This paper will begin with an investigation of the activity of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in domestic employment laws. Using this as a yardstick, a comparative analysis of the unfair dismissal laws of the United States and some foreign countries (mainly Western European) will be undertaken. Finally, the issue will be addressed in the South African context. An assessment will be made of the relative quality of the protection afforded workers in South Africa and, using conclusions reached from the comparative study, the validity of calls for a general unfair dismissal statute in the country will be considered.