Just when I think that I have seen it all, something comes along and blows my mind and brings me to this article regarding South African Labour Law.

Almost four months ago I assisted an international business with their resource requirement and happened to find someone outstanding for their role, right here in Johannesburg. The role would be based here and reporting into the international head office. They loved him and upon meeting him, via Skype, immediately started the process of making him an offer and proceeding to introduce him to the person currently in the role, who would be emigrating to their overseas branch.

During his on-boarding, he was told to set up temporary offices and asked to get in touch with their existing business partners, in order to introduce himself and reassure them of the on-going service of the business. A month later he was flown to their international branch and “put on training” which turned out to be a walk around their offices, a demonstration of the sales system in use and flown back.

The point I am reaching here is that a month later, he was asked to join a conference call with their HR and told that he was not performing within his sales function and told right there and then, that his employment had been terminated! Complete shock and horror, the poor candidate now faced unemployment and confusion as to where exactly he was not performing.

His contract made reference to our Labour Relations Act of 1995 and yet, during his probationary period he was not given performance appraisals; feedback on their interpretation of his non-performance and ultimately not given adequate notification in order to get his ducks in a row.

Employers! You cannot dismiss an employee without following the correct procedures in order to rid yourselves of an employee you have no intention of keeping on board. The Act is in place for a reason, to protect employees from unfair dismissal and from ending up in the same boat as this individual, with no future income. You therefore need to adhere to strict Labour Law practices.

“During the probationary period, you are supposed to assess your employee’s performance and in doing so you are to notify the employee of any wrong doing or areas of improvement. This includes conducting a reasonable evaluation, instruction, guidance, training and counselling in order to allow the employee to improve on the said aspects and focus on the developmental areas.”

Just because this is an international company, it does not mean that they are exempt from the processes and outlines of the legislation that protects the employees of South Africa.

Do yourselves a favour and read the document attached to the link for the Schedule 8 LRA Code of Good Practice (http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/downloads/legislation/acts/labour-relations/Act%20-%20Labour%20Relations.doc) and ensure that your house is in order, because we recruiters will fight for the rights of our candidates and our clients alike.

It really is all about the people at the end of the day and fair is fair!


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