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South Africa's labour market remains incapable of addressing the country's high levels of unemployment and reducing inequality and poverty. Globalisation and the integration of South Africa into the economy of sub-Saharan Africa complicate endeavours to address these problems. It is within this context that the work of IDLL is located.

IDLL is situated within the Faculty of Law of the University of Cape Town. Its members teach all the labour law-related offerings in the Faculty, and are engaged in, and the promotion of, research that is relevant to the IDLL's objectives. As well as doctrinal research in the area of labour, employment and social security law, this research concerns the interface between development, labour and employment law and social policy in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

The Labour & Enterprise Policy Research Group (LEP) is an independently funded research group within the Institute that undertakes contract research, from a socio-legal perspective, on the above questions, and more specifically relating to the restructuring of employment, informalisation, inequality, the changing nature of the workplace, the future of collective bargaining, and decent work.

IDLL's other activities include training and capacity building undertaken with various social partners, the co-convening of the popular Annual Labour Law Conference and the publication of a monograph and working papers series on matters emanating from its research endeavours.