Paul Benjamin


Paul Benjamin was admitted as an attorney in 1986 and specialises in the fields of labour law; public law; legal policy and legal drafting. He is presently a part-time Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape and has previously held other academic positions at the universities of Cape Town and the Witwatersrand. In the early years of his practice, Paul focused specifically on public interest and labour law, undertaking major cases for the independent trade unions, in particular, the National Union of Mineworkers.

At the outset of the democratic era, he served as a technical advisor to the Constitutional Assembly and was appointed as the principal drafter of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, of 1997. Subsequently, Paul has been involved in developing and drafting legislation and regulations for a range of departments including Employment and Labour; Minerals; Environment; Health; and Trade, Industry and Competition. He has a particular interest in the relationship between law and policy as well as the challenges of implementing legal frameworks.

Paul also advises NEDLAC and the CCMA on issues of labour market policy, and in 2020 completed an assessment of labour regulation for the National Planning Commission. He has consulted extensively with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and, in this capacity, has participated in major labour law reform processes in Kenya, Tanzania and Lesotho.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Paul advised NEDLAC on the development of the COVID-19 TERS unemployment insurance scheme and the Direction on Workplace Health and Safety. He is currently working with the National Lotteries Commission on uncovering the extensive corruption within that organisation.

He is a prolific legal author and commentator and is a co-author of South African Labour Law (Juta), a leading commentary on employment law in South Africa.

Paul has served three terms as an acting judge in the Labour Court. He is ranked by Global Chambers and Partners, an independent international ranking entity, as a “senior statesman” of South African employment law.

He received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in 1977 and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 1979, both from the University of Cape Town. He followed this with a Master of Laws (LLM) from Warwick University in 1987.

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