n Acta Juridica - The relational contract of employment

Volume 2012, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1346
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2088



This contribution considers whether, given the unsuitability of classical contract-law principles for interpreting employment contracts, relational contract theory with its broader set of obligations is capable of a more sophisticated delineation of the employment relationship. Relational contract theory recognises that, in interpreting long-term personal contracts, the norms of co-operation and reciprocity should shape the determination of the parties' contractual rights and obligations. The contribution concludes that, by viewing contractual obligations through the prism of relational contract theory, the common law is capable of harmoniously co-existing with labour legislation and policy and can play a meaningful role in regulating fair labour practices.

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