by Jun 7, 2024Employment

The new Labour Appeal Court and Labour Court Rules will come into effect on 17 July 2024.

The new Rules are aimed at streamlining the Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court processes and comprise a consolidation of the “old” Rules; the Practice Manual and various directives as issued by the Labour Court.

The new Rules also incorporate various processes akin to that of the High Court Rules (Uniform Rules of Court) and the significant procedural amendments, include:

  • The electronic issuing of process;
  • The extension of time periods for the exchange of certain pleadings;
  • The implementation of Dies non, between 16 December to 15 January;
  • The introduction of Exceptions and Applications to Strike Out;
  • A mandatory structure for the content of trial practice notes; 
  • A change to how review applications are conducted in the Labour Courts, with reviewing parties being required to file a succinct statement on the grounds of review;
  • A mandatory archiving of files where there has been non-compliance with the timeframes as provided in the new Rules;
  • A mandatory requirement to deliver a Replication in the case of Action proceedings;
  • The possibility to separately adjudicate questions of law from the determination of the merits of the matter and as a means of formalizing “points in limine”;
  • All opposed motions will be case managed;
  • Applications to enforce restraint of Trade covenants have specific time periods governing the exchange of four sets of affidavits;
  • Procedures to fast-track dismissals disputes involving ten or more employees;
  • Introduction of the Caselines system, which will allow for electronic filing and virtual process management of cases in the Labour Court;
  • Allowing for virtual hearings of proceedings, at the discretion of the presiding judge;
  • Provisions for the noting and hearing of urgent appeals; and
  • Rules concerning media access to Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court proceedings.