Tag archives: constitutional development

Strike ballots struck out of Labour Relations Amendment Bill

After surviving a three year consultation process and hefty deliberations in the National Economic Development and Labour Council, strike ballot provisions were voted out of the Labour Relations Amendment Bill by Parliament’s labour committee last week.

The provisions, which were intended to amend the sections regulating workers’ right to strike in the Labour Relations Act made it a procedural requirement for the majority of a union’s members to vote in favour of a strike.  The proposed amendment was lauded by the business community as being a potential solution to the violent strikes that have characterised the last few years.  … Continue Reading

Business connections and trading secrets: are your restraints enforceable?

With employees job-hopping more than ever, companies put at risk their clients, strategies and technical advantages if their employees are not properly restrained from moving on to competitor companies by enforceable restraints of trade.  Although the Appellate Division has said with certainty that restraints of trade clauses are presumed to be enforceable in South African law, any agreement will become unenforceable where it contradicts public policy.

Because public policy is framed and developed by the South African Constitution, an employee’s right to choose their trade freely will now influence whether a restraint clause is enforceable, because their constitutional right … Continue Reading

Affirmative action to be taken to court

This post was contributed by Kate Paterson

In July 2013, the trade union Solidarity will take the Department of Correctional Services to the Labour Court in Cape Town for what is anticipated will be a week-long trial of the constitutionality of the Department’s employment equity plan.

The plan is for the Department’s employees to be absolutely representative of the national population’s demographics by 2014.  Provincial implementation of the plan cannot diverge from these set targets.

The Department’s recruitment processes are regulated according to this plan, and any appointment from “non-designated” race groups needs to be sanctioned by the National … Continue Reading

What are the limits of vicarious liability?

This post was contributed by Sipelelo Litji, Lauren Coetzee and Kate Paterson

Employers may be vicariously liable for an employee’s actions regardless of whether they are acting in the course and scope of their employment.

This is according to a Supreme Court of Appeal judgment that found the Minister of Defence to be liable for an ex-soldier who provided stolen Defence Force weaponry that was ultimately used in an armed robbery.  One civilian was seriously injured and another died during the armed robbery.

The judgment upheld a Gauteng High Court decision that chose not to apply the standard test for … Continue Reading