Latest Cases

MEC FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WESTERN CAPE GOVERNMENT v MUNIMAH JETHRO N.O (LAC). Summary: Discharge from public service on account of abscondment in terms of the Employment of Educators Act- employer with ill-health related conditions was discharged from employment- his application in terms of 14(2) of the EEA for reinstatement was dismissed because employee had not demonstrated good cause warranting his reinstatement- employee challenging the refusal to reinstatement on the basis of irrationality- employer contending that its conduct does not amount to administrative action and that its decision was rational because employee did not submit sick note evincing his illness

LUFIL PACKAGING (ISITHEBE) (A division of Bidvest Paperplus (Pty) Ltd) v CCMA (LAC). Summary: Dispute concerning organisational rights - union seeking to exercise its rights by requesting employer to deduct membership fees from its members- employer disputing union organisational rights on the basis that it falls outside the registered scope of union and that employees not eligible under the unions constitution to be members for the purposes of assessing a unions representativeness in terms of Chapter III of the LRA. Employer further argues that because the claimed members are precluded by the unions constitution from becoming its members, any purported admission of such employees as members is ultra vires the unions constitution and invalid. Union contending that that as a registered trade union, representative of the majority of the workers, it has legal standing to claim organisational rights.

PAILPRINT (PTY) LTD v RICHARD LYSTER N.O CCMA (LAC). Summary: Strike related misconduct - employees dismissed for breaching picketing rule by carrying dangerous weapons in contravention of - picketing rule prohibiting employees from carrying or wielding of any weapons during the strike picket. Held: In finding that the employees were not brandishing or wielding of dangerous weapons as they had been charged but were clearly just carrying sticks in their hands, the arbitrator adopted an unduly technical approach. Appropriate regard was not had to the purpose of the rule and the harm it sought to avoid. As much was evident from the reliance placed by the arbitrator in the determination of the matter on the definition of the word 'wield'. The decision to have a sjambok, PVC pipe and sticks at a protest, at which others were in possession of a golf club and axe, was not only a clear breach but, viewed objectively, was aimed at sending a message which, at the very least, was threatening to others. Within the context of the nature of the strike violence committed, the seriousness of this breach was overlooked by the arbitrator. Arbitration award and judgment of the Labour Court set aside- appeal upheld with costs.

NUMSA v AVENG TRIDENT STEEL (LAC). Summary: Claim for automatically unfair dismissal on the basis that the reason for the dismissal was the refusal by the employees to accept employers demands in respect of change of conditions of employment in terms of section 187(1)(c) of the LRA - employer embarking on a restructuring in order to increase profitability - in the process of consultation parties agreeing regrading positions in order to save costs pending finalization on the structure - such consideration necessitating change of condition of employment - employees refused amendment of their terms and condition of employment and were dismissed - union contending that such dismissal automatically unfair - court reasoning that the question for determination is when operational requirements may justify the dismissal of employees who reject employer demands to amend terms and conditions of employment judgment in Frys Metal considered and distinguished - Held that while employees cannot be dismissed for refusing to accept a demand, they can be dismissed if that refusal results in a more dominant or proximate operational necessity. This legislative scheme of collective bargaining is in line with the constitutional right of trade unions and employers to engage in collective bargaining in that any limitation of the power play is reasonable and justifiable in the balance struck between the strike weapon and the employers power of implementation at impasse.

AFGEN (PTY) LTD v NTOMBIZODWA ZIQUBU (LAC). Summary: Review of arbitration award -employee dismissal found substantively unfair - Commissioner granting limited compensation on account that reinstatement impracticable. Appeal Court finding employees relationship with her direct superior did not exist consequently it was impracticable to reinstate employee- Appeal upheld - Court setting aside only the quantum of compensation granted by the commissioner and awarded maximum. Recusal - no basis for the application refused.

HOSEA MUSHI v EXXARO COAL (PTY) LTD GROOTEGELUK COAL MINE (LAC). Summary: Review of arbitration award - employee dismissed for endangering the life of the foreman and insubordination - employee showing remorse for acting in an incorrect manner - commissioner finding that dismissal not appropriate sanction in accordance with employers disciplinary guideline which provides final warning for insubordination. Held that: In finding that reinstatement with a final written warning was appropriate when there was no evidence that the misconduct committed was so serious and of such gravity that it made a continued employment relationship intolerable, the arbitrator cannot be faulted. No reviewable error or irregularity was committed by him and the decision arrived at was not one which a reasonable decision-maker could not reach on the material before him. Labour Courts judgment set aside. Appeal upheld with costs.

