Please note that this pertains to the South African Labour & Best Practice Requirements.
So here we are on the brink of an Appeal Hearing. George has decided that he has been unfairly dismissed and he has lodged a formal request for an appeal hearing, which of course is his right.
A senior staff member has been called in to chair the hearing (the chairman of the dismissal disciplinary cannot chair the appeal hearing), let’s call him Steve.
Steve had a look at all the material that had been presented at the disciplinary and he decided that because George had not been charged with dishonesty and because there had been no stock losses (although remember at this point that was purely supposition), that this information was irrelevant to the case as George had been charged for being negligent because he did not follow procedures – he had not been charged for dishonesty.
Steve did think that it was important though that because procedures had not been correctly followed, Mike could have suffered losses.
Steve diligently looked for an alternative decision to the one of dismissal, but could not find any solution that would be appropriate – therefore the decision of ‘dismissal’ was upheld, and the appeal was dismissed.
So that gives up the background to why this particular case was lodged at the CCMA.
For the record, an arbitration proceeding done as CCMA level is done as a ‘de novo’ hearing.
What this means is that it becomes a completely new case and/or hearing. It is not a re-hearing or a re-proceeding of the employer’s (Mike’s) disciplinary procedure. Nothing that happened at George’s hearing or even the appeal hearing is taken into consideration – it’s as if it never happened. It is a completely new hearing, on a new page, with a clean slate.
Therefore only the evidence that is presented at the arbitration hearing is taken into consideration – not any of the evidence that was presented at George’s “company” hearing. This is very important to remember!
Next time we will continue with what happens.