Public Newsletter


Worklaw is a subscription based labour law service developed by leading South African labour lawyers and arbitrators. Worklaw gives you all you need to manage labour law at the workplace. Go to

Worklaw subscribers receive a monthly newsletter containing commentary on the latest labour law cases and trends.

Worklaw`s May newsletter looks at four recent decisions, dealing with different issues ranging from procedural unfairness, protection for whistleblowers, unilateral action in retrenchment, to legal representation at the CCMA.

This month`s article looks at how employers manage e mail use by employees and the implications of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act 70 of 2002.

This public newsletter is a free edited version of the subscriber newsletter


Deviating from a Disciplinary Procedure: Is it automatically unfair?

Can an employee claim that a dismissal is procedurally unfair just because the procedure that was used deviated from that set down in the employer's disciplinary procedure? The Labour Appeal Court, in Highveld District Council v Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & others (2003) 24 ILJ 517 (LAC), considered this issue recently

When does a whistleblower get protection?

The case of Grieve v Denel (Pty) Ltd (2003) 24 ILJ 551 (LC) explores the requirements that have to be met before an employee is entitled to protection under the Protected Disclosures Act 26 of 2000. The Court found that the phrase "occupational detriment" in the Act is wide enough to include a disciplinary enquiry because of the considerable prejudice in being faced with such an enquiry

Calling off the pre-retrenchment consultation process

Although this dispute arose before the new LRA requirement that parties must engage in a "meaningful joint consensus-seeking process" during consultation, the case of SACCAWU & others v Sun International SA Ltd (A Division of Kersaf Investments Ltd) (2003) 24 ILJ 594 (LC) gives clear direction about when an employer is entitled to call off the pre-retrenchment consultation process and act unilaterally.

Legal representation at the CCMA

In CEPPWAWU obo Prince and Shatterprufe (CCMA Case No EC 3186-02) the confusion arising from the repeal of sections in the LRA dealing with legal representation was considered. The CCMA Commissioner held the CCMA Rules do not exclude legal representation and held that the CCMA elected not to or failed to deal with the issue of legal representation in the recently published Rules.


Worklaw is a comprehensive labour law advice and information service, developed by some of South Africa`s most experienced labour arbitrators. Worklaw subscribers get free advice from experienced arbitrators via e-mail, can research the law and leading cases, are updated monthly on new cases, trends etc, and can use excellent training material, to name a few of these services. Subscribers are invited to an annual labour law workshop covering the key cases and trends from the past year.

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Bruce Robertson
May 2003
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