Swemmer & Levin

Vredenburg & Velddrif: 022 713 2221
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Saldanha & Langebaan: 022 714 2244

Die doel van ’n voorkomende skorsing van ’n werknemer is hoofsaaklik om verdere risiko vir ’n werkgewer tydens die ondersoekperiode te verminder. Die omstandighede wat so ’n skorsing regverdig, verskil van geval tot geval. Redes vir ’n skorsing kan insluit dat die werknemer ’n ondersoek in gevaar kan stel; die welstand of veiligheid van ’n persoon in gevaar kan stel; met potensiële getuies kan inmeng; die werkgewer se naam in oneer kan bring deur sy teenwoordigheid of optrede; die potensiaal het om verdere dade van wangedrag te pleeg of onstabiliteit in die werkplek te veroorsaak.

Artikel 186(2)(2) van die Wet op Arbeidsverhoudinge definieer ’n “onbillike arbeidspraktyk” as enige onbillike handeling of versuim wat tussen ’n werkgewer en werknemer ontstaan wat onder meer die onbillike skorsing van ’n werknemer behels.

Dit volg dat die uitdaging van ’n skorsing ingevolge Artikel 186(2) van die WAV gewoonlik die regverdigheid van die skorsing teenstaan. Daar word aangevoer dat die skorsing aan die vereistes van beide substantiewe en prosedurele billikheid moet voldoen. In die aangeleentheid van Mogothle vs Premier van die Noordwes Provinsie en ’n ander (2009) 4 BLLR 331 (LC) is daar deur die Arbeidshof kennis geneem dat die skorsing van die werknemer, hangende ’n ondersoek na beweerde wangedrag, aan ’n arrestasie gelykstaande is. Dus moet daar ’n gegronde vrees by die werkgewer wees dat die werknemer met die ondersoek sal inmeng of ’n bedreiging van een of ander aard sal inhou.

Dit word van ’n werkgewer vereis om voort te gaan om ’n werknemer te besoldig terwyl hy voorkomend geskors is. In Sappi Forests (Pty) ltd v CCMA (2009) 3 BLLR 254 (LC) het die hof bevind dat voorkomende skorsing sonder besoldiging onbillik sou wees en verdere regspraak het selfs so ’n skorsing as ’n kontrakbreuk geklassifiseer (HOSPERSA V LUR vir Gesondheid GP, (2008)).

In die konstitusionele hofsaak van Long vs South African Breweries en andere, moes die hof besluit of daar ’n billikheidsvereiste van ’n voorskorsing-verhoor in die geval van ’n voorkomende skorsing is. In hierdie geval was dit mnr. Alan Long, die distriksbestuurder van SAB, se verantwoordelikheid om te verseker dat SAB se voertuigvloot aan alle wetlike vereistes in sy distrik moet voldoen. SAB se voertuigvloot het egter verval weens onpadwaardigheid en onhernude lisensies as gevolg van bedrieglike aktiwiteite. Ten spyte daarvan dat Long oor die vloot se probleme ingelig is, het SAB daarna bevind dat die probleme voortduur. Long is op voorkomende skorsing geplaas sonder ’n voorskorsing-verhoor en is ingelig dat hy vir pligsversuim en growwe nalatigheid ondersoek word.

Ná die skorsing en ’n dissiplinêre verhoor, is Long weens growwe pligsversuim, growwe nalatigheid en omdat hy die die maatskappy se naam in oneer gebring het, ontslaan.

Die Konstitusionele Hof het spesifiek bevind dat:

  • Die skorsing van Long geregverdigd was. In hierdie geval, sodat ’n ondersoek kon plaasvind.
  • Waar ’n skorsing voorkomend en nie bestraffend is nie, en die werknemer nie onbehoorlik benadeel word nie, is daar geen vereiste om die werknemer toe te laat om vertoë te rig nie en daarom was die werkgewer nie verplig om ’n voorskorsing-verhoor te hou nie.

 

Afsluiting:

’n Voorkomende skorsing is ’n kragtige hulpmiddel wat tot die werkgewer se beskikking is. Deur dit op te lê, tree die werkgewer eensydig op en dien dit as ’n aanduiding op moontlike dissiplinêre optrede.

Om die onbillike arbeidspraktyktoets, wat in Artikel 186(2)(2) gestel is, te slaag, moet die werkgewer steeds aan die belangrikste punte van billikheid voldoen. Die werkgewer moet bepaal of daar ’n billike rede vir die skorsing is en tweedens of dit die werknemer sal benadeel. Skorsing met besoldiging sal die benadeling, wat die werknemer in hierdie geval mag ly, verbeter. Laastens moet die skorsing nie vir ’n onredelike tydperk wees nie en die werkgewer moet die tydperk van skorsing kan regverdig.

Verwysingslys:

  • Regspraak soos aangehaal
  • Professional Development Webinar – Mr Tata Mokwayi
  • South African Labour Guide Article: “Is pre-suspension hearings necessary for a precautionary suspension?” – J Van Wyk; C Roux. 13 March 2019
  • Suspension – When and How – M.Cooper; 26 June 2019

 

OORSPRONKLIKE ENGELSE ARTIKEL GESKRYF DEUR LEE BROMFIELD

Lee Bromfield is die hoof uitvoerende beampte van FNB Life.

