New Labour and Labour Appeal Court Rules 2024

The attached document contains the brand-new Labour (LC) and Labour Appeal Court (LAC) Rules, published in the Government Gazette on 03 May 2024. These rules replace the rules that has been in force since 1996 as well as the Practice Manual which has been applied since 2013.
 
As an employer, you should take note of the fact that the rules are not effective as yet. PEASA will keep you updated once an effective date is published in the Government Gazette.
 
Some key provisions employers should know about:
 
DIES NON’ HOLIDAY BREAK
This is a Latin phrase that translates to “a day when courts do not sit and carry on business”. The introduction of dies non over the Christmas period is welcomed since the period between 16 December and 15 January will be excluded in the definition of “day” when calculating time periods.
 
REVIEW APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
Review applications are the most common applications on the Labour Court roll. Statements regarding the ground/s for review should be concise as it seems that less is more when it comes to the new rules.
 
Answering affidavits as to why the application is opposed should also be drafted in a “short and sweet” manner.
 
Failure to comply could result in a cost order.
 
MEDIA ACCESS TO PROCEEDINGS
Media access to proceedings is now regulated in the rules.
 
Although the media is prohibited from filming, recording and photographing judicial proceedings, they can bring an application to be allowed to do so.
 
According to the new rules, the media is however allowed to take “still” photographs and videos of court activities 15 minutes before proceedings starts, adjournments and arguments where no evidence is led.
 
VIRTUAL HEARINGS
On the request by one or more of the parties, the Labour Court rules now make specific provisions for virtual hearings. Three key deciding factors by the presiding Judge when granting this is:
 
1. The nature of the proceedings;
2. The public interest; and
3. The principles of open justice.
 
RESTRAINT OF TRADE PROCEDURES
Included in the new rules is the procedure to follow when seeking to enforce a restraint of trade through urgent interdict. The rules make provision for the exchange of four sets of affidavits and the time period for the filing of each affidavit are set. Rule 39 deals specifically with Restraint of Trade procedures.
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