Tag Archives: CCMA

Is Uber legal?

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Following the death of one of Uber’s employees due to clashes between Uber drivers and taxi drivers, the Department of Labour has clarified its position in terms of labour legislation.

Recently, the Department of Labour acknowledged and applauded the ruling by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) that Uber drivers are the employees of the company. This decision was in line with the Labour Relations (Act 66 of 1995) as amended. “With regard to the Uber drivers, like any employees, there are no exceptions. They are fully protected by the South African Labour Laws including the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 (COIDA)”, Commissioner Vuyo Mafata said.

Under the Labour Relations Act, any person who falls in that category is an employee and therefore fully covered in terms of labour legislation.

What happens if an Uber driver is injured?

The COID Act compensates employees who are injured or die during the cause of duty. Therefore, it means the beneficiaries of the Uber driver who died after he was allegedly attacked in Pretoria last month qualify for compensation according to the Act. However, the Fund will have to be provided with all the required documents in order to process the claim.

What about the employer, Uber?

For Uber drivers, all of this is good news. Employees will not be penalised or forfeit their benefits because of unregistered employers, instead the employers will be fined. Furthermore, employers must register their companies with the Compensation Fund so that employees are covered under the COID Act.

Reference:

  • “Department of Labour’s position in terms of Uber drivers and CCMA ruling”, Lloyd Ramutloa – the Department of Labour.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Unfair dismissal and CCMA hearings – Can your lawyer represent you?

G&T_ProkureurAlthough the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration’s (CCMA) rules generally allow you to have legal representation in arbitrations, there is one important and common exception.Where the dispute is about the fairness of a dismissal related to either misconduct or incapacity, the default position is that you are not entitled to be represented by a legal practitioner. The commissioner in each matter has a discretion to allow such representation, but only if either:

  • The commissioner and all parties consent, or
  • The commissioner concludes that it is “unreasonable” to expect you to deal with the dispute without legal representation.

In a recent High Court decision this restriction – as currently worded – has been found to be arbitrary and unconstitutional.

Critically, though, the Court suspended the declaration of constitutional invalidity for 3 years to enable the relevant rule to be replaced, and noted that the rules need not provide for an unrestricted right to legal representation – so even the new rule will most likely contain restrictions (and a discretion for commissioners).

The current position

So do you now have an automatic right to legal representation at your arbitration? The answer is unfortunately still “no, you don’t”.

The Court’s suspension of its declaration of invalidity means that individual commissioners are, for now at least, still free in law to apply the existing restrictions. Whilst some commissioners may in practice be more ready now than in the past to allow you legal representation in arbitrations, and whilst you should certainly ask for it, you are by no means guaranteed to get it.

© DotNews, 2005-2013. This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.