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Dismissal

Fantastic on paper but a flop in the boardroom

The challenge

Many organisations pay top dollar for a senior employee, in the belief that he or she will take it to the next level, only to discover that the executive has oversold their wares. Getting rid of the executive can be a costly and protracted exercise. Currently, the Labour Relations Act, 1995 ("LRA") makes no distinction between senior and junior employees and, as a general rule, to safely dismiss for poor performance, an employer must first follow a formal performance-counselling process. This process can take months to finalise. 

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Can you fire someone for being a square peg in a round hole?

The challenge

South African employment law currently only recognises four reasons for dismissal: misconduct, incapacity for poor performance, incapacity for ill health/injury, and the employer’s operational requirements. Accordingly, when faced with an employee who is good at his/her job but who is a poor fit with the organisation’s corporate culture, employers are sometimes left feeling like they are standing on legal quicksand.

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