Today's Labour News

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labourcourtsBusinessLive reports that a recent judgment by the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) has raised the bar for companies to provide evidence of employees fabricating sick notes to justify their dismissal.

The ruling compelled Woolworths to reinstate an employee it terminated six years ago. The employee was fired after being accused of handing in fake sick notes, but the CCMA later overturned the decision. Woolworths challenged the CCMA’s ruling. However, its appeal was unsuccessful as the LAC ruled in favour of the employee. Woolworths relied on evidence gathered by private investigators at its Emalahleni branch in Mpumalanga who probed a doctor's practice. The probe found that the employee, Lorraine Maseko, breached company policies by submitting irregular certificates and she was dismissed in 2018. She had held the position of store specialist before her dismissal. But, the LAC determined that the evidence provided by Woolworths did not meet legal standards as it failed to show the employee knew the doctor consulted was fraudulent. LAC judge Mbulelo Jolwana said it was “concerning that an employee who may unknowingly go to what appears to be a doctor’s normal practice and is booked off sick could be dismissed if it turns out that the doctor was neither qualified nor unregistered. Ordinary people including workers cannot be expected [to know in which field] a doctor is qualified, which [doctor] is on suspension, and which one is, for some reason, not entitled to practice.” Maseko’s attorney indicated that his client felt vindicated and should be returning to work soon.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Noxolo Majavu at BusinessLive

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