n Servamus Community-based Safety and Security Magazine - Labour talk

Volume 109 Number 8
  • ISSN : 1015-2385


The judges say - In the matter of (2016) 5 BLLR 454 (LAC), the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) revisited the issue of the appropriate penalty in misconduct proceedings, insofar as it relates to the effect of the misconduct on the employment relationship. The employee in this matter was charged and convicted of gross misconduct in that he failed to comply with the employer's cold chain policy by leaving certain cold chain products unattended and also by leaving products on a delivery truck despite indicating that he had received the products. The employee was subsequently dismissed. In an ensuing arbitration before the CCMA, the Commissioner found that the employee had committed both acts of misconduct. He found, however, that the sanction of dismissal was too harsh and replaced it with a final written warning. The employer was not satisfied with the ruling and referred the matter to the Labour Court as a review of the Commissioner's ruling. The Labour Court made the following pronouncement in respect of the breakdown of the employment relationship: "No list of specific acts of misconduct or circumstances which destroy the trust relationship exists. Further, it is not enough for an employer to merely state that the trust relationship had broken down. It is necessary for evidence to be led to prove the breakdown of the trust relationship."

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