The Different Worlds of Labour and Company Law: Truth or Myth?

Authors

  • Monray Marsellus Botha North West University (Potchefstroom Campus)

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2014/v17i5a2157

Keywords:

corporate governance, corporate law, labour law, employee participation, employee voice, employees, employers, industrial democracy, collective bargaining, fairness, equality, decision-making, stakeholders, shareholders, managerial prerogative, social jus

Abstract

Recently the South African company law landscape underwent a dramatic overhaul with the introduction of the Companies Act 71 of 2008. Central to company law is the promotion of corporate governance. It is clear that companies are no longer accountable just to their shareholders but also to society at large. Leaders should, for example, direct company strategies and operations with a view to achieving the triple bottom-line (economic, social and environmental performance) and should thus also manage the business in a sustainable manner. An important question in company law still today is in whose interest the company should be managed. Different stakeholders of importance to companies include shareholders, managers, employees, creditors etcetera. The Companies Act aims to balance the rights and obligations of shareholders and directors within companies, and it encourages the efficient and responsible management of companies. When considering the role of employees in corporations it must be noted that the Constitution grants every person a fundamental right to fair labour practices. Social as well as political changes were evident after South Africa's re-entering the world stage in the 1990s. Changes in socio-economic conditions within a developing country were also evident. These changes had a major influence on the South African labour law dispensation. Like company law, labour law is to a large extent also codified. Like company law, no precise definition of labour law exists. It is clear from the various definitions of labour law that it covers both the individual and collective labour law and that various role-players are involved. Some of these role-players include trade unions, employers/companies, employees, and the state. The various relationships between these parties are ultimately what will guide a certain outcome if there is a power play between them. In 1995 the South African labour market was transformed with the introduction of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995. The LRA remains the primary piece of labour legislation that governs labour law in South Africa. The notion of industrial democracy and transformation of the workplace are central issues in South African labour law. This is due to the constitutional changes that have taken place in South Africa, where the protection of human rights and the democratisation of the workplace are advanced. Before the enactment of the LRA, employee participation and voice was a much-debated topic not only locally but also internationally. It is therefore essential when considering employee participation to take due cognisance of both the labour and company law principles that may be pertinent, as well as the need for workers to have a voice in the workplace and for employers to manage their corporations. This article will attempt to indicate how the different functions, theories and models of labour and company law accommodate and promote the interests of employees in corporations and will also attempt to reconcile these differences.

   ScienceOpen_Log0343255.png

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

References

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Literature

Barker and Holtzhausen South African Labour Glossary

Barker FS and Holtzhausen MME South African Labour Glossary (Juta Cape Town 1996)

Barnard 2012 E L Rev

Barnard C "A Proportionate Response to Proportionality in the Field of Collective Action" 2012 E L Rev 117-135

Berle 1932 Harv L Rev

Berle A "For Whom Corporate Managers are Trustees: A Note" 1932 Harv L Rev 1365-1372

Blanpain 1974 ILJ (UK)

Blanpain R "The Influence of Labour on Management Decision Making: A Comparative Legal Survey" 1974 ILJ (UK) 5-19

Bone 2011 CJLJ

Bone J "Legal Perspectives on Corporate Responsibility: Contractarian or Communitarian Thought?" 2011 CJLJ 277-304

Botha 1996 SA Merc LJ

Botha D "Confusion in the King Report" 1996 SA Merc LJ 26-39

Brammer, Jackson and Matten 2012 Socio-Economic Review

Brammer S, Jackson G and Matten D "Corporate Social Responsibility and Institutional Theory: New Perspectives on Private Governance" 2012 Socio-Economic Review 3-28

Brassey et al New Labour Law

Brassey M et al The New Labour Law: Strikes, Dismissals and the Unfair Labour Practice in South African Law (Juta Cape Town 1987)

Cassim et al Contemporary Company Law

Cassim FHI et al Contemporary Company Law (Juta Claremont 2012)

Charreaux and Desbrières 2001 Journal of Management & Governance

Charreaux G and Desbrières P "Corporate Governance: Stakeholder Value Versus Shareholder Value" 2001 Journal of Management & Governance 107-128

Clarke 2011 Am J Comp L

Clarke DC "Nothing But Wind? The Past and Future of Comparative Corporate Governance" 2011 Am J Comp L 78-110

Cohen, Krishnamoorthy and Wright 2010 Am J Comp L

Cohen G, Krishnamoorthy J and Wright A "Corporate Governance in the Post-Sarbanes-Oxley Era: Auditor's Experiences" 2010 Am J Comp L 751-786

