“Smart-shopping” lands an employee in hot water

Nov 13, 2015 | 2015, News

A Pick n Pay Employee has been dismissed for “stealing” smart shopper points. The Employee, who was a cashier, devised a plan to accumulate smart shopper points fast. Each time a customer came to the till she would proceed to swipe her smart shopper card and accumulate that particular customer’s points for that purchase.

After an investigation, it was found that in one day she had swiped her own card 28 times. The Employee was dismissed and subsequently she referred the matter to the CCMA on the basis of an unfair dismissal.

The CCMA Commissioner held that whilst he agreed that the Employee was guilty of the charges levelled against her, the sanction of dismissal was far too harsh as the Employer had not actually suffered any actual loss as a result of the Employee’s actions, and further that the Employee had shown remorse for her actions.

The Employer then approached the Labour Court to review the matter. Judge Lagrange held that the position in which the Employee was in required utmost honesty and integrity. Further that the explanation that the customers had insisted that the Employee use her smart shopper card on their transactions was completely improbable.

The arbitration award was thus set aside and the judge ordered that the dismissal of the Employee was substantively fair.