Resolving the ‘benefits’ dilemma

Authors K Newaj

ISSN: 1996-2185
Affiliations: Lecturer, Department of Mercantile Law, University of Pretoria; Principal Analyst, Competition Commission SA
Source: South African Mercantile Law Journal, Volume 30 Issue 1, 2018, p. 91 – 114


This article considers whether the ambiguities that have existed in labour law for some time now, in respect of the unfair labour practice relating to the provision of benefits, have been resolved following the Labour Appeal Court decision in Apollo Tyres. This unfair labour practice has been widely discussed, based on the varying interpretations of what constitutes ‘benefits’. The courts initially adopted a narrow approach to defining the term ‘benefits’, a term that is not defined in the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995. However, this approach was replaced by an expansive and wide-ranging interpretation. This article seeks to assess the suitability of the Apollo Tyres judgment in view of the fact that it appears to be reverting to the broad approach adopted under the Industrial Court dispensation in its quest to interpret and apply the general right to unfair labour practices. The question that arises is whether this is an appropriate approach considering the codification effected by the Labour Relations Act, which has undoubtedly resulted in an altered manifestation of the unfair labour practice concept.