Sub-Theme 1: Individual labour law: unfair dismissals, unfair discrimination and dispute prevention and resolution 

Individual labour law plays a crucial role in safeguarding the rights and interests of workers. It establishes a comprehensive framework of legal protections that govern the employment relationship, including the enforcement of these protections. This framework seeks to ensure fairness, equality, and justice in the workplace. Nevertheless, there exist obstacles and emerging trends that hinder or have the potential to hinder the attainment of these objectives. Against this background, we call for papers that address this sub-theme, namely:

  • Gender disparities at the workplace
  • Protection against sexual harassment
  • Mental health in the workplace
  • Workplace implications of the legalisation of cannabis
  • Challenges facing dispute resolution in the public service, as well as other challenges such as delays in the adjudicatory processes, jurisdiction, legal representation, and enforcement of awards

Sub-Theme 2: Social protection, migrancy and the informal economy in Africa 

Social protection measures are essential for combatting the interconnected challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality. A crucial question that arises in the implementation of social protection is the inclusion of migrant, informal, and casual workers. Given the prevalence of these categories of workers in the African employment landscape, it is important to examine the difficulties faced by these workers, such as inadequate working conditions, limited access to social security, and labour rights. Against this background, we call for papers that address this sub-theme, namely:

  • The labour and social security rights of migrant workers in Africa
  • The efficacy of international and regional norms (including the AU and SADC) governing social security law
  • Occupational Health and Safety as a fundamental principle and right at work
  • Youth unemployment
  • Skills development and job creation
  • Labour and/or social security rights of atypical workers, notably: fixed term contractors/workers employed through labour brokers/ workers involved in sub-contracting arrangements
  • Social security rights of the self-employed and/or informal workers
  • Introduction of a National Health Insurance System in developing countries
  • Challenges facing retirement readiness, including retirement fund reforms in developing countries
  • Introduction of a Basic Income Grant/Universal Grant in developing countries

Sub-Theme 3: The impact of technology and digitisation on the world of work

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for the rapid growth of remote work and digitisation. The adoption of new technologies in the workplace varies among countries and sectors, presenting a unique set of challenges in regulating the labour market and utilising labour laws to address the evolving landscape of employment. Against this background, we call for papers that address this sub-theme, namely:

  • Challenges facing platform work/work in the gig economy: such as identifying the parties to the relationship, and identifying whether it constitutes an employment relationship
  • Privacy and rights at work
  • The future of work based on the use of technology
  • The regulation of and/or implications of remote or telework

Sub-Theme 4:  Collective labour law: social dialogue, collective bargaining and strikes 

Africa has witnessed a decline in trade union membership and employer organisation membership, weakening collective action and social dialogue. Governments play a crucial role in creating an enabling environment for the promotion of collective voice and social dialogue, through legislation and policy. New challenges like pandemics, climate change, economic downturns, and fiscal strains require new partnerships with collective actors across society. Against this background, we call for papers that address this sub-theme, namely:

  • Challenges stemming from collective agreements
  • Wage negotiations and strikes
  • The introduction of a minimum wage
  • Trade unions and collective bargaining in the 21st century
  • Changing the trade union landscape in public sector employment relations
  • The principle of majoritarianism and/or the rights of minority trade unions
  • Essential work and the right to strike and picket
  • Regulation of decent work for employees of multinational companies
  • Social dialogue in cross border issues