Section 145(7) of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) provides that review proceedings do not suspend the operation of an arbitration award unless three applicants furnish security to the satisfaction of the Court. This is in accordance with subsection (8) of the LRA. Section 145(8) of the LRA stipulates that the security must be equivalent to the amount of compensation awarded or 24 months’ remuneration when reinstatement or re-employment are involved. This is unless the Labour Court directs otherwise and looks into a review.
This is discussed and decided on in two cases.
In the first case, the Judge in Rustenburg Local Municipality v SALGBC the Labour Court allowed an applicant to “purchase” a stay of enforcement by putting up the required security.
In the second case, OR Tambo District Municipality v SAMWU obo Mzamane & Others, the judgement was different:
The award was issued in July 2015 and a review was launched. This was followed by a delay by the Municipality in pursuing the review. From March 2016 to April 2017, it lodged repeated applications to stay enforcement of the award.
The Judge found that Section 145(3) of the LRA confirmed the Court’s discretion to stay the enforcement of an award pending the finalisation of review.
The Court remains bound to consider, in light of all relevant factors, whether an application should suspend the award. Included among these factors is if security has been furnished in terms of sections 145(7) and (8) of the LRA. Thus the Court said that Section 145(3) comes first and section 145(7) does not overrule it.
The Court concluded that even though the Municipality had provided security, this was outweighed by the fact that the employees had already waited three and a half years for payment of the compensation, which they had been awarded. The review application was still not ready to be heard. The Court has the ultimate say after having considered the facts in each case.
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