Article 22/2021

Labour Edge

In taking an arbitration on review, is an applicant entitled to adopt the approach that the grounds of review extend to both an incorrect interpretation of law by the arbitrator as well as the unreasonableness of the arbitrator’s finding?

In Intercape Ferreira Mainliner (Pty) Ltd v McWade and Others (2019) 30 SALLR 148 (LC), the following was stated in this regard: There is nothing inconsistent with this approach.  Indeed, it is not often, if ever, that an incorrect decision, or a decision made on the basis of a material error of law, will meet the reasonableness threshold (see Coega Development Corporation (Pty) Ltd v Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and Others [2016] 2 BLLR 151 (LC)).  The correctness challenge is specifically founded on the decision by the labour appeal court, in National Union of Metalworkers of SA v Assign Services and Others (2017) 38 ILJ 1978 (LAC); [2017] 10 BLLR 1008 (LAC); (2017) 28 SALLR 15 (LAC), where the court said:

‘[32]   An incorrect interpretation of the law by a commissioner is, logically, a material error of law which will result in both an incorrect and unreasonable award. Such an award can either be attacked on the basis of its correctness or for being unreasonable.’


To what extent is the practice manual of the labour court binding on all parties and the labour court?

The institution of review proceedings does not suspend the operation of an arbitration award unless security is furnished to the satisfaction of the court in terms of s145(8) of the LRA.  On what basis did the labour appeal court recently resolve the conflict between various labour court judgments interpreting the stay of enforcement of arbitration awards pending review proceedings?

What are the requirements to be met for s158(1)(c) of the LRA to be applicable (dealing with the jurisdiction of the labour court) to make an arbitration award or settlement agreement an order of court?