Much as entrepreneurs may hate to admit it, there are good
reasons why there is such a thing as employment law.
It was developed because there was a definite need to
redress the imbalance of power between employers and employees, some of whom
were treated little better than slaves in the days when there was little
mobility of labour.
However, there is strong case for saying that the balance
has now tilted too far the other way, especially when the employers are
entrepreneurs and small businesses, not distant multinationals with lots of
The nuisance value of even the most ridiculous litigation
means that it usually works out cheaper for an entrepreneur to settle than to
waste time and money attending hearings. Knowing this encourages even sillier
Yet surely it must be an attempt at satirising the system
when a South African prostitute sues for unfair dismissal after she was sacked from a
Prostitution is, incidentally, illegal in South Africa.
The sensible solution – should anyone be interested in such
a thing – would be to say that prostitution should be recognised by the courts
only when it is clear that the prostitute is a freelancer, not a sex slave. A
freelancer should not be able to claim unfair dismissal, but any employer of a
sex slave should be liable to penalties far more severe than paying
compensation for unfair dismissal.
Either way, the employment law judge gets a stupid case out
of his court – and makes the wisest legal decision in a dispute involving
prostitutes since King Solomon solved
a difficult ownership question by offering to bisect a baby.