Basic Labour Relations

Full Day Workshop

Module 1: General

  • Insubordination
  • Job Descriptions & Extra duties
  • Absenteeism & Medical certificates
  • Smoking in the workplace

 Module 2 – The Code of Good Practice on Dismissal

  • Schedule 8: The Code of Good Practice on dismissals
  • Fair reasons for dismissal
  • Automatic unfair dismissals
  • Standard of conduct
  • Progressive discipline
  • Dismissals for misconduct
  • Fair procedure
  • Disciplinary records
  • Dismissals and industrial action
  • Probation
  • Incapacity: Poor work performance
  • Incapacity: Ill health or injury

 Module 3 – Misconduct and the Disciplinary Code

  • The importance of investigating allegations of misconduct in the workplace – or outside the workplace
  • Offences and the Disciplinary Code
  • Timekeeping offences
  • Negligence, loss or damage to, or misuse of the employer's property
  • Insubordination or disorderly or unacceptable behaviour
  • Sexual harassment 
  • Disorderly behaviour
  • Alcohol and drugs
  • Other Offences
  • Other Serious Offences
  • Disciplinary Code and Procedures
  • Disciplinary Sanctions – Warnings
  • Verbal Warnings
  • Written warning
  • Example of written warning
  • Final written warning
  • Disciplinary procedures
  • Exactly who is a trade union representative?
  • Employee Representation
  • Resignation before Disciplinary action
  • Grievance Procedure
  • Unfair labour practice
  • Automatically unfair dismissals (incorporating the 2014 amendments)

 Module 4: The Disciplinary Hearing

Module 5 – The Contract of Employment

  • The Importance of the Employment Contract
  • The contract of permanent employment
  • The Fixed Term Contract of Employment in terms of section 198B of the amendment Act
  • Expectation of indefinite employment in terms of the amended Act
  • The project contract of employment
  • The contract of probationary employment

Module 6 – The use of Temporary Employment Service providers in terms of section 198 of the amended Act

Module 7 – Trade Unions and Shop Stewards Overview

Module 8 – CCMA Overview

  • What is the CCMA?
  • Dispute Referral 
  • Conciliation / arbitration
  • Representation at conciliation and arbitration (incorporating the amended CCMA rules)
  • Failure to appear or be properly represented at conciliation
  • The Certificate of Settlement
  • Con / Arb
  • Preparing for Conciliation
  • Arbitration
  • Pre-dismissal Arbitration

Module 9: Basic Conditions of Employment

  • Earnings Threshold
  • The Regulation of Working Time
  • Hours of Work and Overtime
  • Section 9: Ordinary hours of work 
  • Section 10: Overtime
  • Section 14: Meal Intervals
  • Section 16 & section 18
  • Remuneration for Sunday and public holiday work
  • Section 20: Annual leave
  • Annual leave and termination of employment
  • The accumulation of annual leave
  • Section 22: Sick leave
  • Section 25: Maternity leave
  • Section: 27 Family responsibility leave
  • Religious holidays
  • Study leave for examination or study purposes

 Module 10: CCMA Information Sheets

  • Constructive Dismissal
  • Desertion
  • Disciplinary Procedures
  • Drunkenness on Duty
  • Employee v Independent Contractor
  • Harassment
  • Ill Health or Injury
  • Misconduct
  • Poor Work Performance
  • Polygraph Testing
  • Retrenchment
  • Sectoral Determinations
  • Unfair Dismissals and Unfair Labour Practices
  • Unilateral Changes


The objective of this workshop is to give an overview of labour relations and labour law. After completion of the workshop the delegates should have a better understanding of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act as well as the labour relation Act, including relevant regulations and codes of good practice.    

 Who should benefit from attending this workshop?

People dealing with issues such as: personnel discipline, the day to day handling of personnel, personnel clerks and supervisors.


Labour Guide has received a number of requests to present a basic course in labour relations. Please note that this is a general course and will therefore be presented in a manner to make it understandable for all delegates, this is not an advanced course.



Managing Day to Day Issues/ Problem Employees
Full day workshop

Module 1: Introduction
    • To discipline or to counsel?

