When an employee joins a company, they have an obligation to the employee to behave in a trustworthy manner.

What is a Fiduciary duty?

Fiduciary duty refers to the employee’s obligation to behave in a trustworthy manner. Specifically, this means that the employee may not:

  • Place him/herself in a position where his/her interests conflict with those of the employer.
  • Make a secret profit at the expense of the employer.
  • Receive a bribe or commission from a third party.
  • Misuse the employer’s trade secrets.
  • Give a third party the employer’s confidential information.
  • Tell lies to the employer.

While this principle applies generally to employees it applies more strongly to senior employees. The element of trust is the characteristic that is considered to be the dominant element of the fiduciary relationship.

Once the trust relationship has broken down, the employment relationship may come to an end. The employee owes the employer more than the duty to work, the employee owes the employer a duty to act in good faith and to promote the business interests of the business.


For more information on labour law advice or services. Please feel free to contact us at Cape Labour Consultants and we will gladly assist you. Cape Labour & Industrial Consultants is a Cape Town-based providing Labour Law (Industrial Relations) and advice to employers and employees across all market segments and industries since 1987.

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