CITY OF JOHANNESBURG v SAMWU OBO LUCAS MONARENG (LAC). 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€Å" 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.

IMPERIAL CARGO (PTY) LTD v DETAWU (LAC). Summary: Collective agreement prohibiting strike at plant level in furtherance of demands involving cost and affecting the wage packets of employees. Union notifying employer of its intention to strike - Labour Court finding three of unions demands fall within the impermissible demands but found that demand for re-scheduling drivers trips over weekends not prohibited and not falling within the substantive issues as contemplated in the collective agreement.

MTN (PTY) LTD v CCMA (LC). Summary: Unopposed application for review in terms of section 145 of the Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 - test for review restated - transfer of employee constitutes a demotion if status is diminished even if remuneration is not affected - failure to consult with an employee prior to taking the decision to transfer is procedurally unfair - application dismissed.

PUTCO (PTY) LTD v SA ROAD PASSENGER BARGAINING COUNCIL (LC). Summary: Labour Court has jurisdiction in terms of s 158 (1) (g) to review decisions by exemption and exemption appeal authorities established by bargaining councils. The threshold for review is the Sidumo test of reasonableness. Decision-makers are required to make decisions on the basis of the evidence before them, with affordability as the primary criterion where that is the basis of the application for exemption. It is not for exemption authorities to engage in Solomonic decision-making more suited to wage arbitrations. Affordability is a factual issue, and must be resolved as such. Exemption authorities must give reasons for their decisions. A failure to do so constitutes a material irregularity. Question remains whether outcome of process is reasonable. Remedy - where employer justifiably has no faith in exemption authorities and where all relevant information is available to the court, appropriate for the court, given the statutory imperative of expeditious dispute resolution, to substitute its decision for that of the decision-maker.

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Cash-strapped NPA will have to shed over 550 jobs to stay within budget, says Batohi

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Five-year suspended sentence for Cape Town driver's licence examiner who took bribes

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Denel pays staff salaries â€" but leaves out pensions contributions

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Kenny Kunene's e-hailing business empowers drivers with cars

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No injuries or fatalities reported in Germiston train fire on Tuesday

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Latest Cases

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.

Latest Article

The legal position on pre-suspension hearings has changed

For many years, we have advised employers who are about to suspend an employee on full remuneration to provide such employee with an opportunity to make representations on their proposed suspension. The Constitutional Court has on 19 February 2019 handed down judgment in the matter of Long v South African Breweries (Pty) Ltd and Others [2018] ZACC 7 finding that when an employer suspends an employee, there is no requirement to have a hearing prior to the suspension. Put differently, the legal position on pre-suspension hearings has now changed.

Background facts

Mr Long was employed by South African Breweries (Pty) Ltd (SAB) as its district manager for the Border District. One of his core responsibilities related to management of a fleet of company vehicles. In May 2013, one of these vehicles was involved in a fatal accident. It was subsequently discovered that the vehicle was not roadworthy and unlicensed. After an investigation by SAB, it was discovered that numerous vehicles, which Mr Long was responsible for, were not roadworthy and unlicensed. After a disciplinary hearing, Mr Long was dismissed for misconduct on the basis of dereliction of duties, gross negligence and brining the company name into disrepute. At the start of the investigation, Mr Long was suspended from work until his dismissal.

Mr Long subsequently instituted separate referrals to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) - one relating to his suspension (prior to dismissal) and the other relating to dismissal.

On the suspension referral, the CCMA found that this constituted an unfair labour practice as Mr Long had not been given a hearing prior to suspension and that the suspension was unreasonably long. Mr Long was awarded compensation amounting to two months of his remuneration.

Pre-suspension hearings

One of the central questions before the Constitutional Court was whether an employer is required to hold a hearing before suspending an employee. The purpose of the hearing would be to allow the employee to make representations to ultimately convince an employer not suspend the employee.

The Labour Court found that an employer is not obliged to grant an employee the opportunity to a hearing prior to precautionary suspension. In order to ensure fairness, the suspension must be linked to a pending investigation and ultimately should be used by an employer as a measure to protect the integrity of that investigation. If the employee is suspended on full remuneration, this will mitigate any prejudice suffered by the employee. The Labour Court therefore held that the suspension of Mr Long did not amount to an unfair labour practice.

