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  • Latest News Blog

    Sars seeks CCMA intervention in wage dispute

    The South African Revenue Service (Sars) recently met with labour unions in an effort to resolve the salary increment impasse at the revenue collector...

    27 Mar 2019

    Judgment on employee suspension doesn't mean employers are in the clear

    Judgment on employee suspension doesn't mean employers are in the clear

    Despite a recent Constitutional Court judgment easing the burden on employers when dealing with precautionary suspension, a legal expert warns that employers can still be found guilty of committing an unfair labour practice...

    25 Mar 2019

    Neal Froneman, CEO, Sibanye-Stillwater

    Sibanye's wage agreement extension to Amcu is valid, court says

    The Labour Court has declared that the extension of the gold wage agreement reached by Sibanye-Stillwater with the NUM, UASA and Solidarity to Amcu and other non-unionised employees is valid and lawful...

    20 Mar 2019

    Immigration lawyer's arrest puts a spotlight on illegal work permits in SA

    Immigration lawyer's arrest puts a spotlight on illegal work permits in SA

    TimesLive recently reported that prominent Cape Town immigration lawyer, Craig Smith, had been arrested for allegedly duping the Department of Home Affairs into granting visas to his clients...

    14 Mar 2019

    Right to strike, but what about responsibility during a strike?

    Right to strike, but what about responsibility during a strike?

    South African industrial action has become synonymous with violent, unlawful conduct, as was discussed in the recent case of Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union & Others v KPMM Road & Earthworks (31 October 2018)...

    By Sanelisiwe Nyasulu 14 Mar 2019

    National Minimum Wage defaulters warned

    National Minimum Wage defaulters warned

    Government has reiterated its commitment to clamp down on the growing practice of deliberately dodging labour laws, especially the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act...

    13 Mar 2019

    Construction Indaba to look into regulations compliance

    Construction Indaba to look into regulations compliance

    The Department of Labour will on Thursday host a Construction Indaba that will bring together industry role-players to discuss construction regulations compliance in the country...

    12 Mar 2019

    Risks of the virtual workplace and how to minimise them

    Risks of the virtual workplace and how to minimise them

    More and more businesses are expanding into a virtual world, which has advantages for employers and employees alike, but challenges and risks too...

    By Rosalind Davey 7 Mar 2019

    Asylum seekers win right to claim unemployment benefits

    Asylum seekers win right to claim unemployment benefits

    For many years, asylum seekers attempting to claim benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) have routinely been turned away by the Department of Labour, despite having made contributions to the fund during their employment...

    By Werksmans Attorneys pro bono team 4 Mar 2019

    Brokers compelled to register with Labour Department

    Brokers compelled to register with Labour Department

    All labour brokers have to register themselves with the Department of Labour before getting into the business of placing work seekers in the job market...

    27 Feb 2019

    Is Eskom obliged to consult staff about unbundling?

    Is Eskom obliged to consult staff about unbundling?

    The recently announced plan to unbundle Eskom into three separate and wholly owned entities under Eskom Holdings has received backlash from trade unions, who complained they should have been consulted first...

    By Tiisetso Rabolao and Tracy Robbins 22 Feb 2019

    Is it feasible to be more inclusive in retrenchment talks in the mining sector?

    Is it feasible to be more inclusive in retrenchment talks in the mining sector?

    Amcu has challenged the inclusivity of the Section 189(1) provisions of the Labour Relations Act, arguing retrenchments are so important that everyone needs to be consulted individually. But in our view, this section is the most practical solution and in line with the principle of majoritarianism that runs throughout SA law...

    By Eugene Phajane 19 Feb 2019

    How business misrepresentation for minimum wage exemption can lead to jail time

    How business misrepresentation for minimum wage exemption can lead to jail time

    The Department of Labour has reported it has only received 26 applications from businesses requesting exemption from the National Minimum Wage Act, which came into effect on 1 January 2019...

    18 Feb 2019

    How new code can bring order to strikes

    How new code can bring order to strikes

    A new code of good practice governing various aspects of strike action came into effect on 1 January 2019. It is a welcome step towards eliminating violent and damaging strikes but its effectiveness remains to be seen in practice...

    By Johan Olivier and Lizle Louw 15 Feb 2019

    Why employees need to mind their Ps and Qs on social media

    Why employees need to mind their Ps and Qs on social media

    Social media represents one of the most significant developments in human communication and has undoubtedly changed the way we interact and share information...

