Evergreen Content

Dismissal isn't the default outcome of disciplinary action, a lawyer advises

Disciplinary action shouldn't automatically result in dismissal, says specialist labour lawyer Craig Berkowitz.

The state of the trust relationship between the employee and employer is the main factor when deciding if dismissal is appropriate, according to Berkowitz.

Read: The difference between insubordination and insolence (and which gets you fired)

He says the intention of disciplinary action is to determine the facts, establish a timeline and to consider other factors for appropriate sanctions, such as length of service.

Berkowitz adds that employers must always allow employees the opportunity to respond to allegations leveled against them.

Read also: What is constructive dismissal? (and how to prove it)

Many companies favour progressive discipline, a process which opts for corrective responses for employees instead of dismissal, he says.

Berkowitz explains that CCMA arbitration and a review application at the Labour Court are final options for dismissed employees.

Read more: Stories about horrible bosses (and how to handle workplace bullying)

It's incorrect to preconceive an outcome of a disciplinary hearing.

Craig Berkowitz, Specialist Labour Lawyer at Berkowitz Attorneys

To say that an offence is a dismissible offence is prejudging the outcome.

Craig Berkowitz, Specialist Labour Lawyer at Berkowitz Attorneys

It may be that the same sanction warrants a dismissal in certain circumstances, but warrants something lesser than a dismissal in others.

Craig Berkowitz, Specialist Labour Lawyer at Berkowitz Attorneys

The ultimate determinant, in deciding whether dismissal is the appropriate sanction or not, is whether the trust relationship has been irreparably broken down.

Craig Berkowitz, Specialist Labour Lawyer at Berkowitz Attorneys

You cannot possibly determine a matter before you've heard both sides of the argument.

Craig Berkowitz, Specialist Labour Lawyer at Berkowitz Attorneys

Progressive discipline is when you correct behaviour rather than punish behaviour.

Craig Berkowitz, Specialist Labour Lawyer at Berkowitz Attorneys

Dismissal doesn't have to be the default position.

Craig Berkowitz, Specialist Labour Lawyer at Berkowitz Attorneys

Length of service and an impeccable service record are some of the factors that employers have to consider.

Craig Berkowitz, Specialist Labour Lawyer at Berkowitz Attorneys

The specialist labour lawyer shared his insights and helped callers who phoned in with their personal cases.

Listen to the expert advice during the World of Work feature:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Dismissal isn't the default outcome of disciplinary action, a lawyer advises


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Stories about horrible bosses (and how to handle workplace bullying)

Stories about horrible bosses (and how to handle workplace bullying)

Tales of workplace bullying: from wrongful misconduct charges, to being targeted over of body weight, and dismissal via WhatsApp.

The difference between insubordination and insolence (and which gets you fired)

The difference between insubordination and insolence (and which gets you fired)

Labour law specialist Melanie Hart explores insubordinate and insolent behaviour in the workplace, and the consequences thereof.

Why a diverse workplace matters

Why a diverse workplace matters

Recruitment guru Frances Kazan says diversity has the ability to boost an organisation's customer satisfaction and bottom line.

What is constructive dismissal? (and how to prove it)

What is constructive dismissal? (and how to prove it)

Employers and employees get confused about what constitutes a constructive dismissal. Labour lawyer Natasha Moni dives in deep.

Tips on how to ensure that your career is on the right track

Tips on how to ensure that your career is on the right track

Career pathing requires people to take an honest look at their career goals, skills, knowledge, experience, and personal traits.

Retrenchment 101: What the law says about companies making job cuts

Retrenchment 101: What the law says about companies making job cuts

If you receive a notice of contemplating retrenchment from your employer, this does not mean that a final decision has been made.

Popular articles
Zondo Commission: 'Zuma under increasing pressure'

Zondo Commission: 'Zuma under increasing pressure'

News24 assistant news editor Pieter du Toit says the former president lost the initiative on Day 2 of his testimony.

[WATCH] Mzansi's Ndlovu Youth Choir headed for AGT's live shows!

[WATCH] Mzansi's Ndlovu Youth Choir headed for AGT's live shows!

The choir that is stealing America's hearts is headed to the next round of America's Got Talent.

Investigators find serious corruption at EOH

Investigators find serious corruption at EOH

A probe found "suspicious transactions" worth R1.2bn, bribery and theft. Bruce Whitfield interviews EOH CEO Stephen Van Coller.

'Batchelor was once close to Mikey Schultz and self-confessed Kebble killers'

'Batchelor was once close to Mikey Schultz and self-confessed Kebble killers'

Journalist and author Mandy Wiener describes former footballer Marc Batchelor's links to alleged underworld figures.

'Calculated move by media to undermine Public Protector, I don't accept apology'

'Calculated move by media to undermine Public Protector, I don't accept apology'

Former Sars employee Bizoski Manyike responds to the Sunday Times article that called him a 'dope-smoking Rastafarian'.

Capitec Bank has the strongest brand of any company in South Africa

Capitec Bank has the strongest brand of any company in South Africa

Castle Lager came in second, followed by FNB, Black Label, Discovery and Vodacom, according to the 2019 Brand Finance report.

3 best JSE and offshore shares to buy, right now (by Anchor Capital)

3 best JSE and offshore shares to buy, right now (by Anchor Capital)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield asks Henry Biddlecombe (an analyst at Anchor Capital) for his stock picks of the week.

'I should have told the Sunday Times the pot smoking was irrelevant'

'I should have told the Sunday Times the pot smoking was irrelevant'

Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw says he's sorry for any harm caused in his article on Mkhwebane and her principal witness.

[WATCH] Over 50 artists record special version of Johnny Clegg’s  “The Crossing”

[WATCH] Over 50 artists record special version of Johnny Clegg’s “The Crossing”

For this week's #GoodNewsThursdays, we find out the inspiration behind the production.