Fun & Trivia

Annoyed employer pays 'heavy' settlement.

A Russian employer, resentful over an unpaid leave claim from two former employees has paid them the more than one thousand dollars they wanted, but with thousands of five-kopek coins, each one only valued at a fraction of a cent.

Explaining that his former employees had wanted lots of money, the boss was pleased to have literally given them just that, in the form of thirty three bags filled with nearly useless coins. It was reported that they had been laid off recently, in response to the current financial crisis around the globe.

The company was forced to comply after a complaint had been laid with the Russian labour authorities. The payment was delivered by the company, and the women apparently had to get friends to help them carry the bags, weighing in at about twenty kilograms.

The boss, most likely as a parting shot, said that the two women had been dismissed because they had wasted too much time doing personal web browsing during office hours.

They certainly will have plenty of time to surf the web and count their pennies now.


For the full article on the Mail & Guardian website, click here.



Servant of God loses driving license over holy wine.

Italy, a Catholic priest was arrested for drunken driving, after being caught 0.3 grams over the legal limit, reported the Mail & Guardian. His plea to the police was that his consumption had not been voluntary, since he had conducted four masses on the day in question, presumably then his line of argument was that consumption of the wine was a valid requirement of the job.
The police, correctly in my view, revoked his license regardless. He is set to appeal the decision.

We have often seen people blame the devil when they are caught out for their misconduct (like Hansie Cronje for example), but I think this is the first time we have heard of someone blaming the Lord for their bad call of judgement!

Getting Your Own Back

Amongst employees, the employer is usually seen as a grasping mean-hearted skin flint, ready to make unfair deductions from employee’s pay packets at the drop of a hat (why not see our comment on this question?).

Deductions from wages and salaries are generally prohibited without employee agreement, subject to S34 of the BCEA.
However, we recently came across an employer who is, without question the worst example we have ever seen. Relationship had obviously soured, because when the employee resigned, the employer deducted the cost of the paper on which the resignation was written (R1.25), the envelope that was used (R5.00), and the ink used (55c).

Even Ebeneezer Scrooge, Dickens’s archetype of the miserable employer would not have gone that far!

We don’t know if the employee complained to the Department of Labour or not, for the cost of recovery to the public purse would be thousands of Rands.

Who said justice was cheap?

Over Charged?

The imagination of some management knows no bounds.  We recently came across an employer who wanted to charge an employee with failing to obey instructions.

Obviously at a loss for the word ‘insubordination’, this creative employer charged the employee with ‘mutiny’ for the first offence, and the second charge, which the employer saw as more serious, was ‘gross mutiny’.  Reminds us of HMS Bounty.

If you enjoy the lighter side of Labour and Employment Relations in South Africa, make sure you read all of our TRIVIA POSTS by clicking on Trivia under CATEGORIES in the right hand column.

Kylie – The Queen of Tarts

The recent ‘Kylie’ case, where a prostitute was fired by the Massage Parlour owner sparked a lot of interest.  We believe the dismissal was for poor performance.  Surely she should have been given some on the job training and a chance to show she had improved?

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  1. Food for thought...