Please note that this pertains to South African Labour Relations and Best Practice requirements.
So here we are at the very end. Mike the business owner has had his say, George the security guard has had his say and the Commissioner at the CCMA has had his say.
The bottom line is that Mike has to re-employ George and also has to fork out a bunch of money for dismissing George in the first place, even though the Commissioner agrees that George was in fact wrong for not complying with laid down procedures.
So now it is time for me to have my say.
Yes I agree that George’s misconduct deserved a disciplinary. Yes I agree that ultimately George should have been dismissed!
Yes I agree that Mike was in a terrible situation, with serious losses occurring and yes I agree that Mike was well within his rights to have the surveillance equipment installed and monitored.
George’s claim that he had not been trained properly, is as far as I am concerned a load of rubbish – surely after 14 years he should have known what it is that he was doing. There is also documentary evidence that he was in fact trained – Mike has his signature to prove that.
George’s claim that he was transferred against his will is also a load of non-sense, there is no evidence to substantiate this claim.
My knee-jerk reaction would be that Mike did everything correctly and the decision should have been in his favour.
That said, and given time to reflect without any emotion, my mind has been changed. In terms of the law, Mike should have held the disciplinary and given George a Final Written warning as well as more documented training. The situation should then have been monitored some more and had George slipped up even once, another disciplinary should have taken place, at which time George should have been dismissed.
This would have shown that Mike had taken steps to correct the matter rather than just get rid of George. The CCMA outcome would also have been very different in my opinion.
The lesson that should be learnt here is always use caution. Make sure that every avenue has been covered. Make sure that you have been ‘seen’ to try and remedy before you just dismiss. Make sure that you get legal assistance because much of the law is open to interpretation.