Conducting disciplinary enquiries – when do you not need to counsel an employee for poor work performance and what knowledge can the chairperson have of the dispute prior to the enquiry?

In a recent case [now reported as Boss Logistics v Phopi and Others 2012 (3) SA 409 (LC)], an employer challenged the finding of the CCMA, which held that the employee was unfairly dismissed both procedurally and substantively. The CCMA found that the employee, who was dismissed within his first month at the new company, should have been properly performance managed and given training where necessary and that the chairperson, who had received an e-mail prior to the enquiry detailing the employer’s complaints against the employee, should not have chaired the meeting.

In a review application to the Labour Appeal Court, the ruling of the CCMA was reversed and the court made some important remarks in its judgement on the aspect of poor work performance and the role of a chairperson. Continue reading

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