Smoking in the workplace
Johanette Rheeder

Those of us who grew up in the sixties and seventies, will probably remember the cigarette sweets, complete with wrapping and packaging, we used to buy at the café around the corner. We were totally oblivious to the devious campaigns of the cigarette manufacturers in luring children into the "fashion" of smoking and had hours of fun dressing up and pretending to be sophisticated with make believe cigarettes in our hands and balls of chewing gum in our mouths! Time changes everything – sometimes for good - and the parents of today will probably rather die than see their children playing with a cigarette "look alike" sweet. The manufacture of "look alike toys" has also been prohibited by legislation.

Promotion, a right or a privilege?
Johanette Rheeder

Promotion can become a very emotional issue in the workplace. Most employees strive for recognition in the form of a promotion and the increase in salary, status and benefits related to such a promotion. It is especially so when that employee has been eagerly awaiting the perceived long overdue promotion, as recognition for years of loyal and hard labouring service. When the employer promotes another employee or an external candidate to the position, he often lands up in the CCMA with an unfair labour practice dispute and a very disgruntled employee. Section 186(2) determines that an "unfair labour practice" is any unfair act or omission by the employer relating to the promotion, demotion, probation (excluding disputes about dismissals for a reason relating to probation) or training of an employee or relating to the provision of benefits to an employee.

Do you have the right to withdraw a resignation?
Johanette Rheeder

We frequently encounter disputes regarding arguments between employers and employees as to whether the employment relationship came to an end due to a resignation or a dismissal. Employees resign, change their minds, want to withdraw resignations and the employer wants to move on.

How to regulate annual leave and yearly shutdowns
Johanette Rheeder

Many employers close down for the holiday season and businesses shut down or work skeleton staff. This sometimes give rise to conflict as it is also the time when employees want to spent time with family, go on holiday or just break away after a stressful year at work. Others prefer to take leave during the year and do not want to take leave during the shutdown period. Some employees are however required to take their leave during this shutdown periods and some are required to work, as was the case in Seardel Group Trading (Pty) Ltd t/a Romatex Home Textiles v Petersen & others (2010) 19 LC 1.11.34, and also reported in [2011] 2 BLLR 194(LC). In this case, most of the employer’s employees take their annual leave during the shutdown period.

Legitimate expectations in fix term agreements
Johanette Rheeder

Fixed term agreements are normally used when employers cannot provide the employee with permanent employment because the work the employee is performing is of a temporary nature.

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