Imperial Motor Holdings (Pty) Lts t/a Mercedes Benz Commercial: East Rand v Moletsane NO (JR3251/2009) [2015] ZALCJHB 440 (18 December 2015) per Watt-Pringle AJ.

In reviewing and setting aside an award the Labour Court held that in the employer’s line of business a working day included a Saturday and it was not an optional work day.

Excerpts

[35]    The Commissioner’s finding on procedural fairness was equally flawed.  He based his findings on a “concession” by Bloem that Saturday is an optional work day and a further concession that the employee was under suspension at the time.  As pointed out above, the employee was not suspended, he had been dismissed.  In any event, even if the Commissioner meant that the employee was not obliged to work on that Saturday by virtue of his dismissal, this logic would apply to all working days and could not reasonably be invoked to determine the question of whether the Saturday ought to be included or excluded from the computation.

[36]    Simply put, the issue is not whether the employee would, but for his dismissal, have been required to work on that Saturday but rather whether in the parlance of the company Saturday was a working day.  Since the company was open for business and its employees (or at least some of them) were required to render services on Saturday, it was in my view a working day.