By Cecilia Brummer of Chennells, Brummer & Associates

This question was answered in the affirmative in Commercial Workers’ Union of South Africa obo Moremi / Nandos Chickenland - (2013) 22 CCMA 8.8.1

The importance of the establishment of reasonable workplace rules and the knowledge of such a rule and the subsequent consequences of a breach of any such rule is once again confirmed in this matter.

The applicant employee, a cleaner, was dismissed after being found in possession of three sachets of sugar. He claimed that that he had found the sachets among dirty dishes and had put them

in his apron pocket to replenish stock at a later stage.

He had, however, failed to disclose that he had sachets in his possession even when he was about to be searched, and was unable to explain why he had placed them in his clothing. It was concluded that the employee had intended to steal the sachets. It was found that this dishonest misconduct rendered the continuation of an employment relationship untenable.

The application was therefore dismissed

Learning points:

  • Ensure that reasonable workplace rules (ie within the context of the specific organization) are established;
  • Ensure that employees are aware of such rules and the consequences of a breach of such rules
  • Ensure consistent application of the breach of any such rule/s