The Constitution of South Africa provides for the right to fair labour practices for every employee. This means that employees have the right to be treated fairly and to have their rights respected in the workplace. Employers have a duty to ensure that they comply with the provisions of the Constitution and the Labour laws, and failure to do so can result in disputes being brought before the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration).

Unfair dismissals and unfair labour practices are common disputes that are brought before the CCMA. Unfair dismissal occurs when an employer terminates an employee’s contract of employment without a valid reason or in a procedurally unfair manner. This is in violation of section 23 of the Constitution, which states that everyone has the right to fair labour practices, including the right not to be unfairly dismissed.

Unfair labour practices, on the other hand, refer to any conduct by an employer that is contrary to the Labour Relations Act and the Constitution of South Africa. Examples of unfair labour practices include discrimination, harassment, and victimization. These practices can undermine an employee’s dignity and their ability to perform their duties effectively and are therefore prohibited by law.

When a dispute arises between an employer and employee, the CCMA provides a platform for resolution. The CCMA procedure involves stages known as conciliation and arbitration. Conciliation is the first step and involves a neutral third party, known as a commissioner, helping the parties to reach a mutually acceptable resolution to the dispute. If conciliation is unsuccessful, the next step is for the dispute to proceed to arbitration, where an arbitrator is appointed to make a binding decision.

In conclusion, it is essential for employers and employees to understand the importance of fair labour practices, and the consequences of unfair dismissals and unfair labour practices. If you believe that you have been unfairly dismissed or subjected to unfair labour practices, you have the right to approach the CCMA for assistance. Tuckers Incorporated, as a leading law firm in South Africa, is well equipped to provide legal advice and representation in CCMA proceedings.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced labour law attorneys on 011 897 1900, 076 777 1920 or info@tuckers.co.za.

Article contributed by Tristan Judge of Tuckers Attorneys.