Two Easy Steps to Get Ready for Your Labour Lawyer Consultation
Have you just been dismissed without so much as a warning letter or a disciplinary hearing? Or, has your boss offered to pay you one month’s salary under the table if you leave at month-end? While you may be reeling with shock, frustration, and anger, the best thing you can do right now is to consult with a labour lawyer.
With almost 20 million employed people in South Africa, workplace disputes are commonplace. Fortunately, thanks to the protection of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (Act No. 75 of 1997), employees are well protected. A multifaceted practice, driven by the government to protect workers’ rights, to balance out the master-servant relationship, to ensure that workers are not exploited, to protect the employer’s productivity and profits, and to referee the relationship between employees, employers, and trade unions, labour law is an important part of running any business. The reality is that employers need to be careful about the way they treat their workers. Labour law is all about following the correct procedure, and this is where many employers fall short.
If you have just been dismissed or have been treated unfairly, you are definitely going to need the advice of a labour lawyer. But, with high fees being charged by the hour – time is money after all – preparation is critical. Yes, preparing for your first consultation is crucial and you only have one hour to get your lawyer up to speed on your case. That said, you can follow these two easy steps to get ready for your consultation and you could very well end up saving a fortune:
#1 Have all the Necessary Documents in Order
In addition to your labour lawyer learning about you, your lawyer will need to see documents and evidence, both for informational purposes and to help assess the strength of your case. Make copies of all the documents you have collected regarding your case and hand them over to your lawyer. Such documents should include accident or police reports, employment contracts, correspondence such as emails or text messages, employee rule book, payslips, and any witness statements and witness contact information.
#2 List All the Facts of the Dispute in Point Form
You are going to have to detail each and every fact leading up to the dispute. Unfortunately, this can eat up all your time, so make your consultation efficient and proactive by writing your story down in point form as if you were telling it to a stranger. Keeping the facts as simple as possible; list all the names of the key players involved in your dispute; list all relevant dates, including when the dispute began; list the type of dispute such as harassment, discrimination, false accusations or bullying; and describe the current status of your dispute. Lastly, make a note of what you would desire from the outcome. Do you want your job back or are you seeking compensation? It is worth mentioning that honesty is of vital importance when it comes to labour law. Not only will lying strengthen the case of your employee, but should the case be based on a “No win, no fee” approach, you will be left jobless and with an large bill to pay.
Whether you are an employer worried about a lawsuit or an employee concerned about your rights, for more information on South African labour law and how a labour lawyer can assist you, contact us at email@example.com or on 011 234 2125 today.
NB: this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You are advised to consult with us before using/relying on this information.