Why the definition of unfair labour practice is very blurry

The legal definition of "unfairness" (or lack thereof) complicates workplace dynamics.

Expert labour law consultant Ivan Israelstam says that the meaning of unfair as a legal term is problematic.

The Labour Relations Act uses the term unfair instead of the concept of illegality, Israelstam explains.

Ruling on unfair dismissal or unfair labour practice becomes a difficult job for judges and arbitrators because of the subjective nature of unfairness, he adds.

Read: What is constructive dismissal? (and how to prove it)

The way to determine what is unfair in labour law is by referring to precedent set by case law and previous rulings.

According to Israelstam, if the act of an employer cannot be justified on its own merits, then it will generally be seen as unfair.

Read also: Dismissal isn't the default outcome of disciplinary action, a lawyer advises

Rational justification is needed when defending decisions made during arbitration on unfair labour practices.

It's a very problematic concept.

Ivan Israelstam, CEO of Labour Law Management Consulting

The word illegal is an objective word. Unfair is a subjective word.

Ivan Israelstam, CEO of Labour Law Management Consulting

There isn't an attempt to define unfair in the The Labour Relations Act.

Ivan Israelstam, CEO of Labour Law Management Consulting

One has to glean the meaning [of unfair] by looking at the at the pattern of decisions that have been made over the decades by the court.

Ivan Israelstam, CEO of Labour Law Management Consulting

Israelstam shared his expert advice and helped callers with their questions and cases.

Take a listen to the informative discussion during the World of Work feature:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Why the definition of unfair labour practice is very blurry


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Dismissal isn't the default outcome of disciplinary action, a lawyer advises

Dismissal isn't the default outcome of disciplinary action, a lawyer advises

The outcome of disciplinary action will depend on if the trust relationship between two parties has broken down, an expert shares.

Stories about horrible bosses (and how to handle workplace bullying)

Stories about horrible bosses (and how to handle workplace bullying)

Tales of workplace bullying: from wrongful misconduct charges, to being targeted over of body weight, and dismissal via WhatsApp.

The difference between insubordination and insolence (and which gets you fired)

The difference between insubordination and insolence (and which gets you fired)

Labour law specialist Melanie Hart explores insubordinate and insolent behaviour in the workplace, and the consequences thereof.

Pros and cons of refusing to submit your old payslip to your potential employer

Pros and cons of refusing to submit your old payslip to your potential employer

Labour Law specialist Puke Maserumule talks about why employers request payslips before making a salary offer.

What is constructive dismissal? (and how to prove it)

What is constructive dismissal? (and how to prove it)

Employers and employees get confused about what constitutes a constructive dismissal. Labour lawyer Natasha Moni dives in deep.

Tips on how to ensure that your career is on the right track

Tips on how to ensure that your career is on the right track

Career pathing requires people to take an honest look at their career goals, skills, knowledge, experience, and personal traits.

CV advice to help you land your next job

CV advice to help you land your next job

Talent strategist and leadership consultant Anja van Beek says a CV should be seen as part of your personal branding.

Popular articles
Africa State of Mind: 'My dream is to be global' -  Sho Madjozi

Africa State of Mind: 'My dream is to be global' - Sho Madjozi

In this episode of Africa State of Mind, Lee Kasumba chats to South African rapper Sho Madjozi about her upbringing, and rise to fame.

'Shutdown of Ndalo Media is no surprise and is a blow to media diversity'

'Shutdown of Ndalo Media is no surprise and is a blow to media diversity'

The company will reportedly shut its doors in January 2019.

'Cyril is the most popular president since Nelson Mandela'

'Cyril is the most popular president since Nelson Mandela'

Author Max de Preez weighs in on where SA would be if Jacob Zuma was still president and the impact of Ramaphosa now.

'Evidence is solid. Poor people’s money was used illegally. Shivambu benefitted'

'Evidence is solid. Poor people’s money was used illegally. Shivambu benefitted'

Ray White interviews Pauli van Wyk, an investigative journalist with Scorpio at Daily Maverick.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.