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20 July 2023
20 July 2023 - Martle.jpg

MISA to appeal ground-breaking case on employment past retirement age

The Constitutional Court granted MISA, the Motor Industry Staff Association, leave to appeal a ground-breaking case on the principal of continued employment after reaching the contractual retirement age.

 

MISA took on this landmark court case on to establish case law about regulating employment after an employee has reached the contractual retirement age.

 

Martlé Keyter, MISA’s Chief Executive Officer: Operations, says this has become a burning issue for the Union because there is a tendency by employers in the retail motor industry to abuse the retirement age clause by allowing employees to continue working after retirement age, then forcing the employee to retire when it suits the employer.

 

“MISA represents more than 60 000 members in the industry and won’t tolerate any form of exploitation, abuse or harassment of workers. In South Africa, the Older Persons Act 13 of 2006 seeks to protect females of persons 60 years and older and males of 65 years and older. The object of the Act are to maintain and protect the rights of older persons and maintain their status, rights, well-being, safety and security.

 

“MISA believes that this protection and rights is are also applicable when older persons continue to work after reaching their contractual retirement age. According to the Union the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) erred in comparing elderly persons with the unemployment crisis in South Africa. These are two separate issues.

 

“MISA is of the firm view that the Constitution does not allow employers to trample on the rights of older employees. The employer’s motives are irrelevant and the unemployment crisis cannot be used as an excuse,” says Keyter.

 

The LAC ruled last year that it is fair to dismiss an employee after he/she have reached the contractual retirement age because the Labour Relations Act (LRA) allows the employer to create a younger and more innovative workforce, especially in South Africa with its unprecedented unemployment rate of 32,9 %.

 

According to the judgement of the LAC it was not unfair or inconsistent with the spirit, purport or objectives of the right to fair labour practices in section 23 of the Constitution to dismiss an employee.

 

This case started after MISA’s member Willem Landman continued working at Great South Autobody, a panel beating shop, after his 60th birthday. His retirement age was stipulated in his employment contract.

 

Nine months later, the employer informed the employee his service was being terminated because he had reached retirement age.

 

According to MISA, a new employment contract came into existence between Landman and his employer when he continued working after reaching his retirement age. 

 

Issued on behalf of MISA by Sonja Carstens, MISA’s Manager: Media and Communication Department.

 

For MISA Press Releases, phone Carstens on 082 463 6806 or email media@ms.org.za

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