Business restructuring and operational requirements dismissals: Algorax and beyond

20 Aug 2013

Introduction:This article revisits a vexed and much-debated question: when is it 'fair' for an employer, in the course of restructuring its business, to dismiss an employee for declining to accept changes in her or his terms and conditions of employment? The background to this question is the fiercely competitive climate in which many businesses, exposed to the full force of global economic pressures, find themselves, giving rise to the need for constant adaptation and, conversely, the spectre of dismissal for many employees. The legal context is a lengthening series of Labour Court (LC) and Labour Appeal Court (LAC) decisions in which the meaning of substantive fairness under these circumstances has been considered in great detail, but in divergent ways.