Article 66/2021

Labour Edge

In the scenario where a union embarks on a strike and thereafter suspends the strike or holds it in abeyance, is an employer obliged to lift its lockout and accept the employees’ tender of service?


  1. For as long as the underlying issue in dispute remains unresolved, the employer is entitled not to accept the employees’ tender of services and lift the lockout.
  2. In Transportation Motor Spares v National Union of Metalworkers of SA and Others (1999) 20 ILJ 690 (LC), at paragraph [18], the labour court said:

‘…the employer is entitled at the stage of the proposed return to work on the part of the strikers to lock them out until the dispute over which they had gone out on strike has been resolved. It is therefore up to the employer to enquire from the strikers when they seek to return to work what the basis is for their return to work and to decide whether he will allow them to resume their duties or not and if he will, then on what terms they will be so allowed.’

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)?