n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Labour market regulation and the casualisation of employment in Namibia




The expansion of "flexible" employment is all too often implicated in a causal relationship with deregulatory practices in the labour market. Of particular significance is the extent to which there is an acceptance of the idea that "regulation" and "flexibility" are two poles on the same continuum. Very rarely can changes in the regulatory regime of the labour market be understood as simply a restriction or extension of the role of statutory and collective regulation to the benefit or detriment of market mechanisms. Understanding the expansion of casualised employment in Namibia's increasingly regulated labour market calls for a much clearer specification of the concepts of flexibility and regulation. The conjunction of an expanded regulation of the "standard" employment relationship and an increase in the use of poorly regulated forms of "non-standard" employment presupposes a segmented labour market and the selective coverage of labour market institutions. Hence standard and non-standard employment imply alternative modes of labour regulation with different structural dynamics. This is highlighted by the pivotal role of the law of contract in regulating the employment of subcontracted workers.


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