Article 10/2024

What are the options available to an employee when an employer allegedly owes such employee monies in terms of a contract of employment?

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Scenario 1:  earning above the threshold

  • The current threshold in terms of s6(3) of the BCEA is R241 110.59 per annum.
  • If an employee wishes to resolve a dispute and earns above the said threshold, the employee has the following options available to him/her:
    • labour court
    • high court
    • magistrate’s court
    • small claims court – kindly take note that the small claims court has not geared itself to deal with these types of disputes

Scenario 2: earning below the threshold

  • In this regard, the threshold path is compulsory con-arb.

With reference to Potgieter v Samancor Chrome Ltd t/a Tubatse Ferrochrome (2022) 33 SALLR 190 (LC) and Van Rensburg and Others v Department of Justice and Correctional Services and Others (2022) 33 SALLR 280 (LC); (2022) 43 ILJ 2110 (LC).

In what instances does the jurisdiction of the supreme court of appeal trump the jurisdiction of the labour appeal court?

Where an employer prematurely terminates a fixed-term contract and the employee challenges such termination as being unlawful and claims damages and not specific performance, the labour court has up to now ordered damages even though same is an unliquidated claim for damages.