The convergence of labour and commercial law: executive dismissals in contemporary South Africa

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The intricacies and legalities concerning the notion that under certain circumstances a director may be regarded as an employee have given rise to much litigation in the past two decades. It is humbly submitted that few scenarios have created as much confusion and grief as the aforementioned idea in our South African jurisprudence. For the past two decades lawyers have jousted in the CCMA, Labour Court and Labour Appeals Court on the question of whether or not a company director is an employee and subject to the protection from unfair dismissal contained in the LRA. This dissertation approaches the controversial topic by examining the history and origin of the concept of the office of director. The legislative framework concerning company and labour law is examined along with the judicial decisions which have shaped this particular aspect of the law. A brief overview of comparative labour law is discussed in an attempt to gain a multinational view of the matter. Throughout this dissertation it is of cardinal importance to view the text through both the lenses of Company- and Employment Law. Failing to do so will have the inevitable result that one does not properly reflect and weigh in on the theoretical implications associated with the development of both these branches of law.

Includes bibliographical references.