IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Regulated Flexibility and Small Business: Revisiting the LRA and the BCEA


  • Halton Cheadle

    () (Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town)


The object of the paper is to identify the conceptual underpinnings of the labour law reforms of the 1990s, particularly the concept of regulated flexibility, and the changes to the labour market since then in order to review the performance of those reforms and to propose changes to more appropriately regulate that market. The main argument made in this paper is that the concept of regulated flexibility may be put to good use in extending protection to those who most need it and limiting intervention, particularly judicial intervention, where there is no appreciable gain in protection. The paper reviews the regulation each of the standard incidents of the employment relationship, from recruitment to termination, and finds that much of this regulation (in the form of an unfair labour practice remedy) escaped careful scrutiny in the reform process in the 1990s. The unfair labour practice remedy has, for the most part, become a charter of rights for middle and senior management while the most vulnerable workers are left without protection. Rather than intensifying regulation, labour law reform should be setting its sights on the extension of protection to those who most need it, namely employees in atypical employment. The paper makes various proposals to fine-tune the legal regulation of the labour market, in particular removing unnecessary regulation in the form of judicial interference in the employment relation and extending legislative protection to the most vulnerable.

Suggested Citation

  • Halton Cheadle, 2006. "Regulated Flexibility and Small Business: Revisiting the LRA and the BCEA," Working Papers 06109, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:06109

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2006
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hallberg, K., 2000. "A Market-Oriented Strategy for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises," Papers 40, World Bank - International Finance Corporation.
    2. Parthasarathi Shome, 2004. "Tax Administration and the Small Taxpayer," IMF Policy Discussion Papers 04/2, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Robert Carroll & Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Mark Rider & Harvey S. Rosen, 2001. "Personal Income Taxes and the Growth of Small Firms," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 15, pages 121-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Haroon Bhorat & Halton Cheadle, 2009. "Labour Reform in South Africa: Measuring Regulation and a Synthesis of Policy Suggestions," Working Papers 09139, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    2. Haroon Bhorat & Carlene van der Westhuizen, 2009. "A Synthesis of Current Issues in the Labour Regulatory Environment," Working Papers 09136, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    3. Haroon Bhorat, 2012. "A Nation in Search of Jobs: Six Possible Policy Suggestions for Employment Creation in South Africa," Working Papers 12150, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.

    More about this item


    South Africa: SMMEs; Regulating flexibility and Small Business. LRA; BCEA;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:06109. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Waseema Petersen). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.