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.

On what basis will a client of a labour broker be held vicariously liable for the injuries suffered by an employee employed by a labour broker when such employee performs functions at the client’s workplace?

Is an employer vicariously liable where its employee is sexually harassed by a superior employee?

It is well-established that an employer is vicariously liable (faultlessly liable) for the wrong committed by an employee during the course/scope/sphere of employment (Feldman v Mall 1945 AD 733).