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Fundamina

On-line version ISSN 2411-7870
Print version ISSN 1021-545X

Abstract

CONRADIE, M. The constitutional right to fair labour practices: a consideration of the influence and continued importance of the historical regulation of (un)fair labour practices pre-1977. Fundamina (Pretoria) [online]. 2016, vol.22, n.2, pp.163-204. ISSN 2411-7870.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2411-7870/2016/v22n2a1.

The gradual increase in the earth's population and the consequent decrease in natural resources necessitated the exchange of the right to an independent existence for the right to labour. Parties to the employment relationship, especially the employee, have been subject to unfair labour practices since primitive times. The common law contract of employment and subsequent legislation enacted since 1911, might have regulated the relationship between the employer and the employee to a certain extent, but did not specifically address fairness or fair labour practices, at least not until 1979. It is necessary to take note of an overview of the history of labour law until 1979, as such an overview emphasises the need for the regulation and protection of fair labour practices. It also provides insight into the current regulation of labour relations as well as the constitutional guarantee of fair labour practices. But it is not only important for the value which it provides in terms of the meaning of the current regulation; it also remains important to ensure the lawfulness of the contract of employment and actions in terms of the contract, and to ensure fairness of labour practices for employees not protected by existing labour legislation.

Keywords : Constitutional right to fair labour practices; historical development; common law's influence on development; common law's continued importance on interpretation and development of the right to work; right to associate; right to collective bargaining; right to withhold labour; right to be protected; right to develop.

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