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A synthesis of current issues in the labour regulatory environment

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Corporate author/s:

University of Cape Town, School of Economics, Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU)

Person/s author/s:

Bhorat, Haroon; Van der Westhuizen, Carlene


research report



Over the past two years, a selection of research papers, in the main written by labour law experts, have provided critical input and guidance on the nature of the debate around the efficiency of the labour regulatory environment in South Africa. In November 2007, key stakeholders from government, labour and business attended a workshop on the labour regulatory environment in South Africa, where the results of the aforementioned studies were presented and debated. This study is a synopsis of the above-mentioned body of research and implicitly incorporates the tenor and content of the inputs at that workshop. The study is intended for a non-legal audience with the expressed aim of presenting the key issues in the current regulatory debate in a manner which is accessible to those outside the labour law profession. The paper firstly reviews, in brief, the context, in terms of the wider legal framework and the labour market environment in the South African economy. Section 3 focuses on the key legal debates around unfair dismissals and unfair labour practices. In each of the areas, the main concerns are presented, along with the experts' suggestions on how to best address these challenges. Section 4 presents the challenges face by the key labour market institutions, as well possible areas for policy intervention. Section 5 concludes.

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