    14 Feb 2019

    How will the NHI Bill affect employer medical aid contributions?

    How will the NHI Bill affect employer medical aid contributions?

    There has been a lot of hype around the proposed National Health Insurance Bill, but little has been said about how it will impact on the provision of medical aid benefits in the employee context...

    By Lauren Salt and Rui Lopes 5 Feb 2019

    Consequences of selective re-employment following dismissal

    Consequences of selective re-employment following dismissal

    Re-employing a dismissed or terminated employee can have unintended consequences, especially when the other employees dismissed or terminated for the same or similar reasons catch wind of this and tender their services...

    By Gavin Stansfield and Siyabonga Tembe 31 Jan 2019

    Blitz to inspect implementation of NMW Act


    Latest Cases Blog

    VODACOM (PTY) LTD v NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICAN WORKERS (NASA) (LC) Non-employers may approach the Labour Court for interdictory relief against unregistered trade unions

    21st CENTURY LIFE (PTY) LTD v GLADYS NOMBEWU (LAC). Summary: Dismissal based on operational requirements " employee indicating that she preferred not to be demoted and acquiesced to being retrenched in order to pursue her own business interests " employer construing such acquiescence as resignation and releasing employee from duties prior to the termination of employees employment - court finding that the documentary discussion between parties not evincing a resignation but rather a dismissal " court finding that compensation ordered by Labour Court not appropriate as no consequence arose because of the termination of the employment " court substituting compensation order " appeal partially upheld.

    SOLIDARITY OBO DR BJE VAN TONDER v ARMAMENTS CORPORATION OF SOUTHAFRICA (SOC) LIMITED (LAC). Summary: Constructive dismissal " employee resigning after filing a grievance in respect of the performance contract outputs and the appointment of staff and referred dispute to the CCMA he review standard is correctness not reasonableness - as the issue is one going to jurisdiction " applicant must show that the decision was objectively wrong. If found that there was no dismissal, CCMA not having jurisdiction - principle related to constructive dismissal restated " Held that employment must objectively have been rendered intolerable in the sense that no reasonable employee could be expected to put up with the conduct of the employer. Further that the employee must subjectively have found the conduct to be intolerable. Evidence proving that employee prematurely resigned prior to exhausting grievance procedures " court finding that there was a tense and awkward clash over authority but that these issues did not objectively attained the level of intolerability - the problem then became one of compatibility at senior management level which in common to any workplace - Labour Court correct in its conclusion that there was no dismissal in terms of section 186 of the LRA and that the CCMA accordingly lacked jurisdiction. Appeal dismissed.

    HOTBAKE SYSTEMS (PTY) LTD t/a THE RICH PRODUCT CORPORATION OF SOUTH AFRICA v CCMA (LAC). Summary: Review of arbitration award " employee dismissed for poor time keeping, extending his breaks and frequently visiting the change room " commissioner finding that the dismissal was unfair and ordering reinstatement. On review " employer contending that the CCMA lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter as the employee alleged that his dismissal related to his participation in union activities" further that commissioner erred in declaring a witness hostile. The Labour Court" finding no basis to set aside the award on the strength of the evidence that the employee had purportedly being targeted for dismissal due to participation in union activities. The Court - rejecting the argument that dispute fell outside the jurisdiction of the CCMA. Further held- that even if it were to find that the commissioner erred in her approach to declare a witness hostile, the irregularity would not be of a magnitude that vitiated the outcome of the arbitration.


    NUMSA OBO E MASANA v GILI PIPE IRRIGATION (PTY) LTD (LAC). Summary: Rescission application . Labour Court dismissing rescission application by employee. Labour Court holding the view that award prescribed and no prospects of success in rescission application . principles relating to prescription restated . Metrobus and Piemans Pantry decisions in Constitutional Court applied - On the facts, prescription had not run its full term; employees right of action had not prescribed . premise upon which application dismissed by Labour court incorrect - Appeal upheld and matter remitted to the Labour Court for consideration of the merits of the rescission application.

    GOLDGRO (PTY) LTD v CAROLINE MCEVOY (LAC). Summary: Alleged Protected disclosure . employee contending that her retrenchment was due to the disclosure she made concerning certain irregularities to the board of which she is a member - the employee caused her attorney to send a letter (the PD letter) to the board concerning: (1) the integrity of the facility for coins held in safekeeping, (2) the integrity of the appellants stance on dealing with lessors to whom turnover rentals were owed, and (3) the merits of an application to place the appellant into business rescue.