Module 2: How to deal with Insubordination

  • Introduction to insubordination
  • Why do employees refuse to obey instructions?
  • How do we deal with this problem of refusal? 

Module 3: How to deal with absenteeism

  • Introduction to absenteeism
  • Company Policies, Procedures and Regulations
  • Absence from Work and absence from overtime worked
  • Absence after permission has been refused
  • Desertion
  • How do we deal with this problem of absenteeism? 

Module 4: Poor Work Performance

  • Introduction
  • Ill Health or Injury
  • Incompatibility
  • Poor Performance Dismissal Procedures
  • Guidelines in cases of dismissal for misconduct
  • Counselling sessions 

Module 5: Dismissal for misconduct

  • Introduction
  • Fair reasons for dismissal
  • Disciplinary procedures prior to dismissal.
  • Dismissal for misconduct
  • Fair procedure
  • Guidelines in cases of dismissal for misconduct 

Module 6: Drunkenness on duty

  • Introduction
  • Dismissal for drunkenness on duty
  • Testing the degrees of drunkenness
  • Misconduct and incapacity



Module 7: Regular Concerns 

  • Medical Certificates
  • Probation
  • The payment of bonuses
  • Pregnancy in the workplace 


The objective of this seminar is to give a step by step guide on how to deal with day to day challenges.

Who should benefit from attending this conference?

HR Managers, Line managers, people dealing with personnel discipline, the day to day handling of personnel, personnel clerks, supervisors, anybody responsible for managing people.




Chairing Disciplinary Hearings    

2 Day Practical Training  

Table of contents

Module 1: What is a dismissal?

1. Definition

2. Unlawful and unfair dismissals

Module 2: The Code of Good Practice - Dismissal 

Module 3: Dismissal for misconduct 

1. Introduction  

2. Guidelines in cases of dismissal for misconduct: Item 7 of the Code 

2.1. Is there a rule? 

2.2. Was the employee aware of the rule?

2.3. Did the employee contravene the rule? 

2.4. Is the rule or standard a valid or reasonable rule or standard?

2.4.1. Validity  

2.4.2. Reasonableness 

2.5. Was dismissal an appropriate sanction?

2.5.1. Gravity of the contravention

2.5.2. Reasons for not dismissing: has the rule been consistently applied?  

2.5.3. Reasons for not dismissing: factors that may justify a different sanction Employee’s circumstances Nature of the job Circumstances of the contravention  


