Sparks Electrical News

In South Africa, stringent Labour Laws have created something of a minefield for employers to navigate when it comes to disciplinary procedures. While protecting the rights of the employee is paramount, employers who are not completely up to date with the relevant legislation could find themselves in hot water.

Research reveals that employers lose about 60 percent of cases referred to The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) by disgruntled employees or their union representatives. Losing a CCMA case has three distinct drawbacks: the employer is usually found to be financially liable; the business’ reputation is damaged, and a record of wrongful-dismissal or treatment made; and precious business hours are lost while attending CCMA hearings, hampering productivity and morale.

Labour law disciplinary procedures

According to Thomas Matthee, Managing Director at NeTrec, there are four main reasons why employers lose CCMA cases. “The first reason is that they do not follow the correct disciplinary procedures. Whether this is due to ignorance or done intentionally makes no difference – in the eyes of the law, ignorance is no excuse.

The second shortcoming occurs when employers fail to act consistently, for example, when one employee is more harshly disciplined than another for a similar offence. Thirdly, employers lose cases because they fail to hold a procedurally fair hearing. There are strict steps to follow, and if not adhered to, the employer is in trouble.

The last is the failure to maintain a reliable and accurate document trail throughout the entire disciplinary process. Complete documentary evidence is essential to success.”  To a certain degree, the disciplinary process is designed to do just that; help employees unlock their true potential. “In many cases, the purpose of the disciplinary process is to correct employees’ paths, to help them improve in their position and learn from their mistakes,” says Matthee. “Yet, too often, employers approach discipline incorrectly, leading to costly CCMA cases, further disgruntled employees, and a sour experience for all parties.”

As one of the exhibitors at the recently held HR Indaba, NeTrec used the platform to launch its innovative iRate software platform, designed to empower line managers to take control of their department’s human capital discipline processes – the right way. “The one-of-a-kind, online industrial relations discipline management system guides businesses through the entire disciplinary process,” says Matthee.

“This ensures HR follows well governed disciplinary policies and procedures – and adheres to relevant legislation. As it is an online system, it is accessible from any location, at any time.” The highly customisable system allows employers to track all disciplinary processes throughout the entire organisation, from the first offence onwards.

With reliable checklists, electronic templates, and outcome recommendations, it also ensures that employers maintain procedural fairness and remain well within the confines of the law. It is a unique, user-friendly, affordable, and subscription based solution designed for SMEs and enterprise customers.

“With electronic records kept of all supporting documents and evidence relating to offences and disciplinary action taken, the tool drives disciplinary action that is corrective and progressive, consistent and procedurally fair,” concludes Matthee.



Contact Sparks Electrical News

Title: Editor
Name: Gregg Cocking
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Carin Hannay
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108