    GENET MINERAL PROCESSING (PTY) LTD v CCMA (LAC). Summary: Review of arbitration award . employee dismissed for negligently allowing blockage to occur thereby interrupting production at the plant which caused financial loss to the employer . There was a confusion about the dates when the blockage occurred . the wrong dates initially alleged - commissioner finding that no misconduct committed on the dates initially alleged and that dismissal unfair

    TRANSPORT AND ALLIED WORKERS UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA v ALGOA BUS COMPANY (PTY) LIMITED (LAC). Summary: Condonation for the late filing of the notice of appeal and reinstatement of appeal . union contending that financial constraints limited its ability to brief counsel who will accept its payment condition . court held that an explanation based on the lack of funds will not automatically result in the granting of condonation and that explanation for the delay wholly unsatisfactory as union not providing financial statement proving its financial distress. Application for the reinstatement of the appeal dismissed and matter struck from the roll.

    PIKITUP JOHANNESBURG (SOC) LIMITED v NEIGHBOUR EDWARD MUTERO (LAC). Summary: Enforcing arbitration award in terms of s158(1)(c) of the LRA . Labour Court making award an order of court reinstating employee in former position or any available executive positions and payment of bonuses . employer contending that as the result of the restructuring employees former position downgraded to that of General Management .held that employee was employed in an executive position prior to his dismissal and at the time of his reinstatement there were three vacant executive positions. So even if, as a result of the restructuring of the executive post which employee had occupied before his dismissal, it became impossible for him to be reinstated into that post, he was entitled to be reinstated into any of the other three vacant executive positions. As regards the payment of the bonuses ordered by the Labour Court, court held that payment of bonuses is discretionary and based on performance. Appeal partially upheld.

    MACSTEEL TRADING WADEVILLE v FRANCOIS VAN DER MERWE N.O (LAC). Summary: Review of arbitration award . employer raising union undue delay in prosecuting the review application in its answering affidavit in the review application . Labour Court refusing to consider the undue delay because the employer had not filed a rule 11 application . court finding that by the time review was heard, the application had in effect lapsed and been archived in terms of Practice Manual of the Labour Court- as such the Labour Court had no jurisdiction and should have struck the matter from the roll or give the employer an opportunity to file a separate rule 11 application demonstrating why the matter should be dismissed or struck from the roll on the basis of undue delay. Appeal upheld with costs and Labour Courts judgment set aside.

    WORKERSLIFE DIRECT (PTY) LTD v E MALOKA (LAC). Summary: Specific performance . employee claiming payment of post-employment commissions in terms of a Group Scheme Broker (GBS) contract after resigning . employee contending that he had concluded both an admin contract and a GSB contract with employer and that was entitled both to the benefits of an administrative employee and to the post-termination commission . employer contending that only GSB employees entitled to post-termination and targets commission and disputed the authenticity of the GSB contract - court finding that employee was paid on terms identical to those provided for in the GSB contract and that employee GBS contract probably authentic . Labour Courts judgment upheld and appeal dismissed with costs.

    NKOMATI JOINT VENTURE v CCMA (LAC). Summary: Review of arbitration award . duty of commissioner to assist unrepresented litigants - employer contending that failure by the commissioner to lend a helping hand and to inform it that it was required to re-open its case and lead evidence in rebuttal of employees new version was a gross irregularity

    NATIONAL COMMISSIONER OF THE SOUTH AFRICANPOLICE SERVICE v POPCRU obo A. MEZICHEL (LAC). Summary: Review of the disciplinary sanction imposed by employers appeal authority . appeal authority reversing sanction of dismissal against employee . court finding that appeal authoritys decision irrational and unreasonable in light of the employees conduct.

    TELKOM SA LTD v THE COMMISSION FOR CONCILIATION, MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION (LC). Summary: Jurisdiction of the CCMA to deal with an unfair labour practice dispute emanating from section 189 process. Section 186(2)(a) . failure to appoint the employee to a promotive position created consequent to restructuring and offered as an alternative to retrenchment. Interpretation of section 193(4) of the LRA . remedy of reinstatement and promotion of a retrenched employee.


