This study aims to establish the validity of the automatic termination of an
The automatic termination of an employment contract means that the contract is
terminated ex lege and not by an act of the employer. Such termination will therefore
not qualify as a dismissal for purposes of section 186 of the LRA. The result is that
these employees will not be able to challenge the fairness of such termination based
on the unfair dismissal provisions in the LRA.
It may be argued that such automatic terminations offer employers the opportunity to
effectively circumvent their obligations under the LRA with regards to the fairness of
dismissals. Automatic termination provisions are often used by employers as a
mechanism to this.
The Constitution of the RSA provides that everyone has the right to fair labour
practices .1 This constitutionally guaranteed right is given effect to in the LRA2 which
provides employees with the right not to be unfairly dismissed.3
By depriving employees of their protection against unfair dismissal, it may be argued
that their fundamental rights to fair labour practices are infringed.
This study aims to investigate the topic of automatic termination of employment
contracts by analysing the provisions of, inter alia, the LRA and the Constitution of
the RSA in order to determine the extent of protection afforded to employees against
exploitation in circumstances such as these and will consider various findings of
courts that may shed light on the matter. The effect of the recent amendments to the
LRA in this regard will also be considered.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2016.