Article 35/2021

Labour Edge

What is the purpose of a probationary period?


In Ubuntu Education Fund v Paulsen NO and Others (2019) 30 SALLR 167 (LAC), the labour appeal court recently stated the following: it is trite that the purpose of a probationary period is not only to assess whether the employee has the technical skills or ability to do the job, but also serves the purpose of ascertaining whether the employee is a suitable employee in a wider sense.  This allows consideration of matters of ‘fit’ – aspects of demeanour, diligence, compatibility and character.  Nevertheless, an employee on probation is still entitled to substantive and procedural fairness.

With reference to Mogalakwena Local Municipality v The Provincial Executive Council, Limpopo and Others (2014) JOL 32103, what were the principles recently endorsed by the labour court in Munthali v PRASA (2021) 32 SALLR 22 (LC) when considering whether or not an applicant has established the required urgency when demanding re-employment on an urgent basis?

In the scenario where a senior employee enters into an agreement resolving a grievance of employees, on what basis did the labour appeal court recently hold that such employer is estopped from denying the authority of such senior employee to enter into such agreement?  And, what role does the conduct of the agent play, on the one hand (i.e. the senior employee), and, on the other hand, what role does the conduct of the principal play (i.e. the senior employee’s superior)?

What is the difference between contractual, statutory and collective agreement rights and obligations?