Article 80/2021

Labour Edge

In respect of an order of reinstatement, what is the nature of the claim calculated from the day of the order granting reinstatement to the end of the judicial process challenging such order?

In respect of the so-called ‘second period’, calculated from the day after the judgment granting such order to the outcome of the judicial process challenging such order, the labour court recently, in Kubeka and Others v Ni-Da Transport (Pty) Ltd (2019) 30 SALLR 178 (LC), adopted the following approach:

  1. the court, in National Union of Metalworkers of SA obo Fohlisa and Others v Hendor Mining Supplies (2017) 38 ILJ 1560 (CC), had been evenly split on whether the debt incurred in respect of the second period had not perhaps been a contract debt. Madlanga J had viewed it as an artificial line to draw but Zondo DCJ, writing the second judgment, had found that, after the noting of an appeal, and until all appeals were exhausted, the portion of back pay occasioned by such a delay constituted a contractual debt. One of Madlanga J’s criticisms of this approach of Zondo DCJ was that it carved up the period during which there was non-compliance with the labour court’s order into separate periods that gave rise to different legal consequences;
  2. the ability to generate separate legal consequences, with respect, recommended the approach of Zondo DCJ to the labour court in casu. Accepting that an order in respect of the first period did not sound in money, could it not perhaps be that back pay associated with the second period, as a quantifiable contractual debt, did?;
  3. it is important to record that this matter was not about whether the applicants had been, at a colloquial level, entitled to the full amount of back pay for both the first and second periods. They plainly had been. However, the respondent had taken the point that the applicants had erred in not using the correct legal process to achieve the outcome which, barring the liquidation of the respondent, had otherwise been theirs for the taking. The labour court had considered whether, if, in terms of the second judgment in Hendor, claims for arrear wages for the second period were contractual debts, these amounts could not be claimed under s77(3) of the BCEA; and
  4. if one scanned Zondo DCJ’s views in the second judgment more widely, however, it appeared to him that contractual debts in respect of the second period only became due after the employer had reinstated the dismissed employees; and
  5. the labour court believed that there was simply no way of getting around the fact that the applicants had used the wrong process to obtain the relief they sought.

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)?