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.’

 

In Minister of Police v M and Others (2016) 27 SALLR 53 (LC); (2017) 38 ILJ 402 (LC), the labour court identified the content of hearsay evidence of a special type affording greater weight than simple hearsay.  What is the approach adopted by the labour court in such case as to the transcript of an internal enquiry admitted as hearsay evidence in terms of s3(1)(c) of the Law of Evidence Amendment Act?  Subsequent to such judgment, the labour court, in Department of Home Affairs v General Public Service Sector Bargaining Council and Others (2019) 30 SALLR 172 (LC); (2019) 40 ILJ 2544 (LC), had the opportunity to apply the approach adopted in the aforesaid judgment to the specific facts of this matter.  In this subsequent judgment, how did the labour court identify such transcript of an internal enquiry as not constituting hearsay of a special type (as required in Minister of Police v M (supra))?

According to the constitutional court, when a referral is made to the CCMA or a bargaining council concerning a dismissal, is it a requirement that the reason for the dismissal (i.e. misconduct, incapacity poor work performance, etc) is also identified in order for such CCMA or bargaining council to require the requisite jurisdiction?

What are the principles governing hearsay evidence as contained in the Law of Evidence Amendment Act 45 of 1998 and applied by the labour court in, inter alia, Swiss South Africa (Pty) Ltd v Louw NO [2006] 4 BLLR 373 (LC) and NUMSA v SA Metal & Engineering Industries Bargaining Council and Others (2014) 25 SALLR 4 (LC)?