    CITY OF JOHANNESBURG v SAMWU OBO LUCAS MONARENG (LC). Summary: Whether a public sector employer should provide security in terms of section 145(7)(8)of the Labour Relations Act - employer contending that it is prohibited in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act from furnishing security â€" court upholding principles in Rustenburg Local Municipality that all employers whether in the public or private sector should be subject to the same requirement of providing security thereby disallowing the contrary view adopted in Free State Gambling and Liquor Board. held that the MFMA does not prohibit the furnishing of such security by a municipality. Further that that employers in the public sector that are regulated by the PFMA or the MFMA are not automatically absolved from providing security on the stay of the enforcement of an arbitration award pending the decision of the Labour Court on review. The general rule is that an employer is obliged to provide security in accordance with section 145(8) of the LRA unless the Labour Court orders otherwise. Section 145(8) confers upon the Labour Court a discretion that it may exercise in favour of, either dispensing altogether with the payment of security or, reducing the amount of security required. court finding that Labour Court did not provide reasons for ordering the employer to provide security in accordance with section 145(8) of the LRA and that its discretion was not applied justifiably. Appeal upheld

    INDEPENDENT MUNICIPAL AND ALLIED TRADE UNION (IMATU) v KURHULENI METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY (LC). Summary: Review Application â€" Review of Jurisdictional Ruling â€" Provisions of Transitional Arrangements relating to Industrial Council Agreements â€" Whether Industrial Council Agreement is a collective agreement

    NUMSA obo CEBEKHULU & 18 OTHERS v MONTE VISTA INVESTMENTS (PTY) LTDT/A CALTEX MONTE VISA (LC). Summary: A referral in terms of which the applicants allege that the dismissal was both substantively and procedurally unfair. A company facing financial difficulties has a fair reason to dismiss. Prior to a dismissal, an employer must engage in a meaningful joint-consensus seeking consultation. Whether a fair procedure was followed, the court is concerned with what happened at the employer’s premises as opposed to the evidence tendered in court. The duty to consult arises once dismissal for operational reasons is contemplated. The obligation to consult is a dual one. Where, the other consulting party frustrates the process, an employer is entitled to take a final decision to retrench. Held: (1) The dismissal is both substantively and procedurally fair. (2) The applicants’ claim is thus dismissed. (3) No order as to costs.

    KOPANONG LOCAL MUNICIPALITY v SAMWU obo J RIET & 82 OTHERS (LC). Summary: Jurisdiction â€" test for review considered â€" ruling of arbitrator on jurisdiction must be considered de novo on the basis of being right or wrong â€" reasonable outcome test does not apply - Res judicata and once and for all rule â€" principles considered â€" issue in dispute already determined by earlier proceedings in the High Court between the same parties and concerning the same subject matter â€" exceptio res judicata applicable â€" case by employees rendered incompetent by application of these principles - Settlement agreement â€" terms considered â€" meaning of ‘full and final settlement’ â€" entails final compromise of claim and all future proceedings â€" dispute referred to bargaining council settled by way of agreement - Practice and procedure â€" application by applicant tantamount to review application â€" must be determined on that basis â€" applicant made out proper case that award of arbitrator on jurisdiction is wrong â€" award set aside and substituted with an award that the bargaining council has no jurisdiction

    ELIZABETH FILIBA v SEBENZA FORWARDING & SHIPPING (PTY) LTD (LC). Summary: Operational requirements â€" application of section 189A of the LRA â€" principles considered â€" consequences to the application of section 189A considered â€" procedural fairness cannot be challenged in a case brought to the Labour Court in terms of section 191(5)(b) - Pre-trial minute â€" admission that in general need to retrench â€" applicant bound by such admission â€" applicant not permitted to present a case contradicting the pre-trial minute â€" principles relating to resiling from a pre-trial minute considered â€" no such case made out â€" applicant remains bound - Pre-trial minute â€" alleged lack of authority of attorney to make admission â€" principles considered â€" alleged lack of authority not a proper basis for the applicant to resile from pre-trial minute - Operational requirements â€" alternative position â€" alternative position in fact offered and agreed to by applicant â€" applicant inexplicably adopting position of being retrenched â€" unreasonable conduct on the part of the applicant exposing herself to retrenchment - Operational requirements â€" alternative position â€" what constitutes reasonable alternatives â€" alternative available to employee reasonable and in fact accepted - Dismissal â€" operational requirements â€" dismissal substantively fair â€" application dismissed