Friday, November 30, 2012

HR – What is Condonation

By Nikki Viljoen of Viljoen Consulting CC March 2012

The Merriam-Webster dictionary says that ‘condonation’ is:

“Implied pardon of an offense by treating the offender as if it had not been committed”.

Condonation in terms of labour is when an employee fails to refer a dispute to the CCMA (Committee for conciliation, mediation and arbitration), within the 30 day time period.

Let’s bring out the protagonists. Mike owns a small but very busy cell phone retail store is a popular mall.  George is one of the sales assistants.

George keeps taking sick leave and he does not follow the correct procedures which are 1) to contact his supervisor if he is not going to be at work or be at work on time and 2) to produce a doctor’s certificate if he has been off work for longer than two days.

George has already had a 1st, 2nd and final written warning for these offences.

George is once again not at work, he hasn’t phoned in and they have not been able to contact him.  A week later George comes back to work.  George is silent on the issue of why he did not call in and why he was not contactable but he produces a note from the clinic evidencing that he was at the clinic on the first day that he was absent from work.  There is no further documentation to evidence that George has been booked off.

George is issued with a notice to attend a disciplinary, he is found guilty and dismissed.

George does not appeal his dismissal and nothing is heard from him until three months later when Mike received a notification from the CCMA.

Now the normal rule is that George had 30 days after the date of his dismissal to lodge a dispute at the CCMA and yet, here we are three months down the line and a dispute has been lodged.

George had been to a labour attorney who had made a Condonation application and the commission had condoned it.

Some of the issues that the commission would have had to look at and consider before either condoning the application or rejecting it are (but not limited to):

-    How late is the referral
-    The reason for the referral being late
-    Whether the employee has a case or not
-    Whether there is prejudice to both the employer and the employee.

In this particular instance George had advised that he had been ill and had supporting documentation (being a letter from the clinic where he had been committed) to support this.  On the grounds of this documentation, the application was successful (it doesn’t mean that he has won, just that he can still lodge his claim).

The lesson here of course is for the employers to understand that just because the 30 day period has expired and they haven’t received notification from the CCMA, doesn’t mean it’s still not coming!

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or or

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BUSINESS TIPS – From Employee to Entrepreneur – Part 3

By Nikki Viljoen – Viljoen Consulting CC – May 2012

So far we have looked at:-
1. The difference between being an employee and an employer;
2. Your Purpose:
3. The People around you and
4. Your Personal Footprint.

Believe it or not there is a whole lot more – today we will explore a few more.

1. Knowledge – we all know the statement “Knowledge is Power”!  Well I would like to challenge that particular statement – you see I personally don’t believe that “knowledge” itself is power – I believe that it is “What” you do with that knowledge that makes it powerful. 
Now that I have gotten that out of the way, let me say this – you need to continue learning, you need to ‘grow’ yourself.  You need to research and plan and strategize and develop and you can only do this if you learn about new things, expand your knowledge and understanding.
Remember though that knowledge without the utilization of that knowledge is useless.  Just like a thought without action remains a thought – knowledge without the action remains powerless.

2. Generosity
Now generosity is not limited to putting your hand in your pocket – actually if the truth be told, that’s the easy way out.  There is generosity of spirit where you share with others, things like your time, your knowledge and your expertise.  You may not be giving out money but you may also be giving of yourself.

The truth of the matter is that the more you give the more you get and more especially the more that you give without thought of what you could get – the more you will get, the more you will attract to yourself and the more that you will receive.

Of course that is not to say that you have to give everything away for free – that would certainly not be good business acumen, but if you can lend a helping hand to give some good advice or even just listened and been a sounding board, these please pause for a moment and help out.  You will find one day, that when you need help, it will be offered or arrive unexpectedly and in great abundance.

3. Technology – now this one brought a huge big smile to my face – the proverbial ‘technophobe’ that’s me .  Technophobe or not, the fact of the matter is that todays’ technology does things faster, more efficiently and more accurately, than we can do things manually. Look at the way manual books were done in the past and how accounting packages now deal with entries, and double entries or how we used to ‘dial’ a number on a landline and nowadays how many of us no longer even have landlines but conduct business and even run our businesses, manage our diaries and communicate with the world on cell phones or tablets or laptops or notebooks.

Nowadays there are gadgets for girls and gadgets for boys – electronic devices that are geared specifically to make life easier.  Remember though that ‘easier’ often also means ‘faster’.  Be aware of what is new and what’s improved, it doesn’t mean that you have to buy everything that hits the shelves, but at the very least, be aware of what is hitting the shelves and invest in what can be of the most assistance to you.

Next time we will continue to look at some of the other issues that you will need or be aware of to become a successful Entrepreneur.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or or