Case Law: Non-attendance at employer’s “wellness day”

Non-attendance at employer’s “wellness day” no different to an illegal work stoppage!

Employees who fail or refuse to attend their employer’s compulsory social responsibility events might well find themselves in big trouble – in fact, they might even be surprised to learn that such non-attendance constitutes a work-stoppage or a strike (according to a judge in the Labour Court).

In Mndebele & Others v Xtrata SA (judgment dated 21/8/12) the Labour Court found that a compulsory wellness day launch constituted “work” within the definition of “strike” in section 213 of the Labour Relations Act. The employees’ boycott of the launch day function was consequently an unprotected strike. The court was satisfied that the employees were fairly dismissed.

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