Module 4: Fair procedure 

1. Introduction 

1.1. The right to be informed of the charges

1.1.1. Charges must be clear 

1.1.2. No splitting or duplication of charges 

1.2. The right to a proper opportunity to prepare 

1.3. The employee’s right to be heard and to present a defense

1.4. The right to be fairly judged 

1.5. Suspension  

1.6. The disciplinary hearing 

1.7. Conduct of the chairperson and bias 

1.8. Changing the finding of the chairperson on appeal  

1.9. Double jeopardy 

Module 5: Electing a chairperson


Module 6: Specific types of misconduct

1. Introduction 

1.1. Derivative misconduct

1.2. Misconduct outside the workplace

2. Absence without leave or permission

2.1. Absenteeism 

2.2. Abscondment  

2.3. Desertion

2.4. Imprisoned employees

3. Failure to inform the employer of the reasons for absence 

4. Abusive language and racist remarks

5. Abuse of sick leave

6. Assault

7. Competing with the employer / conflict of interest 

8. Damage to property

9. Negligence 

10. Disclosing confidential information

11. Dishonesty 

12. Alcohol and drugs

13. Falsification

14. Fraud

15. Bringing the employer’s name into disrepute

16. Insolence/insubordination 

17. Refusal to work overtime

18. Sexual harassment

19. Sleeping on duty

20. Theft/unauthorised possession  

Module 7: Evidence and findings in disciplinary hearings

1. Leading and testing evidence and versions

2. The opening statement

3. Evidence in chief

4. Cross-examination

5. Re-examination

6. Written statements  

Module 8: Evaluating evidence  


Module 9: Evaluating evidence and making a finding

1. Evidentiary burden

2. Evidence: sources, types and admissibility

2.1. Site inspections or inspection in loco

2.2. Customers and suppliers

2.3. Written statements and affidavits

2.4. Probative material 

2.4.1. Oral evidence 

2.4.2. Real evidence - photographs electronic evidence and video tapes

2.5. Admissibility and weight of evidence 

2.6. Relevance of evidence

2.7. Character evidence 

2.8. Similar fact evidence

2.9. Opinion evidence

2.10. Expert evidence

2.11. Previous consistent statements

2.12. Hearsay evidence

2.13. Privileged evidence 

2.14. Illegally obtained evidence

2.15. Direct and circumstantial evidence

2.16. Entrapment 

2.17. The cautionary rule

2.18. Admissions 

2.19. Confessions 

2.20. Polygraph tests  

Module 10: A step-by-step checklist for disciplinary hearing chairpersons

  • Disciplinary code 
  • Practical exercise
  • The disciplinary process   

Who should attend?

HR Managers, line managers, managers responsible for personnel discipline, union representatives

Course outcome

  • After completion of the workshop participants will have a clear understanding on how to chair and manage a disciplinary hearing and should be able to reach a decision by taking all the circumstances into consideration.
  • Practical exercises and role plays

Investigators & Initiators

2 Day Practical Training

Module 1 – Introduction             

Module 2 – Schedule 8: the Code of Good Practice on dismissal              

  • Introduction
  • Fair reasons for dismissal
  • Automatic unfair dismissals
  • Standard of conduct
  • Progressive discipline
  • Dismissals for misconduct
  • Fair procedure
  • Disciplinary records
  • Dismissals and industrial action
  • Probation
  • Incapacity: poor work performance
  • Incapacity: Ill health or injury
  • Right to fairness and dismissal as defined by the LRA

 Module 3 – Fair procedure prior to disciplinary action    

Module 4 – The role players in the disciplinary process               

Who does what?            

  • The chairperson
  • The initiator
  • The interpreter
  • Witnesses
  • The secretary
  • The accused employee
  • The accused employee’s representative

The appointment of the investigator      

Module 5 – The sources of evidence     

  • Introduction
  • Witnesses
  • The accused employee
  • Accomplices
  • Documentary and physical evidence
  • Security guards
  • Site inspections
  • Customers and suppliers 


Module 6 – Identify and investigate the misconduct

  • First step - the accused person is an employee of the company
  • Second step - the complaint
  • Third step
  • What must the investigator look for?
  • Examples of transgressions
  • Bringing the employer's name into disrepute
  • Willful damage to the employer's property
  • Disobeying safety rules and regulations
  • Fraudulent timekeeping, fraud or forgery
  • Falsifying of documents
  • Assault or indecent assault
  • Abusive language, disorderly behaviour, racism or racist comments
  • Insubordination
  • Conflict of interest/dereliction of duty
  • Dishonesty
  • Sexual harassment
  • Refusal to work overtime without a valid reason - despite the fact that reasonable notice was given
  • Unauthorised or unlawful possession of drugs or alcohol, alcohol or drug abuse or being under the influence
  • Unauthorised possession of company property or theft
  • Use of company vehicle/property without permission
  • Under the influence of, or having consumed, alcoholic liquor or drugs off the premises by presenting himself for work, or on the premises after having arrived at work
  • Unauthorised absenteeism from the workplace/abscondment
  • Abuse of sick leave
  • Collective and derivative misconduct

Module 7 – The investigation   


  • Has a rule or standard been broken, or a policy or procedure or the employment contract been breached?
  • Was the rule or standard reasonable, lawful and attainable?
  • Was the employer's expectation of compliance with the breached rule or standard a fair and reasonable expectation?
  • Was the accused employee aware of the rule or standard or could he/she reasonably be expected to have been aware of it?
  • Did the accused employee understand the requirements of the rule or standard?
  • Has the rule or standard has been consistently applied by the employer?63


Module 8 Witness statements 


How to take down statements?               

