiles a conciliation strategy which includes mediation, gathering certain information and then recommends to the parties concerned a solution to their dispute.

Within 30 days or as per the agreed upon completion term, the Commissioner will need to provide a certificate detailing the outcome of the dispute

Before one considers referring their dispute to the CCMA, the parties should attempt to settle their disputes on their own and follow the internal company procedures which are aimed at resolving disputes in the workplace.

Parties must also ensure that all legal requirements are met. Furthermore parties to the dispute should consider the strengths of their case before referring it to the CCMA.

What is the difference between the Labour Court and CCMA?

The Labour Court is a specialised court of equity and fairness. This Court specifically deals with labour matters. Only Labour matters can be referred to a Labour Court. 

Mass retrenchments, interdicts and reviews are heard by the Labour Court whereas the CCMA deals with matters regarding unfair dismissals, unfair labour practices, single retrenchments, constructive dismissals and dismissal of probation employees.

The CCMA has been created by the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995, and is known as a "creature of statute".  Thus CCMA must follow the Labour Relations Act and act accordingly and follow the Labour Court precedents.

CCMA rulings are not equivalent to judgements; therefore Commissioners need not follow previous Commissioners findings.

A protected strike vs an unprotected strike

There is a wide distinction between strikes that comply with section 64 of the LRA and those that do not. Those that do comply are known as “protected strikes” whilst those that do not comply are known as “unprotected strikes”. 

If the employees strike is protected, a striker is then protected from any civil action which his or her employer may wish to institute, and the striker may not be dismissed for striking. 

An unprotected strike on the other hand constitutes a breach of contract for which the employees may be dismissed, interdicted or sued for compensation by the employer.

In order for a strike to be protected, the employees must comply with section 64 of the LRA unless different procedures are provided for in a collective agreement which is binding on employees.

Section 64(1)(b) of the LRA  provides that the union must give the employer at least 48 hours written notice of the commencement of the strike. The notice must specify the exact time of the commencement of the strike.


New National Minimum Wage effective in 2018

[Title]The Department of Labour is in the process of presenting information sessions around the country in order to inform Employers of a National Minimum Wage which will become effective as from 1 May 2018.

A National minimum wage of R20.00 per hour, across all sectors and for all employees, was accepted by all stakeholders, regardless of job title or area.   Read More ...
Posted by Arnel Ayers on Thursday, June 01, 2017 Views: 1340

Can you use your Nanny Cam to monitor your domestic worker or nanny?


After media recently reported events of violence against toddlers, many parents may be considering installing Nanny Cam Monitors in their homes.

A child’s safety is a priority for any parent and this seems a logical step to help identify or provide proof for a concerned parent of possible abuse or mistreatment.

As an employer, you want to trust your domestic worker or nanny, and your concern could possibly even extend to the security of your property.

Read More ...
Posted by SuperUser Account on Thursday, December 24, 2015 Views: 1011

Working hours and minimum wages of farm workers


For all employers in the agricultural sector, Sectoral Determination 13 relating to farm workers must be taken into account when considering working hours and wages of your farm workers.

Sectoral Determination 13 defines a “farm worker” as any person who is involved in farming activities, including a general worker on a farm, all domestic workers who work in a house on a farm and also a security guard (not employed in the private security industry) who is employed to guard the farm and areas where farming activities takes place.

Read More ...
Posted by SuperUser Account on Thursday, December 24, 2015 Views: 1688