The transfer of undertakings with specific reference to the transfer of insolvent undertakings - an evolution of the South African law

Spree, Wolfgang (2007-03)

Thesis (LLM (Mercantile Law))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

Thesis

The freedom to transfer an undertaking is part of the employer’s freedom of contract. The transferee of an undertaking under the common law has the right to choose whether he wants to contract with employees or not. By the implementation of section 197 of the Labour Relations Act (1995) and the amended sections 197, 197A of the Labour Relations Act (2002) the legislator provides for an automatic transfer in cases where the undertaking is transferred as a going concern. The former accordance with the regulations of the insolvency law and the fact that sequestration or the winding-up of an insolvent undertaking had to be to the advantage of the creditors was lost after the legislative steps of 1995. The effects of the above-mentioned sections and especially the problems regarding the transfer of insolvent undertakings shall be analysed in this thesis. It is the aim of this thesis to examine how sections 197, 197A of the Labour Relations Act and section 38 of the Insolvency Act should be applied and interpreted to achieve social justice. This makes it necessary to examine the history and development of the South African law of transfer of an insolvent undertaking too. Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act is mostly based on European law. Although it is not the intention of this thesis to compare the European law with the South African law, several South African aspects will be examined from a European and especially German perspective.

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