  • Time and accuracy
  • Contamination and completeness
  • Be concise
  • Objectivity
  • Comprehensibility
  • Honesty
  • Statements made voluntarily
  • Language

Sworn statements or statements taken under oath        

The form of the statement         

  • Preamble
  • Body of the statement
  • The end

Module 9 Finalising the investigation and charging the employee          

Features of a Disciplinary Procedure for Misconduct     

  • Application of the procedure
  • Objectives
  • Terminology
  • Charging the employee
  • Deciding on the charges

When to hold a formal disciplinary hearing?     

The informal disciplinary hearing           

Suspension of the employee      

Module 10 Preparing for the disciplinary hearing            

  • Final preparation
  • Do’s and don’ts for initiators

 Module 11 The disciplinary hearing       

  • Starting off with the disciplinary hearing81
  • Interdicting and stopping a disciplinary hearing81
  • The hearing commences
  • Procedural fairness
  • Postponements
  • The opening statement
  • Leading and testing evidence and versions
  • Evidence in chief
  • Cross examination
  • Re-examination

 Module 12 Evaluating evidence and making a finding   

  • Evaluating evidence - Getting the facts and proving it
  • Evidentiary burden
  • Sources, types and admissibility of evidence
  • Security guards
  • Site inspections or inspection in loco
  • Customers and suppliers
  • Written statements and affidavits
  • Probative material
  • Admissibility and weight of evidence
  • Relevance of evidence
  • Character evidence
  • Similar fact evidence
  • Opinion evidence
  • Expert evidence
  • Previous consistent statements
  • Hearsay evidence
  • Privileged evidence
  • Illegally obtained evidence
  • Direct evidence and circumstantial evidence
  • The cautionary rule
  • Admissions
  • Confessions
  • Polygraph tests
  • Presenting and evaluating evidence
  • Consultations during evidence

 Module 13 – Finalising the disciplinary hearing and the appeal

  • The reconvening of the hearing
  • Sanctions available
  • Counselling, training and verbal warnings
  • Written warnings
  • The final written warning
  • Temporary suspension of employment
  • Dismissal for misconduct
  • Requirements for proving the procedural fairness of a dismissal


 Who should attend?

  • Employment relations managers/ practitioners, general managers, HR Managers, discipline, union representatives, individuals that act as initiators/ prosecutors in disciplinary hearings.

Course outcome

  • After completion participants should be able to conduct an investigation, identify and categorise transgressions, implement appropriate procedures and represent the company or an employee at a disciplinary hearing.





How to prepare for your unfair dismissal dispute/case at the CCMA/Bargaining Council

 (2 Day Workshop) 

Module 1: Functions, jurisdiction and powers of the CCMA/ Bargaining Councils

 Module 2: The dispute resolution process

  • Automatically unfair dismissals
  • Misconduct and incapacity dismissals
  • Operational requirements dismissals
  • Unfair labour practice

 Module 3: Serving and filing of documents

  • How to calculate time periods
  • How to serve documents on other parties
  • How to apply for condonation for documents delivered late

 Module 4: Conciliation

  • How to refer a dispute to the CCMA
  • Date of Dismissal
  • What notice must be given of the conciliation meeting
  • Representation
  • What happens if a party fails to attend or is not represented at conciliation
  • Functions and obligations of the commissioner at conciliation
  • How to determine whether a commissioner may conciliate a dispute
  • Disclosure of documents
  • Methods that commissioners use to break the deadlock
  • The certificate of outcome

 Module 5: Con/ arb

  • What is a con/arb
  • What notice must be given for a con-arb hearing
  • How to object against a con/arb
  • The procedure which is to be followed when there is an objection
  • The procedure to be followed when there is no objection

 Module 6: Arbitration

  • What is the nature of an arbitration and when may an arbitration be conducted?
  • How does a party request the CCMA to arbitrate a dispute?
  • What notice must be given of the arbitration hearing?
  • How to postpone an arbitration



Module 7: The Pre Arbitration conference

  • What should be considered at a pre-arbitration conference
  • When should a pre-arbitration conference be held?

