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

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

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
[LISTEN] Father shares how he shot the man who raped his daughter

[LISTEN] Father shares how he shot the man who raped his daughter

Johannesburg father, Chris says he had just come back from work when he walked in on an employee raping his 17 year old daughter.

Human trafficking: The life of drugs and prostitution - Grizelda Grootboom

Human trafficking: The life of drugs and prostitution - Grizelda Grootboom

The author of Exit, Grizelda Grootboom, explains how she was trafficked, drugged and sold for sex on the streets of Joburg.

Why the PAC wants South Africa renamed Azania

Why the PAC wants South Africa renamed Azania

Pan Africanist Congress's Narius Moloto explains why it supports the name Azania, a word which he says has Arabic origins.

Is the lovable Winnie The Pooh a boy or girl?

Is the lovable Winnie The Pooh a boy or girl?

A trending Twitter debate has left social media users arguing over whether Winnie the Pooh is a girl or boy.

UPDATE: Chilling WhatsApp from Marli van Breda's ex-boyfriend read out in court

UPDATE: Chilling WhatsApp from Marli van Breda's ex-boyfriend read out in court

Marli van Breda's ex took the stand in the trial of triple murder accused Henri van Breda.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?