The New Labour Court and Labour Appeal Court Rules: Transitional Arrangements

The Rules Board of the Labour and Labour Appeal Courts drafted and adopted new rules for the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court ("Rules").

These Rules were published on 03 May 2024 in GN 50608. The Rules replace the existing Labour Court Rules, the Practice Manual of the Labour Court of South Africa ("Practice Manual"), and the existing Labour Appeal Court Rules. 


11 Jun 2024 1 min read Employment Law Alert Article

On 5 June 2024, it was announced that the Rules shall commence and come into operation on 17 July 2024. In this context, it is important to consider the issue of which rule regime – the existing Labour Court Rules or the Rules commencing on 17 July 2024 – will apply to matters instituted prior to the commencement of the Rules.

 In Samuels v Old Mutual Bank [2017] 7 BLLR 681 (LAC) the Labour Appeal Court (LAC) had to consider, among other things, whether the Practice Manual which came into effect on 1 April 2013, applied to matters instituted before it came into operation. In this regard, it found that the Practice Manual applied to matters instituted before its effective date.

In the current situation where the question of whether the Rules will apply to matters instituted prior to its commencement on 17 July 2024, the Samuels case is insightful in furnishing guidance. The takeaway is that it is likely that the same principle in the Samules case will apply in relation to the Rules in the context of matters that were instituted prior to the commencement of the Rules. That being said, the Labour Court retains a discretion to consider the facts and circumstances of a particular matter in interpreting and applying the Rules.

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