n South African Law Journal - Oil on troubled waters? The slippery interface between the contract of employment and statutory labour law

Volume 125, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



This article examines the underlying relationship between the contract of employment and statutory labour law, which together constitute the essence of individual labour law (or 'employment law', to use the more common international term). It argues that in South Africa contract and statute have become inextricably intermingled, resulting in a growing number of ambiguities and a confusing overlap and / or competition between statutory and contractual rights and remedies. It is further argued that the trend towards the establishment of two parallel regimes-one based on statute and the other on common law - has been given added momentum by the judgment in (2007) 28 ILJ 1499 (SCA). The article explores possibility of a more consistent articulation between the two principal regulators of the employment relationship, based on the underlying constitutional rights.

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