Juta’s annual Labour Law Update – Digital Debate For Your Advantage


Now in its 21st year, and the second to be held in digital form, Juta’s Annual Labour Law Update promises HR and labour law practitioners an informative, engaging day in the company of our renowned but approachable speakers as they cover the latest important labour law developments, drawing on relevant cases.

Launching with a series of recorded webinars for perusal ahead of the live event on 7 June, registered attendees will have an opportunity to gain invaluable insights from leading industry experts, and be equipped to navigate South Africa’s rapidly evolving employment landscape.

The five videos which will be issued ahead of the live event will cover:

  • Covid-19 Cases – Halton Cheadle and Puke Maserumule
  • Employment Equity – Puke Maserumule andJohn Grogan
  • Handling Cases in the CCMA – Puke Maserumule and John Grogan
  • Dismissal Law – John Grogan and Puke Maserumule
  • Collective Labour Law – Halton Cheadle and Puke Maserumule

Joining the panel for the first time is one of South Africa’s foremost labour law experts, Dr Halton Cheadle. Cheadle’s 40-year resume includes attorney and Professor of Public Law, acting judge in the High Court and the Labour Court, and author of numerous works. He is also the principal architect of the Labour Relations Act and other labour legislation, including the more recent Code of Practice on Managing Covid-19 in the Workplace. Cheadle was also the first South African to be appointed to the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations.

Cheadle’s debate will certainly be one of the most eagerly awaited – how the workplace is changing around Covid-19 and what the law says about hot topics such as: New codes of practice around Covid-19; social distancing as related to business activities; Remote work impacts on businesses; Mandatory vaccinations in the workplace; POPIA implications; and case studies focused on Covid-related dismissals.

Cheadle says there is enormous uncertainty around the State of Disaster and how it pertains to current practices. This calls for deciphering and interpretation for the optimal functioning of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, as well as clearer directives to and from the Ministry of Labour. He aims to give attendees a better understanding of the regulatory framework and what that actually looks like for all parties.

An important case that Cheadle looks forward to presenting is the AMCU complaint to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on the extension of collective agreements, where majoritarianism played a controversial role.

Joining Cheadle is another leading academic, labour lawyer and long-standing Juta author and editor, Dr John Grogan. Grogan is a part-time Senior Commissioner of the CCMA, a panellist on a number of bargaining councils, and has acted as a Judge in both the Labour and High Courts.

Grogan, who has seen the evolution of this annual event from a nationwide travelling roadshow to its current digital form since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, emphasises that this year’s Update offers something for everyone in the employment practitioner sphere, with simple and accessible discussions.

He looks forward to examining the following issues and corresponding cases:

Issue 1:  “The Doctrine of Common Purpose” as it relates to a scenario where many striking workers assault a manager, but only certain parties are identified. Can all be dismissed? (The Labour Appeal Court in NUMSA obo Aubrey Dhludhlu and 147 Others v Marley Pipe Systems SA (Pty) Ltd; and Thobela & others v Apollo Bricks (Pty) Ltd)

Issue 2: “The Double Jeopardy Principle” applied to a situation where a supervisor, guilty of violating workplace ethics, is taken into a disciplinary hearing where the presiding officer chooses not to dismiss him as the employer requests, but issues a final warning instead. Are employers bound by the presiding officer’s decision, or can it be circumvented? (Anglo American Platinum Ltd v Beyers and Others)

Issue 3: An employee is dismissed, but in arbitration the dismissal is ruled unfair and the employee is reinstated. Does unfair dismissal automatically need to lead to reinstatement, or can the employer compensate and still dismiss due to the employee creating a hostile or debilitating workplace environment? (Mlungisi Wellington Booi v Amathole District Municipality and Others).

Issue 4: The case of Walsh v Superintendent General Eastern Cape Department of Health and Others, where the CEO of Fort England mental health facility in Makhanda became the target of ongoing disputes with unions, and found himself being transferred to Bhisho. When he refused to move to assume his new post, he was dismissed. The Labour Court, under Judge Davis, found the department had unlawfully orchestrated Walsh’s transfer, and eventual dismissal, to ‘escape dealing with sustained illegality at a facility under their control’, leading to Walsh being reinstated.

Our third expert, Puke Maserumule is an acting Labour Court and High Court Judge, an accredited mediator and arbitrator, and was involved in interpreting labour legislation and building the new labour jurisprudence. Puke will be covering Employment Equity and Handling Cases in the CCMA, including these key issues:

Dismissal of referrals when employees fail to attend arbitration hearings section 138(5)(a) of the Labour Relations Act; The new CCMA Directives on how to re-enrol dismissed cases –

Can they be challenged?; Signing of referral forms – Where do lawyers fit in?; Discrimination cases; and the Employment Equity Amendment Bill – What’s new?

Registered attendees will also receive unrivalled reference material and added benefits:

  • FREE 12-month Legalbrief Workplace subscription
  • 2022 Labour Law Update Workbook
  • A 1-hour interactive live Q&A
  • 8 SABPP CPD points
  • Juta certificate of attendance

There is also the option of registering for the August delivery of the Interactive Multimedia ePub, which incorporates the entire webinar package in one enhanced e-learning publication. This option, accessible offline or online, was designed specifically for those with limited internet access, but is also ideal for those wanting perpetual access to a consolidated reference and research tool.

Trust South Africa’s foremost experts to unpack the year’s critical labour developments and equip you for the year ahead!


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