The interpretation and effect of section 197 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995

Jones, Jonathan (2001-12)

Thesis (LLM)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Section 197 of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 ensures the transfer of a contract of employment from an old employer to a new employer on the transfer of a business as a gomg concern. Although section 197 is mostly based on European and British statutes and regulations, one should not rely on foreign provisions when interpreting section 197 without careful consideration. It is only when we understand the inherent limitations of applying these provisions, that they can be of any help to formulate definitions for the terms "transfer", "business" and "going concern". The two most important effects that section 197 has, is that it ensures the transfer of the contract of employment and that it protects the terms and conditions of employment when such a transfer takes place. Unfortunately, this section does not regulate dismissal on the transfer of a business. Section 197 also does not deal satisfactorily with the transfer of contracts of employment on the transfer of an insolvent business. As a result of the above-mentioned and other shortcomings of the current section 197, it was decided to amend the Act. The Labour Relations Amendment Bill 2000 relies heavily on precedents from foreign law, but unfortunately it does not adequately address all the current problems.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Artikel 197 van die Wet op Arbeidsverhoudinge 66 van 1995 verseker die oordrag van 'n dienskontrak van 'n ou werkgewer na 'n nuwe werkgewer by die oordrag van 'n besigheid as 'n lopende onderneming. Alhoewel artikel 197 gebaseer is op Europese en Britse wetgewing en regulasies, moet die leser versigtig wees om sulke bepalings sonder skroom aan te wend by die interpretrasie van artikel 197. Wanneer ons die inherente beperkings daarvan begryp, mag die bepalings van hulp wees om definisies te vorm van die begrippe "oordrag", "besigheid" en "lopende onderneming". Artikel 197 het hoofsaaklik twee uitwerkings: dit fasiliteer die oordrag van die dienskontrak en verseker dat die terme en voorwaardes van indiensneming onveranderd bly. Die artikel reguleer nie ontslag by die oordrag van 'n besigheid nie. Artikel 197 reguleer ook nie genoegsaam die oordrag van dienskontrakte waar 'n insolvente besigheid oorgedra word nie. As gevolg van bogenoemde en ander tekortkominge is besluit om die Wet te wysig. Die Wysigingswetsontwerp op Arbeidverhoudinge 2000 steun op buitelandse presedente, maar spreek ongelukkig ook nie al die huidige probleme suksesvol aan nie.

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