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Traditional Healer Certificates – Valid Or Invalid?

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According to section 23 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 “a medical certificate must be issued and signed by a medical practitioner or any other person who is certified to diagnose and treat patients and who is registered with a professional council established by an Act of Parliament.”

The issue of traditional healer certificates has been a topic of much contentious debate regarding whether or not an employer should accept the certificate as being valid. Some clarity on the matter was determined by the below case;

Can employers compel their employees to testify in disciplinary hearings?

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In order for an employee to be said to have been dismissed fairly in our law, the dismissal must both be procedurally and substantively fair. Procedural fairness means that the employee must have been afforded an opportunity to state their own case which includes calling witnesses, if necessary.

Substantive fairness means that the reason for the dismissal must be fair. The question that arises is, when the employer, in pursuit of complying with substantive fairness, needs another employee who witnessed the wrongdoing to testify, refuses to testify, does the employer have recourse against such an employee? Can the employer force that employee to testify against another?

Shop stewards - a right to representation?

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It is trite that in disciplinary hearings of employees, representation is allowed. Representation in this sense means internal representation by colleagues. Very rarely is outside representation allowed because companies regulate the issue of representation through their disciplinary codes.

For unionised workplaces, naturally, shop stewards will represent the accused employees in disciplinary hearings. This is important as it is in line with the established principle expressed in the Latin maxim audi alteram partem, to hear the other side of the story which has everything to do with the ability for one to express themselves in the hearing and also be ensured that their right to a fair hearing is safeguarded by the presence of a representative.

Solidarity Obo Barnard V Saps

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The Constitution provides in Section 9 that “national legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination”. The Employment Equity Act gives impetus to this constitutional imperative and Section 6 of the said act embodies this objective.

The facts in Barnard vs SAPS were very interesting and are worth discussion for purposes of this article. Barnard was a white female who was appointed in 1989 by the SAPS for the position of Constable. In 1997, she was appointed to the position of a Captain.

Employment Tax Incentive

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The Employment Tax Incentive Act, Act 26 of 2013, was signed into law on 17 December 2013 and is effective from 1 January 2014 and applies to any employee, who qualifies, employed from 1 October 2013.  This act, commonly known as the Youth Wage Subsidy is an easy act to follow but does have some areas of concern. It must also be noted that no employer will be able to receive the employment tax incentive after 1 January 2017.

Dealing with Foreign Employees: Is there a duty to assist?

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There seems to be uncertainty amongst employers on how to handle and deal with foreign employees, especially when their work permit expires. For some employers this may be trite for many others there is confusion as to what is expected of them in case this eventuality happens.

It is important to note that from the onset, there are two pieces of legislation that are at play here which employers must grapple with in so far as foreign nationals are concerned; the Labour Relations Act and the Immigration Act.
In terms of the Immigration Act, employers must ensure before hiring foreign nationals that they have a valid work permit or permanent resident permit. In terms of this Act, it is the duty of the employer to ensure that the foreign employee’s citizenship and status is correct. This means that they must validate the documentation with the Department of Home Affairs.

LabourNet All Inclusive Industrial Relations Product

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At LabourNet we continuously strive to improve our services and to provide our clients with the best solutions to assist them in managing their business. It is toward this end that LabourNet has developed and introduced yet another product to enhance our clients’ experience of our services, and to ensure that you receive proper value for money.

National Assembly passes Labour Amendment Bill

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The National Assembly has adopted the Labour Relations Amendment Bill in Parliament on Tuesday, 20th August 2013. It was passed with 248 votes to 81, after two years before Parliament. It must now serve before the Council of Provinces.

Amendments to the Labour Relations Act will enhance the protection of workers and should help to avoid exploitative practices and to ensure decent work for all workers, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said on Wednesday. The Minister however declined to make any reference to the impact this would have on employers.

NUMSA Strike – Automotive Industry

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The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has given notice of intention to embark on a national strike across the South African automotive industry as of Monday 19 August 2013, following a deadlock in wage negotiations.

The strike is expected to involve over 31 000 employees nationally, affecting South Africa's seven biggest global vehicle manufacturers, being BMW, Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, and certain truck manufacturers.

UIF Company Accreditation

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Most companies claim to understand UIF legislation. Yet, there are sections of the Unemployment Insurance Act, no 61 of 2000, the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, no 4 of 2002 and the Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act, no 32 of 2003 that people get wrong. Due to the misinterpretation of these acts and the amendment to the Unemployment Insurance Contributions act to include SARS for the collecting of UIF and SDL contributions, many companies remain non-complaint to how these acts work.

To Reconcile or Not to Reconcile

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By Deryn Venski – Training and Development Practitioner, LabourNet Payroll Solutions

As we are nearing the end of the SARS filing season for employers, payroll consulting companies are experiencing the age old problem of trying to assist their clients by ensuring that the tax declarations are correct and balance to what the client has paid over. I have recently attended a number of tax workshops and seminars where it has been explained by these consultants that this period is a time many clients are going to be in “big trouble”. The main reason is that their clients, the payroll administrators, have neglected to do the simple monthly reconciliation and checks to ensure all their tax issues were correct.