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Labour law is the law applicable to matters regarding employment, remuneration, conditions of work, trade unions, and industrial relations.
Labour law, unlike other categories of law, does not have the court as a first approach.
Every workplace has their own internal mechanisms and procedures should an employee or employer have any work-related issues.
It is only once a workplace’s internal procedures are exhausted that the employee or employer can approach the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and if there is no favourable outcome, the unsatisfied party can approach the Labour Court.
The legislation that is applicable: Basic Conditions of Employment Act No. 75 of 1997; Labour Relations Act No. 66. of 1995; Employment Equity Act, No. 55 of 1998, and most importantly, the Constitution of South Africa, 1996.
These Acts are used to determine on what basis the employee or employer can approach the CCMA and Labour Court, as well as the probability of success of the employee or employer’s case. Although these Acts are in place, it is important to note that the aggrieved party must always look at his or her employment contract first. The employment contract will stipulate the internal mechanisms and procedures of the workplace.
Trade Unions, who are more commonly known for bringing class actions, must also make use of the internal mechanisms and procedures before approaching the CCMA or Labour Court. The Trade Union will most likely have their own procedures as well, but nonetheless it should not be overlooked that they also have access to the CCMA and Labour Court.
Should you need assistance in a Labour related matter do not hesitate to contact our Cape Town office at 021 499 4963 or our Bellville office at 021 949 3791.
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