Today's Labour News

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standardbankBusinessLive reports that Standard Bank has been ordered to pay its former head of compliance in the global markets and market abuse department R1.7m for unfairly dismissing her on allegations that she fostered a toxic culture that led to a skills exodus.

Christine Lawson, who was on a package of just less than R2.3m a year, was shown the door in 2023 after she was found guilty of charges levelled against her at a disciplinary hearing. But, the CCMA found the way Standard Bank conducted the investigations into allegations against Lawson was flawed. The CCMA also found it troubling that Lawson was dismissed while no grievances had been lodged against her. The charge sheet used at the disciplinary hearing paints a picture of a manager who made the work environment unbearable for employees who reported to her. The main charge against her was during a period from 2019 she failed to create an environment in which employees “feel psychologically safe” and “perform optimally and do not engage in conduct which is detrimental or poses the risk to the bank”. The charge sheet goes on to detail the impact Lawson’s alleged conduct is said to have had on the team. It includes that a number of her team members had been emotionally distressed over how she engaged them. At the CCMA arbitration, Standard Bank brought five witnesses, while Lawson brought four. “As to the allegation that the employee’s management style was so overbearing and riddled with toxicity that it caused a high turnover in staff and therefore placed the employer at risk, I am not convinced that the employee’s management style was indeed the cause of employees leaving/resigning/requesting transfers,” reads the arbitration award. Lawson’s attorneys said the CCMA’s findings were a wake-up call to businesses to properly investigate allegations of bullying.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Kabelo Khumalo at BusinessLive

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