 Module 8: Other Procedures

  • How to join or substitute parties to proceedings
  • How to correct the citation of a party
  • When the Commissioner may consolidate disputes
  • How to have a subpoena issued
  • Expert witnesses
  • Witness fees and travel and subsistence expenses
  • Cost orders in an arbitration 

Module 9: Preparing for arbitration

  • Gathering of information
  • Determine the onus of proof
  • Consider the evidence: types and admissibility
  • Identify and preparing your witnesses
  • Examine the merits of your case
  • Preparing a bundle of documents

 Module 10: Arbitration – presenting your case

  • Representation
  • Settlement agreements
  • Preliminary and interlocutory applications
  • Narrowing the issues in dispute
  • Opening statements
  • Evidence-in-chief/examination-in-chief
  • Cross-examination
  • Do’s and don’ts when cross-examining witnesses
  • Re-examination
  • How to deal with the hostile witness
  • Closing arguments

  Module 11: Rescissions and variations

  • How to apply for a rescission of the award or ruling 

 Module 12: Enforcement of settlement agreements and arbitration awards  

 Who Should Attend

The workshop is aimed at all users of the CCMA and Bargaining Councils including – 

  • Union officials and shop stewards, Employer organisations, Officials and HR / IR managers, Anyone that represent their companies at the CCMA/ Bargaining Councils, Business owners  

Employment Equity Committee Training

(Full Day Workshop)


Module 1: Overview of the Employment Equity Act

  • Understanding the Employment Equity Act
  • Purpose, interpretation and application of Employment Equity legislation  

Module 2: Prohibition of unfair discrimination

  • Understanding unfair discrimination
  • Differentiation
  • Discrimination
  • Unfair discrimination
  • Direct and indirect discrimination
  • Grounds of discrimination
  • Employment applicants, work analysis and inherent requirements of the job/ job descriptions
  • Recruitment and selection
  • How the Employment Equity Legislation attempts to eliminate and prohibit unfair discrimination Medical & Psychological assessments  

Module 3: Employment Equity and Affirmative action

  • Understanding Affirmative Action
  • The Equality Test (Section 9(2) of the Constitution
  • Understanding Black Empowerment
  • The duties of designated employers and voluntary compliance
  • The requirements of disclosure of information
  • Employment Equity Plans and the requirements for keeping records  

Module 4: The Employment Equity Committee/ Roles and functions

  • Roles, responsibilities and functions of the Employment Equity Committee
  • Monitoring Employment Policies, Procedures & Practices
  • Monitoring /Evaluating Implementation of EE Plan
  • Consultation
  • Identification of EE Barriers
  • Developing EE Measures
  • Benchmarking Best Practices
  • Frequency and content of Committee Meetings  

Module 5:  Practical analysis of disciplinary codes, policies, EE plans and EE reports.

  • Practical analysis of disciplinary codes, policies, EE plans and EE reports.


Who should attend this workshop?

  • Employment Equity Managers, HR Managers/ Practitioners
  • Members of Employment Equity Committees, Workplace Forums, any person involved in the compilation of Employment Equity plans for the business  


Trade unions in the workplace

Half Day Workshop


Module 1- Trade unions in South Africa background 

Module 2 - Organizational rights for Trade Unions in terms of the LRA.

  • Sufficient representation
  • Majority representation

 Module 3 - Recognition of a Trade Union

  • Invitation to meet in term so section 21 of the LRA
  • Access to the workplace
  • Membership deductions
  • Trade Union Representatives
  • Leave for trade union activities
  • Majority representation
  • The rights of the registered trade union vs. the rights of unregistered trade union

 Module 4 - Disputes about organizational rights

 Module 5 - Strikes and protest action

  • Protected industrial action
  • Unprotected industrial action
  • Picketing rules

 Module 6 - The imminent amendments to the LRA and the future of Trade Unions in the workplace.

  • Composition of the workforce
  • Most representative vs. sufficient representation
  • Organizational rights for minority unions
  • Temporary Employment Service Employees and access to the clients premises
  • Basic Conditions of Employment Act; Sectoral Determinations to provide for automatic rights for Trade Unions.

This half day workshop is ideal for all HR and IR practitioners that deal with trade unions in the workplace. This dynamic and powerful half day workshop also gives insight into the imminent changes to the Labour relations Act and the impact that these changes will have on the way that unions are recognized in the workplace.





