I recently saw an advertisement for the Conflict Dynamics’ Employment Law Update series, and it reminded me of how dynamic South African employment law has been over the past forty years. I remember when, in 1982, Felicity Steadman, then at the Institute of Industrial Relations, and now a Director of Conflict Dynamics, asked me to help present a regular series of employment law updates for the Institute.
South Africa was then in the process of introducing the employment law reforms based on the 1979 Wiehahn Commission recommendations. One of the most important of these was the establishment of the Industrial Court with its open-ended unfair labour practice jurisdiction. This gave rise to a constantly developing employment case law jurisprudence of which parties needed to be kept abreast.
Since then I have been associated with the Updates for more than thirty years and have watched the labour law experts who conduct the Updates deal with the Industrial Court’s cases; the Independent Mediation Service of South Africa - IMSSA’s private arbitration awards; the introduction of and numerous changes to employment law legislation – the most far-reaching being the 1994 Constitution and 1995 Labour Relations Act; and then the ever-evolving case law emerging out of the CCMA, the Labour and High Courts, the Labour Appeal Court and the Constitutional Court.
There were times during this period when I mistakenly thought that we would run out of developments about which to update parties. However, each time I misjudged just how dynamic our employment law was, and the fact that the Updates are still going strong in 2019 under Conflict Dynamics’ auspices, is proof that our employment law remains as dynamic as ever.
The next update is being held in Johannesburg on 26th July 2019. To book click HERE