Article 84/2021

Labour Edge

What are the requirements to be met for s158(1)(c) of the LRA to be applicable (dealing with the jurisdiction of the labour court) to make an arbitration award or settlement agreement an order of court?


The labour appeal court, in Greeff v Consol Glass (Pty) Ltd (2013) 34 ILJ 2835 (LAC), at paragraph [19], held as follows:

‘It is thus clear from a reading of s158(1A) that s158(1)(c) must be read with and subject to s158(1A). Even though s158(1)(c) refers to “any settlement agreement” this cannot be taken to mean, literally, “any” settlement agreement.  Section 158(1A) describes what settlement agreements are being referred to in s158(1)( c). So properly interpreted, in terms of s158(1)(c), read with s158(1A), the Labour Court may make any arbitration award an order of court and may only make settlement agreements, which comply with the criteria stated in s158(1A), orders of court. A settlement agreement that may be made an order of court by the Labour Court in terms of s158(1)(c), must (i) be in writing, (ii) be in settlement of a dispute (i.e. it must have as its genesis a dispute); (iii) the dispute must be one that the party has a right to refer to arbitration, or to the Labour Court for adjudication, in terms of the LRA; and (iv) the dispute must not be of the kind that a party is only entitled to refer to arbitration in terms of s22(4), or s74(4) or s75(7).’

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)?