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Wrong behaviour

Sexual harassment and gender discrimination are not the same

Sexual harassment

Section 6(1) of the Employment Equity Act (EEA) prohibits employers from, directly or indirectly, unfairly discriminating against an employee on any ground including gender and sex. Also, section 6(3) categorises employee harassment on these grounds as unfair discrimination and prohibits these practices. However, in the definition section of the EEA ‘sexual’ or ‘gender’ discrimination aren’t defined. As these two terms are often used interchangeably, it’s important to assess why these have different legal meanings.

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How much can you discipline insubordinate employees?

Discipline

HR practitioners complain frequently about ‘insubordinate’ and ‘disrespectful’ employees. However, a lot of the time, they use these terms incorrectly. So because true insubordination goes to the heart of the employment contract, practitioners, management and employees must understand a number of concepts.

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Can an employee refuse to perform duties outside his job description?

General job descriptions

On a fairly regular basis, inquiries are received from the employers about if an employee is forced to carry out tasks or duties which are not included in his job description. Employers find that when issuing instruction to an employee, it is met with the retort “it is not in my job description”.

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External experts can chair disciplinary hearings

There is a serious misconception that employers aren’t allowed to get external experts to chair disciplinary hearings. It’s true that such experts might, under certain circumstances, not be allowed to represent the employer (or the employee). However, the person chairing the disciplinary hearing isn’t representing either of the parties. In other words, the chairperson isn’t the employee’s or employer’s representative. Instead, the chairperson is there to gather the facts both parties provide and to make a fair decision.

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What is poor work performance?

Poor performers get fired

Many employers fire poor performers hastily while others wait too long before taking strong action. One reason for unnecessary delays in firing bad performers is the employer fears being taken to the CCMA and forced to reinstate the employee and/or to pay compensation.

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