Original Research

Perspectives on protective promotion as a remedy to unfair labour practices

Ndomelele Sotshononda
Acta Commercii | Vol 19, No 1 | a764 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v19i1.764 | © 2019 Ndomelele Sotshononda | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 January 2019 | Published: 30 September 2019

About the author(s)

Ndomelele Sotshononda, Department of Human Resource Management, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: The article focuses on the appropriateness of protective promotion as a remedy to unfair labour practices in relation to promotions.

Research purpose: To determine the reasons for which the labour courts accept or reject protective promotion as a remedy to unfair labour practice in relation to promotions.

Motivation for the study: The use of protective promotion, particularly in the public sector, is still controversial and subject to the approval of the labour courts.

Research design, approach and method: Content analysis approach was used as a method of conducting this research. The sample of 10 case laws were carefully selected from the labour courts websites focusing on the issue being studied. These case laws were selected based on their authenticity, relevance and credibility.

Main findings: It is evident from the arguments made by the courts regarding protective promotion that it should only be considered when there is enough evidence showing that the applicant was the best candidate for the position and would have been appointed had it not been for the employer’s unfairness.

Practical/managerial implication: The outcomes of the article can be used as a guide for human resource practitioners and employers to be more careful about the consequences of unfair labour practices related to promotion, especially when an employee can prove that he or she deserved to be promoted. This also serves as a caution to arbitration commissioners to tread carefully when granting protective promotion.

Contribution/value-add: This article presents original research focusing specifically on the appropriateness of protective promotion and contributes to the existing body of knowledge about unfair labour practices in relation to promotions.


Unfair Labour Practice; Promotion; Protective Promotion; Remedies; Appropriateness


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