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LABOUR LAW

Labour and employment law regulates the relationship between employees, employers, trade unions and the government. Employment law concerns employees’ rights and obligations at work. Our labour and employment law department deals with all aspects pertaining to fair labour practices, unfair dismissals and employees’ rights and obligations in the workplace.

  • Dispute resolution– we support our clients by appearing in all employment-related forums including the CCMA, Statutory Councils, Labour Court, Labour Appeal Court, High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court. We represent our clients in their dealings with the Department of Labour.
  • Consulting– we consult on a wide range of non-litigious employment law matters and commercial matters with employment law implications.
  • Drafting– we draft a wide range of agreements, reports, policies, guidelines and procedures.
  • Auditing– we undertake statutory or collective agreement compliance audits.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act – we conduct accident investigations and represent clients in serious incident and fatality inquiries. We also conduct legal compliance audits and advise on health and safety policies and procedures.
  • Due diligence– we undertake employment law due diligences in relation to the transfer of a business, undertaking and service as a going concern, or the purchase of shares.

Withdrawal of motor vehicle benefits

 

The Applicants are employees of our client who referred an unfair labour practices dispute to the CCMA. The dispute centres around our clients decision to withdraw its motor vehicle benefits which had been allocated to the Applicants. The Applicants regard the motor vehicles as a benefit purely on the basis that they could use them for private purposes, whilst our client regard the motor vehicle as a tool of trade used to further the business interest of our client. The Applicants allege that our client had no business rationale to withdraw the motor vehicles; hence they should maintain the status quo or be compensated.

 

Constructive Dismissal

 

The applicant is a former employee of our client, who resigned from his position. After his resignation, he referred an unfair dismissal dispute related to constructive dismissal. At the time of his tenure of employment he never lodged any grievance or expressed any intolerable, working conditions. The applicant had stated that reasons for resignation were to pursue other career opportunities.

 

Retrenchments: Section 198 & 198A

 

The applicants brought on an urgent application against our client alleging that the retrenchment process that our client was embarking upon fell under Section 189A instead of the known Section 189, Section 189A governs large scale retrenchments and under provision for the appointment of a facilitator to facilitate the retrenchment process. In their urgent application they also sought for an order interdicting our client for dismissing the applicants if it is found that the retrenchment fell under Section 189A of the Act.

 

The application was successfully defended and the court agreed with our client’s submissions that the matter was not urgent and the information that they sought had already been made available to them during the consultation process. The court dismissed the matter on the aspect of lack of urgency and referred it to a normal motion court.

 

Unfair Labour Practices pertaining to Recruitment, Selection & Appointment of Employees

 

The firm was mandated to conduct a comprehensive due diligence investigation into allegations of unfair labour practices, with respect to the recruitment, selection and appointment of employees within our client’s customs environment, during the period between 2010 and 2015.
During the investigation, we conducted interviews with our client’s employees, which included chief officers, group executives, human resources, managers, finance managers and affected employees. We further collected qualitative and quantitative data, which was then analysed. Factual findings were made by the firm and were presented to our client along with recommendations on steps to be taken by our client in order to rectify any irregularities that were found to have occurred.

 

Mobile Telephone Networks (Pty) Ltd and Interaction (Pty) Ltd – case no D377/11

Section 197(2)

 

In this matter, CWU approached the Labour Court seeking an order declaring that there was a transfer of a business as a going concern by the (Interaction) to MTN.

 

The Court held that at no stage did Interaction have its own infrastructure, it simply provided a service to MTN utilising the MTN infrastructure. Moreover, the employees employed to provide the service to MTN, played a very limited, constricted role in the MTN call centre. The actual work in the call centre was performed by the agents employed by the labour broker and everything done by the managerial/supervisory staff employed by Interaction had to conform with MTN standards and directions. The majority of employees employed by Interaction were not required by MTN when it commenced on 1 December 2010 to provide the service of managing the agents in the call centre. The CWU claim was dismissed with costs.