 

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

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Jan Fourie

Director |  Attorney, Notary & Conveyancer | BA. LLB

Jan graduated in 1974 with a five-year BA LLB degree from the University of Stellenbosch, whereafter he was admitted as an advocate and prosecuted as such in the Cape Town and Wynberg Courts. In 1974, he joined Swemmer & Levin as the Candidate Attorney of Mr Levin (founding member) and was admitted as an attorney on 7 April 1976, as a conveyancer on 11 January 1978, and as a Notary on 19 December 1984. Since 1974, he has served in various committees, including the West Coast Chamber of Commerce, the Vredenburg School Committee, and the Malgas Lions Club. 

Furthermore, Jan was the author of the first bilingual law book, The New Debt Collecting Procedures (Die Nuwe Skuldinvorderingsprosedures), which was used by all the Magistrate Courts throughout South Africa. With the founding of the Small Claims Court in Vredenburg, Jan served as one of the first Commissioners. He is currently based at Swemmer & Levin’s Vredenburg office and has been with our firm for more than 47 years.

Pieter Smit

Director | Attorney & Conveyancer | BA. LLB

Pieter obtained his BA Law degree from Stellenbosch University in 1995 and his LLB degree from the North-West University in Potchefstroom in 1998. He served his articles at Marais Muller Attorneys from 1998 to 1999 and was admitted as an attorney in 2000 and as a conveyancer in 2002. Pieter is the founder of PP Smit Attorneys, which opened its doors in 2004. He also became a director of Swemmer & Levin in 2006. Pieter loves the outdoors and participating in all forms of sport, including tennis, golf, fishing, spearfishing, scuba diving, and hiking. 

Johann Maree

Director | Attorney | BA. LLB

Johann matriculated at Oudtshoorn High School and attended Stellenbosch University, where he obtained his BA Law and LLB degrees. Following his studies, he worked for three years as State Prosecutor at the Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town. Johann completed his legal training with the State Attorney in Pretoria and then moved to his hometown, Oudtshoorn, where he worked as a lawyer for a year. In 1983, he finally moved to Vredenburg and joined Swemmer & Levin, where he is still practising as a director. When he is not in the office, Johann enjoys cycling and in his earlier days, he used to be a long-distance junkie.

Richard Phillips

Director | Attorney | Bcom & BProc

After matriculating at Paarl Boys’ High School, Richard completed his BCom and BProc degrees at the University of Port Elizabeth. He served his articles with Van Wyk Fouchee in Paarl and quickly developed an affinity for litigation. Richard has always had a deep love for the ocean and when he was presented with an opportunity to join Swemmer & Levin on the West Coast, he agreed without hesitation and has been with our firm since 1997. Richard specialises in general litigation and divorces. When he is not in the office or with his family, he tries to spend as much time as possible in or on the water.

Jandré Smith

Director | Attorney | LLB

Jandré grew up and matriculated in the small Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. He furthered his studies at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, obtaining his LLB degree during 2015. He completed his articles at Swemmer & Levin in 2017 and was subsequently appointed as a professional assistant. In 2020, Jandré was promoted to the position of director at the firm, where he practises in the Litigation department at our Langebaan office. When not practising law, Jandré is an avid sports fan. He has a passion for nature and enjoys camping, trail running, and mountain biking with his family.

Andre van der Walt

Director | Attorney | LLB

Andre graduated in 2015 with an LLB degree from the University of Pretoria. He later went on to obtain his NQF 7 Certificate in the Administration of Deceased Estates from the University of South Africa, which allowed him to further his career in deceased estates and the drafting of wills and trusts. Andre served his articles at Barnard & Patel Attorneys under the supervision of Mr YAS Patel. After being admitted as an attorney in 2016, he continued working at Barnard & Patel Attorneys as a professional assistant in the deceased estates department.

Andre joined Van Rensburg Attorneys in 2019 and was head of the deceased estates department until 2021. He then received the opportunity to move to the West Coast, where he joined Swemmer & Levin Attorneys. Andre loves travelling and enjoys the beauty that our country has to offer with his friends, family, and loved ones.

Harmann Potgieter

Attorney | LLB

Harmann graduated in 2018 with an LLB degree from the North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus. He went on to study and grow in various fields, including doing a course on the Consumer Protection Act and a course at the University of South Africa where he obtained his NQF 7 Certificate in the Administration of Deceased Estates.

Harmann completed his articles of clerkship at Swemmer & Levin under the supervision of Mr Richard Phillips. After being admitted as an attorney in 2020, Harmann continued with Swemmer & Levin as a professional assistant in the deceased estates department as well as the litigation department. He loves to study, possesses a deep curiosity about the world, and is dedicated to giving back to the community.

Carla Cloete

Attorney, Conveyancer & Notary | LLB

Carla obtained her LLB at the North West University, Potchefstroom Campus in 2015. She completed her articles in 2017 with Brits Dreyer Inc in Bellville. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary and Conveyancer. After her articles she relocated to Kimberley where she worked as a professional assistant in the Conveyancing department of Van de Wall Inc. Coming back to her Western Cape roots, she now joins the Swemmer & Levin team as a professional assistant.