Ultimately, the Constitutional Court agreed with the Labour Court on this question. Where the employer suspends an employee as a precautionary measure, such an employee is not entitled to a pre-suspension hearing. In order to assess the fairness of a suspension, two considerations should be borne in mind:


  • Is there a fair reason for the suspension of the employee?



  • Will the suspension prejudice the employee concerned?

The Constitutional Court upheld the decision of the Labour Court. The fact that Mr Long did not receive a pre-suspension hearing did not amount to an unfair labour practice. The suspension was also held to be fair in that it was used to protect the integrity of the investigation. Mr Long was also suspended on full remuneration and, despite the length of the suspension, this mitigated any prejudice suffered by him

Workplace policies

Importantly, this judgment does not mean that suspension can be used as a form of discipline (i.e. suspension without pay or for unreasonably long periods of time). Employers are still required to ensure that investigations into alleged misconduct by employees are completed within a reasonable period of time.

Employers who currently provide for pre-suspension hearings in their workplace policies should consider amending such policies to align them with this judgment.


LRA Amendments 2018

Labour Relations Amendments May 2018 BCEA Amendment Bill 2017;

  • BCEA Memorandom of Objects;

  • Employment Services Act 2014;

  • Labour Relations Amendment Bill 2017;

  • LRA Memorandom of Objects;

  • National Minimum Wage Bill;

  • Impact Assessment.

    Click here to download the zipped files.">

  • Legislation Update

    New Minimum Wages: Wholesale & Retail, and Farm and Forestry Worker Sectors  

    New Minimum Wages: Wholesale and Retail Sector: 01 February 2018 to 31 January 2019

    Please follow the link to download the new minimum wages

    New Minimum Wages: Farm and Forestry workers Sectors: 01 March 2018 to 28 February 2019

    Please follow the link to download the new minimum wages

    Domestic Workers

    Domestic Workers Wage Increase

    The Minister of Labour, on 15 December 2017, gazetted new minimum wage rates for the Domestic Worker Sector effective from 1 January 2018.

    To view the amended wage schedules click here.

    Hospitality Sector

    Hospitality sector minimum wage for 2017/2018 by Lloyd Ramutloa -- last modified 2017-07-03 13:11 3 July 2017 The minimum wage for South Africa's vulnerable sector of hospitality has been revised upward with effect from 01 July 2017.

    The new Hospitality Sectoral Determination which governs minimum wage rate in the sector will be effective until 30 June 2018.

    The minimum rate for employers with 10 or less employees will be a monthly wage of R3 193.12 (2016/2017: R2 959.35); a weekly rate of R736.92 (2016/2017: R689.97); and an hourly rate of R16.36 (2016/2017: R15.17).

    The new wages for employers with more than 10 employees will be a minimum monthly rate of R3 559.10 (2016/2017: R3 298.52); a weekly rate of R821.34 (2016/2017: R761.25); and an hourly rate of R18.25 (2016/2017: R16.91).

    The latest increase was arrived at using the consumer price index of 6.4 percent plus 1.5 percent. The total increase is 7.9 percent.

    Minimum Wages Farm, Forestry 2017

    Wholesale & Retail Wage Increase


    Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993, as amended

    Amendment of Schedule 4 of Act 130 of 1993 :
    Manner of calculating compensation
    GN 448 39931/15-04-2016
    Annual increases in medical tariffs for medical services providers
    GenN 256/GG 39955/26-04-2016
    GenN 257/GG 39956/26-04-2016
    Increase in monthly pensions
    GN 447/GG 39931/15-04-2016
    Increase of maximum amount of earnings on which the assessment of an employer shall be calculated
    GN 449/GG 39931/15-04-2016
    Rules, Forms and Particulars
    GN 444/GG 39928/15-04-2016

    Earnings threshold

    I, Mildred Nelisiwe Oliphant, Minister of Labour, in terms of Section 6(3) of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, No. 75 of 1997, (the Act), determine that all employees earning in excess of R205 433.30 (two hundred and five thousand, four hundred and thirtythree rand, thirty cents) per annum be excluded from sections 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17(2), 18(3) of the Act with effect from 1 July 2014.

    For the purposes of this notice:

    "Earnings" means the regular annual remuneration before deductions, i.e. income tax, pension, medical and similar payments but excluding similar payments (contributions) made by the employer in respect of the employee: Provided that subsistence and transport allowances received, achievement awards and payments for overtime worked shall not be regarded as remuneration for the purpose of this notice.



    STAATSKOERANT, 1 JULIE 2014 No. 37795 3

    This gazette is also available free online at