Collins Employment Law

Collins H Employment Law (Oxford University Press New York 2010)

Creighton and Stewart Labour Law

Creighton B and Stewart A Labour Law: An Introduction (Federation Press Sydney 2002)

Crowther and Jatana International Dimensions

Crowther D and Jatana R (eds) International Dimensions of Corporate Social Responsibility Vol 1 (ICFAI University Press Punjagutta 2005)

Davidov 2004 IJCLLIR

Davidov G "Collective Bargaining Laws: Purpose and Scope" 2004 IJCLLIR 81-106

Davidov and Langille Boundaries

Davidov G and Langille B (eds) Boundaries and Frontiers of Labour Law (Hart Oxford 2006)

Davidov and Langille Labour Law

Davidov G and Langille B (eds) The Idea of Labour Law (Oxford University Press Oxford 2011)

Davies 2000 Comp Lab L & Pol'y J

Davies PL "Employee Representation and Corporate Law Reform: A Comment from the United Kingdom" 2000 Comp Lab L & Pol'y J 135-147

Davies and Freedland Kahn-Freund

Davies P and Freedland M Kahn-Freund's Labour and the Law (Stevens and Sons London 1983)

Davis and Le Roux 2012 Acta Juridica

Davis D and Le Roux M "Changing the Role of the Corporation: A Journey Away from Adversarialism" 2012 Acta Juridica 306-325

Deakin "Workers, Finance and Democracy"

Deakin S "Workers, Finance and Democracy" in Barnard C, Deakin S and Morris GS (eds) The Future of Labour Law: Liber Amicorum Sir Bob Hepple QC (Hart Oxford 2004) 79-100

Deakin 2007 MULR

Deakin S "A New Paradigm for Labour Law?" 2007 MULR 161-1173

Deakin and Morris Labour Law

Deakin S and Morris GS Labour Law (Hart Oxford 2012)

Dine 1998 TSAR

Dine J "Company Law Developments in the European Union and the United Kingdom: Confronting Diversity" 1998 TSAR 245-259

Dine Governance of Corporate Groups

Dine J The Governance of Corporate Groups (Cambridge University Press Cambridge 2000)

Dodd 1931-1932 Harv L Rev

Dodd EM "For Whom Corporate Managers are Trustees?" 1931-1932 Harv L Rev 1145-1163

Du Plessis, Hargovan and Bagaric Principles

Du Plessis JJ, Hargovan A and Bagaric M Principles of Contemporary Corporate Governance (Cambridge University Press Melbourne 2011)

Du Toit 1993 Stell LR

Du Toit D "Democratising the Employment Relationship (A Conceptual Approach to Labour Law and its Socio-economic Implications)" 1993 Stell LR 325-355

Esser 2005 Obiter

Esser I "The Enlightened-shareholder-value Approach Versus Pluralism in the Management of Companies" 2005 Obiter 719-725

Esser 2007 THRHR

Esser I "Stakeholder Protection: The Position of Employees" 2007 THRHR 407-426

Esser 2009 SA Merc LJ

Esser I "Corporate Social Responsibility: A Company Law Perspective" 2009 SA Merc LJ 317-335

Esser 2009 THRHR

Esser I "The Protection of Stakeholder Interests in terms of the South African King III Report on Corporate Governance: An Improvement on King II?" 2009 THRHR 188-201

Esser and Delport 2011 THRHR

Esser I and Delport P "The Duty of Care, Skill and Diligence: The King Report and the 2008 Companies Act" 2011 THRHR 449-455

Flay 2008 Waikato L Rev

Flay I "The Role of Employees in Global Corporate Governance" 2008 Waikato L Rev 308-323

Glynn 2009 IJCLLIR

Glynn TP "A Global Approach to the Study of Workplace Law: Looking Across (Real) National Borders to Move Beyond (Artificial) Substantive Ones" 2009 IJCLLIR 3-14

Godfrey et al Collective Bargaining

Godfrey S et al Collective Bargaining (Juta Claremont 2010)

Goldenberg 1998 Company Lawyer

Goldenberg "Shareholders v Stakeholders: The Bogus Argument" 1998 The Company Lawyer 34-39

Greenfield 1998 BC L Rev

Greenfield K "The Place of Workers in Corporate Law" 1998 BC L Rev 283-327

Greenfield 2005 Hastings Bus LJ

Greenfield K "New Principles for Corporate Law" 2005 Hastings Bus LJ 87-118

Grogan Workplace Law

Grogan J Workplace Law (Juta Cape Town 2009)

Institute of Directors King Report I

Institute of Directors in Southern Africa King Report on Governance for South Africa – 1994 (IoD Parklands 1994)

