The Industrial Court

All about the Industrial Court in Botswana, Labour Laws and the Industrial Court, How the Industrial Court works in Botswana and more on

What is the Industrial Court?

This is an institution which exists in most countries and aims at fighting for the rights of workers, including those who feel they have been wrongly dismissed. 

Who runs the institution in Botswana?

The Industrial Court in Botswana is headed by a Judge President. The Industrial Court judges are appointed by the President. Each judge sits with two assessors, one nominated by an organisation representing workers, and another by an organisation representing employers.

What are the duties of the Industrial Court?

  • 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
  • To give such directions and do all such things as may be necessary for the expeditious and just hearing and determination of any dispute before it.

Can fired employers win back their jobs?

Yes, fired employers can get back their jobs if the Industrial Court rules in their favour. 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 or compensation in lieu of reinstatement or 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


There are times where an employer will not want to go back to work, despite being given back their job. In this case, the two parties can agree on compensation. According to the Trade Disputes Act, any compensation ordered shall not exceed the actual pecuniary loss suffered.

Read more

Take the Decent Work Check.