The recent judgment of the Labour Appeal Court (26 July 2011) records that on or about 10 February 2005 the services of an employee with nearly 23 years service were terminated after she ‘was convicted of the gross misconduct as charged’. She concealed merchandise without paying for it. In allowing the employer’s appeal the LAC confirmed that the termination of employment was both procedurally and substantively fair. The LAC set aside the review judgment of the Labour Court (Molahlehi J) and also the CCMA’s retrospective reinstatement award.

The LAC judgment of Ndlovu JA, with Davis JA and Sandi AJA concurring, in Woolworths (Pty) Ltd v CCMA unreported JA30/10 dated 26 July 2011, is important in a number of respects.