Today's Labour News

newsThis news aggregator site highlights South African labour news from a wide range of internet and print sources. Each posting has a synopsis of the source article, together with a link or reference to the original. Postings cover the range of labour related matters from industrial relations to generalist human resources.

nursing thumb medium90 93Sunday Times reports on the cases of two nurses, Charmaine de Villiers and Charlotte Petersen-Davids, who were dismissed from Karl Bremer Hospital in Cape Town after refusing to remove a sleeveless jacket called a gilet at work.  

They claimed the item of clothing made them feel comfortable and look neat.  It has been two years since their dismissal, but they have refused to stop fighting for their jobs and soon De Villiers will take her fight to the Labour Court.  When De Villiers refused to stop wearing her gilet she was charged with gross insubordination, refusing to adhere to the uniform dress code, non-adherence to infection control principles and “rudeness” among other things.  When De Villiers’s matter went to arbitration last year, she testified that there was no evidence that a uniform or gilet spreads infection.  But the commissioner found against her and ruled that the dress policy “was reasonable, especially bearing the safety of patients in clinical areas in mind and the danger of infections.”  A spokesman for the provincial health department said last week:  “The nurses were not dismissed because they wore gilets but because they refused to abide by a departmental policy and instruction — determined by their operational [clinical] environment.”  Nurse Clive Jonas from union Nehawu, who is assisting the women, pointed out that there was no national uniform policy for nurses.


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