Article 37/2022

What are the principles governing compensation when a dismissal is only procedurally unfair?


In Zeda Car Leasing (Pty) Ltd t/a Avis Fleet v Van Dyk (2020) 31 SALLR 151 (LAC), the following principles were identified:

  • compensation is the appropriate remedy in terms of s193(2)(d) of the LRA
  • such compensation must be just and equitable in all circumstances (s194(1) of the LRA)

In Johnson & Johnson v CWIU (1999) 20 ILJ 89 (LAC), the following was stated in this regard:

  • actual loss or patrimonial (pecuniary) loss is irrelevant
  • the award is actually for a solatium as redress
  • various factors are to be taken into account to determine the extent of the award:
  • the extent of the deviation from a fair procedure
  • the employee’s conduct
  • the employee’s length of service
  • anxiety and hurt that the employee suffered

(See, further, Alpha Plant v Simmonds [2001] 3 BLLR 361 (LAC); Lorentzen v Sanachem (Pty) Ltd [1998] 8 BLLR 814 (LC))

The appeal court can only interfere with an irregularity misdirection in respect of the awarding of compensation if:

  • the court a quo ignored relevant factors or
  • the decision was based on inadequate facts

Road Accident Fund v Guedes 2006 (5) SA 583 (SCA)

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?