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Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape

Research Portal

Faculty of Law | University of the Western Cape

LABOUR LAW IN THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION (LL 4.0)

UWC testing SA’s first online labour law program

Published: 25 January 2020 | Written by Ratula Beukman and Roger Ronnie

In an exciting new initiative, the Faculty of Law at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) has partnered with Arbeidsmarktresearch UvA BV (ARR), a unit at the University of Amsterdam which has developed an interactive program offering individualised information on workers’ rights, in adapting this program to the South African context.

We call it Labour Law Online (LLoL). LLoL aims at providing vulnerable workers, who seldom have unions to assist them, with detailed information about their rights and whether they have a case which could be referred to the CCMA or a bargaining council. Not only will it assist workers, but it will also assist commissioners in that workers will be able to approach the CCMA with a printed report setting out the facts of their dismissal and the applicable law in full.

LLoL is to be piloted in the University’s Law Clinic, where specially trained students will assist workers (if necessary) in going through this easy-to-use program and answering the relevant questions.

Once it has been fully tested, the plan is to partner with advice offices, trade unions and other organisations where workers could have access to the program plus any support they might need.

The first module deals with dismissal disputes based on misconduct, which is by far the greatest category of labour disputes. Thereafter the plan is to develop further modules dealing with other types of dismissals and other individual labour disputes.

Providing a digitally based labour law advisory service (LLOL), is one of the objectives of the newly established niche area, ‘Labour Law in the 4th Industrial Revolution’ (LL 4.0).

The Faculty of Law at UWC has established the niche area which aims at engaging with the impact, threats and opportunities of changing technology on the world of work. The work of the niche area includes research, community outreach, education and training, underpinned by principles of social justice, equality, and human dignity.

LLOL seeks to:

  • inform workers whether there are grounds for referring a dispute to the CCMA or a bargaining council;
  • make inaccessible information on labour laws accessible;
  • support non-unionised workers by providing them with legal information; and
  • reduce the costs for workers seeking labour law advice.

How?

  • Answer the questions put to you.
  • If you have an employment contract or other documents, keep them close at hand.
  • Stop any time you want to.
  • Get an assessment of your prospects right away.
  • This service is free of charge.

If your organisation is interested in making use of this programme in assisting workers who have lost their jobs, please contact Ratula Beukman or Roger Ronnie, using the form below.

New Beukman 

About the author: Ratula Beukman has an LLB from the University of Western Cape Town and is completing a Master’s in Law at the University of Cape Town. Read more

 
 
New Ronnie 

About the author: Roger Ronnie is a researcher and facilitator with the Social Law Project (SLP), situated in the Law Faculty at the University of the Western Cape. Read more