Article 61/2021

Labour Edge

What is the purpose of a lockout?

In Transport and Allied Workers Union of SA v Putco Ltd (2016) 37 ILJ 1091 (CC), at paragraph [32], it was held as follows in this regard:

‘The purpose of a lockout in terms of s213 is to compel employees whose trade union is party to certain negotiations to accede to an employer’s demand. Its object is to end a stalemate reached as a result of an impasse in negotiations between employer and employee in respect of matters of ‘mutual interest’. A resolution of a dispute can be reached only between adversaries. As a matter of logic, then, there must be a dispute between an employer and employees or their trade union before a lockout is instituted. Accordingly, any exclusion of employees from an employer’s workplace that is not preceded by a demand in respect of a disputed matter of mutual interest does not qualify as a lock­out in terms of s213 of the LRA.’

On what basis will a client of a labour broker be held vicariously liable for the injuries suffered by an employee employed by a labour broker when such employee performs functions at the client’s workplace?

Is an employer vicariously liable where its employee is sexually harassed by a superior employee?

It is well-established that an employer is vicariously liable (faultlessly liable) for the wrong committed by an employee during the course/scope/sphere of employment (Feldman v Mall 1945 AD 733).