Thulani* was a supervisor at a security company.
After he was in an accident with the company car, his boss told him he was fired when he arrived at work the next day and told him to go home.
Now he is worried, as he has not been paid his last month’s salary and is unemployed.
He does not know what to do.
WHAT I DID
I spoke to Scorpion Legal Protection for advice.
While an accident is serious, Thulani’s boss cannot just send him home without pay.
All South African workers are protected by laws ensuring they are correctly treated, paid fairly and protected against exploitation by their employers.
Basic employment rules and procedures have to be followed in order for a dismissal to be fair and legal.
Thulani can refer his matter to the bargaining council for the security industry, or the CCMA within 30 days by completing the necessary referral form.
If his dismissal is found to be unfair, Thulani could be reinstated, re-employed or get compensation.
With reinstatement, he will get his job back as if never dismissed, while re-employment means he gets his job back but starts as a new employee.
Bosses are also not allowed to withhold workers’ salaries due to damages they have caused without first following proper procedure.
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Terms and conditions apply.
The law says deductions for damage or loss caused by the worker can be made only in certain cases such as:
- If the employer follows fair procedure and gives the worker a chance to show why the deduction should not be made;
- If the worker agrees in writing; and
- If the total deduction is not more than 25% of net pay. If an employer takes money from the worker’s salary without consultation and consent, the worker can go to the CCMA for unfair labour practice.
- If you want to refer an unfair dismissal to the CCMA, make sure you do so within 30 days of the incident happening.
Unfair labour practice must be reported within 90 days from when it happened.
- You can get the Labour Relations Act Form 7.11 free from the CCMA offices or download it from www.ccma.org.za.
- If you have a query, follow us on our Facebook page and ask your question during our Live Q&A every first Thursday of the month.
* Terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions apply. This is basic advice and cannot be relied on solely. Names have been changed to protect identity.