Article 66/2022

What is the difference between a lockout and a shut-out?


  • The definition of a ‘lockout’, in terms of s213 of the LRA, read together with the definition of ‘issue in dispute’, entails the exclusion by an employer of employees from the employer’s workplace with the purpose of compelling such employees to accept a demand by the employer in respect of a matter of mutual interest between the employer and the employees
  • however, a lockout is to be differentiated from a shut-out referred to by Zondo JP (as he then was) in Technikon SA v National Union of  Technikon Employees of SA (2001) 22 ILJ 427 (LAC), where, at paragraph [16] of the judgment, the court noted that an employer has the right at common law to refuse employees entry onto the workplace where the purpose of their coming onto the workplace is not to perform their duties – such an exclusion is not a lockout as defined in s213, as set out above, and is also not unlawful: it is simply the employer exercising its common law right

With reference to Potgieter v Samancor Chrome Ltd t/a Tubatse Ferrochrome (2022) 33 SALLR 190 (LC) and Van Rensburg and Others v Department of Justice and Correctional Services and Others (2022) 33 SALLR 280 (LC); (2022) 43 ILJ 2110 (LC).

In what instances does the jurisdiction of the supreme court of appeal trump the jurisdiction of the labour appeal court?

Where an employer prematurely terminates a fixed-term contract and the employee challenges such termination as being unlawful and claims damages and not specific performance, the labour court has up to now ordered damages even though same is an unliquidated claim for damages.