Jurisdiction In Labour Matters | Legal Articles


Need Legal Advice?

No Matter What Your Bind We Can Help You



Legal Articles

Jurisdiction In Labour Matters

Labour and/or employment law litigation requires that disputes, not only be brought within the set time frames before adjudication forums, but also that they be brought before the correct forum. This is important in that jurisdiction is one of the grounds that may be raised as a point in limine (preliminary issues), to have the matter dismissed.


Most people are of the view that all labour disputes ought to be brought before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). This is quite understandable, as the CCMA is the most accessed and well-known labour adjudication forum (besides the Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court). However, one might be surprised to learn that some labour disputes in some specific economic industries are not supposed to be referred to the CCMA, but to the bargaining councils that preside over labour disputes in those sectors.


In the event that one is not sure if there is a bargaining council that presides over labour disputes in a certain industry, inquiring from the CCMA or searching on the Department of Labour website are good places to start. Alternatively, one may contact us so that we may assist.


One thing that must be borne in mind also, is making sure that the bargaining council is accredited and registered as per the provisions of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (LRA). This is important in that some bargaining councils are accredited to preside over conciliations only, whilst some are accredited to preside over conciliations and arbitrations.

In the same vein, some bargaining councils are accredited to preside over certain disputes, whilst the CCMA retains jurisdiction over the others. It is therefore critical for one to be well informed as to which bargaining council to approach, if they are accredited and registered, what they are accredited to preside over (types of disputes) as well as which procedures they are accredited for (conciliation or arbitration or both).


  • Motor Industry Bargaining Council;
  • Bargaining Council for the Building Industry;
  • Bargaining Council for the Entertainment Industry of SA;
  • Bargaining Council for the Diamond Cutting Industry;
  • Furniture Bargaining Council;
  • Hairdressing and Cosmetology Bargaining Council;
  • Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council;
  • Bargaining Council for the Laundry, Cleaning and Dyeing Industry.



The above are some of the bargaining councils that preside over labour disputes in their industries. In the event that there is no bargaining council for a particular industry, then the CCMA will retain jurisdiction. On the other hand, section 157 (2) of the LRA further provides that the Labour Court and High Court have concurrent jurisdiction where there is an alleged or threatened violation of fundamental rights arising from labour relations.

Van Deventer and Van Deventer Incorporated assists with labour law, civil and general litigation, criminal litigation, human rights law, family law matters such as maintenance, divorces, protection orders, Rule 43 applications, Rule 58 applications and others. We also assist in personal injury, company law and deceased estates amidst an array of others.

Contact us for comprehensive assistance.

The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. One should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice. The contents of this site contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address one’s peculiar situation. We disclaim all liability for actions one may take or fail to take based on any content on this site.

Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.


Get the latest updates in your email box automatically.