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 Research

Social Law Project (SLP) has developed a significant profile in the field of labour law since its establishment in 1993, especially in the trade union and public sectors, through various training and research initiatives sharing a focus on social justice. Recent research activities have included the Domestic Workers Research Project (2009-2013) with international collab​orators, which contributed to the ILO’s Domestic Work Convention 189 of 2011 and led to the publication of an accredited book. Ongoing teaching activity of the SLP includes coordination of the PGDip in Labour Law focusing on Labour Dispute Resolution as part of the national Labour Dispute Resolution Practice programme organised by the CCMA and bargaining councils.

SLP’s current research focus is on labour rights in the digital (platform) economy, which has included a supportive role in the first litigation in South Africa asserting the rights of Uber drivers, and is the subject of a pending 5-year research proposal.  This is a cutting-edge area of research in which SLP has developed an impressive range of contacts and collaborators among leading researchers in the field internationally. It could play a significant part in enhancing social justice in what may well be a growth area in the South African economy over the next decades. With the limitations of labour law in embracing new forms of work even in the pre-digital global economy since the 1980s having been the subject of much debate and attempted innovation, it is also an area where labour law will need to largely reinvent itself in order to retain relevance.

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