The Labour Court has ruled in favour of a senior Johannesburg Water employee who was denied a bonus, along with other senior staffers, despite receiving a high performance rating, notes TimesLIVE. Financial chief Cyrus Tavaria challenged the decision by the utility not to pay bonuses to staff in the top pay grades.

The CCMA found Johannesburg Water guilty of an unfair labour practice, but the company appealed. Now Judge Portia Nkutha-Nkontwana has ruled that the Johannesburg Water board had no right to arbitrarily decide that only staff in the three top pay grades would not get bonuses.

The decision to withhold Tavaria's bonus, she said, was 'patently arbitrary, capricious and inconsistent with the remuneration policy and constitutional imperatives'.

The utility had ignored its own rules in withholding the bonus, the judge said. She said the CCMA commissioner had also rejected the reason provided by Johannesburg Water that the (senior) employees were subjected to a collective punishment for the unsatisfactory organisational performance. 'Mr Tavaria could not have known that he was going to be held responsible for the performance of his (senior) colleagues. It is inescapable that the decision not to pay the bonuses ... was injudicious as it deprived deserving employees like Mr Tavaria of a well-entrenched benefit,' she added.

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