Institute of Directors King Report II

Institute of Directors in Southern Africa King Report on Governance for South Africa – 2002 (IoD Parklands 2002)

Institute of Directors King Report III

Institute of Directors in Southern Africa King Report on Governance for South Africa – 2009 (IoD Parklands 2009)

Kahn-Freund Labour

Kahn-Freund O Labour and the Law (Stevens and Sons London 1972)

Kahn Freund and Hepple Laws against Strikes

Kahn Freund O and Hepple B Laws against Strikes (Fabian Society London 1972)

Kaufman Theoretical Perspectives

Kaufman BE Theoretical Perspectives on Work and the Employment Relationship (Industrial Relations Research Association, University of Illinois Champagne 2004)

King 2010 Acta Juridica

King M "The Synergies and Interactions Between King III and the Companies Act 71 of 2008" 2010 Acta Juridica 446-455

Langille 1998 ILJ

Langille B "Labour is Not a Commodity" 1998 ILJ 1002-1016

Langille 2005 EJIL

Langille B "Core Labour Rights – The True Story (Reply to Alston)" 2005 EJIL 409-437

Lombard Directors' Duties

Lombard S Directors' Duties to Creditors (LLD-thesis UP 2006)

Millon 1990 Duke LJ

Millon D "Theories of the Corporation" 1990 Duke LJ 201-262

Mitchell Redefining Labour Law

Mitchell R (ed) Redefining Labour Law: New Perspectives on the Future of Teaching and Research (Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, University of Melbourne Melbourne 1995)

Mitchell 1998 IJCLLIR

Mitchell R "Industrial Democracy: Reconciling Theories of the Firm and State" 1998 IJCLLIR 3-40

Mitchell, O'Donnell and Ramsay 2005 Wis Int'l LJ

Mitchell R, O'Donnell A and Ramsay I "Shareholder Value and Employee Interests: Interactions Between Corporate Governance, Corporate Law and Labour Law" 2005 Wis Int'l LJ 417-476

Morin 2005 Int'l Lab Rev

Morin ML "Labour Law and New Forms of Corporate Organization" 2005 Int'l Lab Rev 5-30

Neethling and Potgieter 2012 THRHR

Neethling J and Potgieter JM "Defamation of a Corporation: Aquilian Action for Patrimonial (Special) Damages and Actio Iniuriarum for Non-Patrimonial (General) Damages - Media 24 Ltd v SA Taxi Securitisation as Amici Curiae 2011 5 SA 329 (SCA)" 2012 THRHR 304-312

O'Higgins 1997 ILJ (UK)

O'Higgins P "Labour is Not a Commodity – An Irish Contribution to International Labour Law" 1997 ILJ (UK) 225-243

Olivier 1993 TSAR

Olivier M "A Charter for Fundamental Rights for South Africa: Implications for Labour Law and Industrial Relations" 1993 TSAR 651-667

Papadimitriou 2009 Comp Lab L & Pol'y J

Papadimitriou KD "The Managerial Prerogative and the Right and Duty to Collective Bargaining in Greece" 2009 Comp Lab L & Pol'y J 273-281

Poolman Principles of Unfair Labour Practice

Poolman T Principles of Unfair Labour Practice (Juta Cape Town 1985)

Rogers 2008 Comp Lab L & Pol'y J

Rogers B "The Complexities of Shareholder Primacy: A Response to Sanford Jacoby" 2008 Comp Lab L & Pol'y J 95-109

Rönnmar 2004 Int J Hum Resourc Man

Rönnmar M "The Managerial Prerogative and the Employee's Duty to Work: A Comparative Study of Functional Flexibility in Working Life" 2004 Int J Hum Resourc Man 451-458

Rossouw 2008 Afr J Bus Ethics

Rossouw GJ "Balancing Corporate and Social Interests: Corporate Governance Theory and Practice" 2008 Afr J Bus Ethics 28-37

Smit 2006 TSAR

Smit N "Labour is Not a Commodity: Social Perspectives on Flexibility and Market Requirements within a Global World" 2006 TSAR 152-172

Smit and Botha 2011 TSAR

Smit N and Botha MM "Is the Protected Disclosures Act 26 of 2000 Applicable to Members of Parliament? 2011 TSAR 815-829

Strydom 1999 SA Merc LJ

Strydom EML "The Origin, Nature and Ambit of Employer Prerogative (Part 1)" 1999 SA Merc LJ 40-58

Van Niekerk Law@work

Van Niekerk A (ed) Law@work (LexisNexis Durban 2012)