(1 Day Workshop)


Module 1.         Introduction

Module 2.         Operational requirements defined

Module 3.         Three grounds on which a termination of employment might be legitimate

Module 4.         Section 189: Dismissals for operational requirements of the Labour Relations Act

4.1        Voluntary retrenchment

4.2        Who must the employer consult with (section 189{1})

4.3        The purpose of consultation

4.4        Duration and consensus seeking process

4.5        Written notice inviting the other party to consult and disclose all relevant information

4.6        Alternatives to a dismissal to be raised by affected employees

4.7        Duration of consultations

Module 5         Substantive and procedural fairness

Module 6         Representations by affected employees and/or their representatives

Module 7         Selection criteria

Module 8         Severance pay and other payments

Module 9         Large scale retrenchments in terms of section 189A

9.1        The appointment of a facilitator

9.2        Time frame in which a facilitator must perform his/her duties

9.3        If parties decide not to make use of a facilitator

Module 10.       Notice of the commencement of a strike

10.1      When may a consulting party not give notice of a strike or refer a dispute to the Labour Court?

Module 11.       The Labour Court

11.1      Application in terms of section 189 A (13) – Fair procedure

11.2      Adjudication of a dispute about procedural fairness

11.3      The employee may refer the dispute to the Labour Court for adjudication s191(5)(b)(ii)

Module 12.       Notable judgements by the South African Labour Courts

 Who should attend?

Senior Management, HR Managers, Line Managers, Union representatives.

 Course outcome

  • After completion of the workshop participants should have a clear understanding on how to deal with retrenchments;
  • The workshop will enable delegates to understand the process as well as the reasons for the retrenchments;
  • The workshop will guide delegates on how to deal with the difficult and unpleasant retrenchment procedure;
  • Delegates should have an understanding with regards to the reasons for the dismissals, consensus-seeking process, alternatives raised by the affected employees, the written notice and possible alternative employment.


Case Law Summaries and Articles


Can employees be dismissed for refusing to accept new terms and conditions of employment?

Can an employer dismiss employees because they refuse to agree to a change to their terms and conditions of employment? An initial answer may be, “yes”.

Read More >>>


Escape route: “Resignation with immediate effect”

The latest case in the ‘disciplining employees who have resigned with immediate effect’ saga has brought about more uncertainty as to whether an employee who resigns with immediate effect shortly before a disciplinary hearing can avoid disciplinary action and subsequent dismissal.

Read More >>>


Freedom of expression or incitement to commit an offence? A constitutional challenge

On 4 July 2019, the North Gauteng High Court handed down judgment in the case of The EFF and other v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and other (87638/2017 and 45666/2017) in which the EFF and Julius Malema (the applicants) sought to have s18(2)(b) of the Riotous Assemblies Act, No 17 of 1956 (Riotous Act) declared unconstitutional.

Read More >>>


Consolidated, comprehensive or general final written warnings

Regarding dismissal, according to the Code of Good Practice, “the courts have endorsed the concept of corrective or progressive discipline. This approach regards the purpose of discipline as a means for employees to know and understand what standards are required of them.

Read More >>>







Courses and Workshops




POPIA: Protection of Personal Information Act

17 July 2020 (09:00 - 12:00)

Interactive Online Course

Health and Safety Representative and Committee Training Course

23 July 2020 (08:30 - 16:00) (Fully Booked)

Interactive Online Course

06 August 2020 (08:30 - 16:00)

Interactive Online Course

Basic Labour Relations

31 July 2020 (09:00 - 16:00)

Interactive Online Course

Covid19: The Reality: Workplace Matters After Lockdown

24 July 2020 (09:00 - 14:00)

Interactive Online Course

COVID-19 Workplace Preparedness Health, Safety and Claims Management Course

28 July 2020 (08:30 – 16:00)

Interactive Online Course

The OHS Act and the Responsibilities of Management

30 July 2020 (08:30 – 16:00)

Interactive Online Course

Management and Leadership Skills

05, 06 & 07 August 2020

Interactive Online Course 

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