Article 34/2022

In Herholdt v Nedbank Ltd (Congress of SA Trade Unions as Amicus Curiae) 2013 (6) SA 224 (SCA); (2013) 34 ILJ 2795 (SCA); [2013] 11 BLLR 1074 (SCA), it was made clear that an arbitration award would be set aside on review if the defect in the proceedings fell within one of the grounds in s145(2)(a) of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995, as amended (‘the LRA’).

What constitutes such gross irregularity in terms of s145(2)(a)(iii)?

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In the above judgment, the supreme court of appeal answered this question as follows:

‘[25] …For a defect in the conduct of the proceedings to amount to a gross irregularity as contemplated by s145(2)(a)(ii), the arbitrator must have misconceived the nature of the inquiry or arrived at an unreasonable result. A result will only be unreasonable if it is one that a reasonable arbitrator could not reach on all the material that was before the arbitrator. Material errors of fact, as well as the weight and relevance to be attached to particular facts, are not in and of themselves sufficient for an award to be set aside, but are only of any consequence if their effect is to render the outcome unreasonable.’

The scenario is as follows: an employee is reinstated, not to the date of his dismissal but limiting the employee’s entitlement to remuneration to 24 months.  The employee argues that he or she is entitled to interest on the back pay payable for the 24-month period in terms of s75 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997.  Is the employee, according to Mashaba and Another v Telkom SA Soc Ltd (2020) 31 SALLR 147 (LAC); (2020) 41 ILJ 2437 (LAC), entitled to be paid interest on the back pay from the date of the judgment or, alternatively, entitled to also be paid interest in respect of the periods before the judgment?

A reinstatement order does not in itself reinstate an employee.  How did the labour appeal court recently, in Kubeka and Others v Ni-Da Transport (Pty) Ltd (2021) 32 SALLR 14 (LAC), determine the consequences of such order and how is such reinstatement order enforced?

What is the distinction between s50(2)(a) compensation and s50(2)(b) damages of the EEA and compensation when an automatically unfair dismissal, in terms of s187(1)(f) of the LRA, occurs?