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The Industrial Court
Establishment of the Court

The Industrial Court is a creature of the Trade Disputes Act and is headed by a Judge President. Industrial Court Judges are appointed by the President. The Judge sits with two assessors one nominated by an organization representing the workers, and another by an organization representing the employers.

Jurisdiction of the Court

The Court has jurisdiction:

  • To hear and determine all trade disputes except disputes of interest
  • To interdict any unlawful industrial action
  • To hear appeals and reviews from decisions of mediators and arbitrators
  • To direct the Commissioner to assign a mediator to mediate a dispute where in the opinion of the Court, the matter has not been properly mediated or requires further mediation
  • To direct the Commissioner to refer a dispute that is before the Court, to arbitration
  • To refer any matter to an expert and at its discretion to accept his/her report as evidence in the proceedings.
  • Give all such directions and do all such things as may be necessary for the expeditious and just hearing and determination of any dispute before it.
Urgent Applications

Any party to a dispute may make an urgent application to court for the determination of a trade dispute. The applicant must set forth the circumstances which he/she avers render the matter urgent and reasons why the matter cannot go through mediation by the Commissioner of Labour.

Wrongful Termination

Where the court determines that an employee has been wrongfully dismissed or disciplined the court may make an order of:

  • Reinstatement with or without compensation
  • Compensation in lieu of reinstatement
  • Reinstatement if dismissal is considered to be unlawful or motivated on the grounds of sex, trade union membership, trade union activity, lodging of a complaint or grievance, religious tribal or political affiliation
  • Compulsory reinstatement if the employment relationship has not broken down irrevocably.
Any compensation ordered shall not exceed the actual pecuniary loss suffered.
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