Note: Sanctity of Contract Prevails Over Force Majeure: The Brand Kitchen Judgment
Author Richard S Bradstreet
Affiliations: Senior Lecturer in Commercial Law, University of Cape Town
Source: Industrial Law Journal, Volume 42 Issue 1, 2021, p. 26 – 33
Employment depends on the continued success of a commercial endeavour, but the profit objective of businesses must give way to the recognition of contractual obligations to employees. Where a change in commercial circumstances gives rise to an inability to operate at a profit, the law of contract mandates that employment obligations must be fulfilled in circumstances falling short of an absolute inability to perform. The Brand Kitchen judgment illustrates the law’s strong recognition of the sanctity of contracts, and the importance of legislative frameworks for restructuring that allow for a departure from strict common law rules relating to impossibility of performance.