Skip to main content
Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity

Rapid responses for South African labour law in the post-corona labour market

Pursued through interdisciplinary approaches, this research explores if, and how, labour law and policy can, and should, respond to the post-corona labour market in South Africa. Given the growing precarity in the labour market, amplified by COVID-19, the project hopes to explore what labour protections and other mechanisms can be leveraged in both the short and medium term to improve the conditions for people who work, but also consider what is needed (and wanted) more broadly to improve the work environment.

The research assesses phenomena through a digital political economy lens. The core assumption is that inequality is the heart of the “wicked problem” underlying the South African labour market challenges (rather than just the immediate COVID-19 impacts), but that the dialectical relationships seen in society, technology, environment, economics and politics - as well as in structure and agency - present opportunities for intervention if that complexity can be embraced in contexts of law and policy which are so frequently inflexible. Inequality arises from decisions taken, and so too it is combatted; research serves as a powerful tool for informing better decision-making from all stakeholders involved.

Considering a cross-sectoral range of interests, and shifts in labour demand and supply arising both the economic crisis but also shifts to the digital economy, the research will develop pragmatic policy and legal interventions (while assessing those that have been instituted) to help guide South Africa’s “new normal” to “better”.

Learn more about the impact of the project: 

Banner Image: Photo by Jacques Nel on Unsplash


Register your interest to receive updates and information about the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme.