Publication is the heart and soul of scholarly research. This section highlights work that members of the UWC Faculty of Law are publishing in the labour law 4.0 niche. Many the publications are in peer-reviewed journals or chapters in edited volumes; others are books, project reports or media articles. All reflect the breadth and depth of our social and intellectual engagement.
We share this growing collection of publication links, abstracts, excerpts and, where possible, full-text documents, for the benefit of scholars, researchers, jurists, practitioners, students, activists, policy-makers and -shapers, and the general public.
Academic journal articles
Darcy du Toit, Sandra Fredman, Mark Graham (2020). Towards Legal Regulation of Platform Work: Theory and Practice. 41 ILJ 1493
Digital platform work, while playing an increasingly important part in low as well as high income countries, is characterised by an absence of effective labour regulation. In particular, the norm is for workers to be classified as ‘independent contractors’, thus placing them beyond the ambit of labour legislation.
The article, based on interactive research by the Fairwork project, examines ways of protecting workers’ basic rights in this environment. This is seen as part of the longstanding effort to include nonstandard workers within the framework of labour legislation. However, the premise is that dedicated regulation rather than a simple extension of existing labour rights is required.
The article starts by considering the category of dependent ‘workers’ who are deserving of such protection over and above ‘employees’, while excluding genuinely independent entrepreneurs. It then uses five standards of decent work developed by the Fairwork project (fair earnings, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management and fair representation) as a basis for working out forms of regulation that would bring about the effective protection of workers’ rights. While reputational pressure exerted by Fairwork’s rating system provides a critical impetus for improvement, it is argued that binding legal rules are needed to prevent exploitation by platforms that reject voluntary compliance.
It concludes by considering the practical prospects of implementing legislative reform, and the importance of generating the political will to do so on the part of policymakers, with reference to the precedent of the enactment of labour legislation during the first and second industrial revolutions.
Books and chapters
Du Toit, Darcy (2016). ‘Recognition of the right to strike (terms and conditions apply)’. In Roger Blanpain & Frank Hendrickx (eds) and Darcy du Toit (Guest editor) Labour Law and Social Progress: Holding the line or shifting boundaries? Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations 92. Kluwer Law International
Labour Law and Social Progress: Holding the Line or Shifting the Boundaries? is a collection of incisive essays that focus on the emerging global paradigm shift in labour and employment relations. For forty years the international watchword has been deregulation of labour law and of social security. Now, however, the rise in unemployment and lack of employment security, the dizzying inequality gulf, and the environmental disasters and mass migrations caused by this deregulation are generating an impetus that defines social justice no longer merely in terms of the equitable distribution of resources but also? and often primarily? in terms of the just recognition of persons. This book recognizes that the growing interdependence among people demands that labour rights are understood as an aspect of human rights, and thus envisaged at international level. This volume of BCLR is based on a selection of papers presented at the 21st World Congress of the International Society for Labour and Social Security Law in Cape Town in 2015.