The role of trade unions and employees in South Africa’s business rescue proceedings

Authors Anneli Loubser, Tronel Joubert

ISSN: 2413-9874
Affiliations: Professor, Department of Mercantile Law, University of South Africa; Lecturer, Department of Mercantile Law, University of Pretoria
Source: Industrial Law Journal, Volume 36 Issue 1, 2015, p. 21 – 39


Employees and the registered trade unions representing them have been given a prominent role in the new business rescue proceedings introduced by the Companies Act of 2008. The inclusion of registered trade unions and non-unionised individual employees in the definition of ‘affected persons’ recognises the fact that employees are directly affected by the failure and subsequent liquidation of a company or close corporation, and grants them the same rights as creditors and shareholders to be notified of all developments and to participate in the business rescue proceedings in various ways. These rights are in addition to the special and extensive rights given to them in their capacity as employees, and the rights they may have as creditors of the company for remuneration and other amounts relating to their employment. It remains to be seen to what extent the trade unions in particular will use these rights to the advantage of their members.