Article 28/2021

Labour Edge

In order to resist an order or award of reinstatement, is it always a requirement to lead evidence of the irretrievable breakdown of the trust relationship?


The labour appeal court recently, in Drs Dietrich, Voight & Mia t/a Pathcare v Bennett NO and Others (2019) 30 SALLR 160 (LAC), adopted the following approach: in a situation where no evidence was adduced during the trial or arbitration, as in this case, on the effect of an order or an award of reinstatement, the court or the commissioner should consider all the factors and circumstances relevant to that form of relief, including the gravity of the offence committed by the employee. Equally trite is that that dismissal is a penalty of last resort because of the harsh consequences it may have on an employee who is dismissed (Transport and Allied Workers Union of South Africa obo Ngedle and Others v Unitrans Fuel and Chemical (Pty) Ltd ([2016] 11 BCLR 1440 (CC); (2016) 37 ILJ 2485 (CC); [2016] 11 BLLR 1059 (CC), at paragraph [173]).

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)?