Villiers European Company Law

Villiers C European Company Law: Towards Democracy? (Aldershot Dartmouth 1998)

Wedderburn 1993 ILJ (UK)

Wedderburn K "Labour Law, Corporate Law and the Worker" 1993 ILJ (UK) 517-542

Wedderburn 2002 ILJ (UK)

Wedderburn K of Charlton "Employees, Partnership and Company Law" 2002 ILJ (UK) 99-111

Welch 1996 ILJ (UK)

Welch R "Collectivism Versus Individualism in Employee Relations: For Human Rights at the Workplace" 1996 ILJ (UK) 1041-1055

Zumbansen 2006 Ind J Global Legal Studies

Zumbansen P "The Parallel Worlds of Corporate Governance and Labor Law" 2006 Ind J Global Legal Studies 261-312

Case law

Argus Printing and Publishing Co Ltd v Inkatha Freedom Party 1992 3 SA 579 (A)

BTR Dunlop Ltd v National Union of Metalworkers (2) 1989 10 ILJ 701 (IC)

Dhlomo v Natal Newspapers (Pty) Ltd 1989 1 SA 945 (A)

Discovery Health Limited v CCMA 2008 ILJ 1480 (LC)

Ex parte Chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly: In re Certification of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 1996 17 ILJ 821 (CC)

Government of the Republic of South Africa v Grootboom 2001 1 SA 46 (CC)

Kylie v CCMA 2010 7 BLLR 705 (LAC)

Langley Fox Building Partnership (Pty) Ltd v De Valance 1991 1 SA 1 (A)

Media 24 Ltd v SA Taxi Securitisation 2011 5 SA 329 (SCA)

Metal & Allied Workers Union v Hart Ltd 1985 6 ILJ 478 (IC)

Midway Two Engineering & Construction Services v Transnet Bpk 1998 3 SA 17 (SCA)

Minister of Finance v Van Heerden 2004 12 BLLR 1181 (CC)

Naptosa v Minister of Education, Western Cape 2001 ILJ 889 (C)

National Education Health & Allied Workers Union v University of Cape Town 2003 24 ILJ 95 (CC)

National Entitled Workers' Union v CCMA 2003 24 ILJ 2335 (LC)

Ndikumdavyi v Valkenberg Hospital 2012 8 BLLR 795 (LC)

Niselow v Liberty Life Association of Africa Ltd 1998 ILJ 752 (SCA)

Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of South Africa: In Re Ex Parte President of the Republic of South Africa 2000 2 SA 674 (CC)

Post and Telecommunications Corporation v Modus Publications (Pty) Ltd 1998 3 SA 1114 (ZS)

Re Public Service Employee Relations Act 1987 38 DLR (4th) 161

Smit v Workmen's Compensation Commissioner 1979 1 SA 51 (A)

Treatment Action Campaign v Rath 2007 4 SA 563 (C)

Legislation

Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997

Companies Act 61 of 1973

Companies Act 71 of 2008

Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998

Joint Stock Companies Limited Liability Act 23 of 1861 (Cape)

Labour Relations Act 28 of 1956

Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995

Protected Disclosures Act 26 of 2000

Skills Development Act 97 of 1998

Unemployment Insurance Act 63 of 2001

Government publications

South African Company Law for the 21st Century: Guidelines for Corporate Law Reform (GN 1183 in GG 26493 of 23 June 2004) (DTI Policy Paper)

International instruments

Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (1957) (No 105)

Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998)

Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (1958) (No 111)

Equal Remuneration Convention (1951) (No 100)

Forced Labour Convention (1930) (No 29)

Freedom of Association and the Right to Organise Convention (1948) (No 87)

Minimum Age Convention (1973) (No 138)

Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention (1949) (No 98)

Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (1999) (No 184)

Internet sources

Armour, Hansmann and Kraakman 2009 http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs

/olin_center/papers/pdf/Kraakman_643.pdf

Armour J, Hansmann H, Kraakman R The Essential Elements of Corporate Law: What is Corporate Law? http://www.law.harvard.edu/programs

/olin_center/papers/pdf/Kraakman_643.pdf accessed 5 September 2013

Cochon 2011 http://etui.org/research/publications

Conchon A 2011 Employee Representation in Corporate Governance: Part of the Economic or the Social Sphere? http://etui.org/research/publications accessed 7 October 2013

Published

10-04-2017

How to Cite

Botha, M. M. (2017). The Different Worlds of Labour and Company Law: Truth or Myth?. Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 17(5), 2041–2103. https://doi.org/10.17159/1727-3781/2014/v17i5a2157

Issue

Section

Articles

Similar Articles

<< < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.