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Employment and Benefits

According to Chambers Bowmans houses a distinguished employment group with tried and tested expertise in both transactional and contentious mandates.

  • Overview
  • Significant Matters

The drive by governments in Sub-Saharan Africa to stimulate employment, protect workers’ rights and address historical imbalances has produced a variety of distinct regulatory systems for employment in the region. This is made more complex by a strong culture of collective bargaining, and an overlap between labour and social issues, between strikes and social protest across the region.

We have been at the forefront of employment law in the region for many years.  We offer a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience in the fields of industrial relations, employment, employee benefits and pensions law in Africa that is hard to match.

According to Legal 500 we have, ‘a tremendous record in South Africa and East Africa, providing ‘excellent turnaround times’, ‘a professional service’ and an ‘in-depth understanding’ of clients’ businesses and subject matter’.

We keep our clients at the forefront of developments in employment laws, regularly contribute to employment law publications and provide training and present lectures in a variety of forums.

We deliver the following specialist employment law services across both the public and the private sectors in the African countries in which we operate.

Employee engagement

We advise clients on the contractual aspects of engaging, moving and rewarding their employees in a way that complies with the applicable regulatory environment. Our specialist services include advising on:

  • Establishing a local corporate presence (regulatory obligations, registrations)
  • Contractual arrangements (contracts of employment, a-typical employment)
  • Executives (bespoke contractual arrangements, directorships, compensation, tax)
  • Employment equity and business diversity
  • Policy development
  • Benefit schemes (pension, medical insurance, share schemes)
  • Employee mobility (immigration, secondment, cross-border and multi-jurisdictional employment)

Investigations and employee risk management

We help our clients minimise the risk associated with employment. Our specialist services include advising on:

  • Offences against the employer (fraud, corruption, theft syndicates)
  • Vicarious liability
  • Governance and regulatory issues (health and safety, data protection, privacy, information technology)
  • Social media
  • Employee assistance (illness, injury, disability)
  • Confidentiality, restraints of trade, unlawful competition and team poaching
  • Discrimination (prohibited grounds, equal pay, recruitment and selection, medical testing, harassment, employment equity and affirmative action)

Business transfers, outsourcing and restructuring

We regularly advise our clients on the employment consequences of business transfers and assist with restructuring and retrenchment planning. Our specialist services include advising on:

  • Mergers and acquisitions (due diligence, transaction support, change of control provisions, competition law issues)
  • Privatisation
  • Outsourcing exercises
  • Corporate restructuring
  • Strategic retrenchment management
  • Business rescue and insolvency

Industrial relations

Collective bargaining presents distinct challenges to employers and their lawyers. Our specialist services include advising on:

  • Union recognition (emergence of new unions)
  • Collective bargaining (multiple union engagement, tiers of bargaining, negotiation strategy)
  • Strike management (contingency arrangements, court applications, lockouts)
  • Global trade unions (cross-border union campaigns)

Key Contacts

Videos

Newzroom Afrika: Chloë Loubser discusses the new ‘digital nomad visa’

Webinar: Employment law update (Nov 2023)

Employment Matters Vlog #29: South Africa’s amended Employment Equity Act

Webinar: Employment case law update

Webinar: Employment law update

Webinar: Developments in Employment Equity

Webinar: Draft National Labour Migration Policy – employment law and immigration perspectives

Webinar: Remote Working – tax and employment considerations

Webinar: The proposed Companies Amendment Bill and Remuneration

Highlighting mental health in the workplace for World Mental Health Day – Part 5

Highlighting mental health at the workplace for World Mental Health Day – Part 4

Highlighting mental health in the workplace for World Mental Health Day – Part 3

Highlighting mental health in the workplace for World Mental Health Day – Part 2

Highlighting mental health at the workplace for World Mental Health Day – Part 1

Webinar: Employment law considerations in a business rescue

Webinar: COVID-19 – Vaccinations and the workplace in Africa

COVID19: Employee vaccinations in South Africa – guidelines for employers | Part 1

COVID19: Employee vaccinations in South Africa – guidelines for employers | Part 3

COVID19: Employee vaccinations in South Africa – guidelines for employers | Part 2

Webinar: South Africa – Employment Case Law Update

Webinar: Employment Law considerations under Covid-19

Webinar: Addressing violence and harassment in the world of work – what is it? How do employers respond and what is an employer’s liability for the conduct of workers?

Webinar: POPIA in the workplace

Webinar: Employment law issues faced by South Africa’s retail sector

Webinar: Corporate risk in Africa – what’s happening in the new world of COVID-19?

Webinar: Managing a workplace in times of pandemic – an East African employment law perspective

Webinar: Executive remuneration

Webinar: Employment law considerations when planning for a safe return to work

Webinar: Investigations – first response / incident response

Webinar: Coronavirus and the workplace

Processes in dealing with irregular appointments

Working across Africa – Work permits

Working across Africa – Restraints of trade

Working across Africa – Overview

Working across Africa – Employment contracts

Working across Africa – Duty to report wrongdoing

Collective effort and culture change can curb violent strikes

Unpacking the New Agreement on Collective Bargaining and Strikes Seminar – The new code and accord

Unpacking the New Agreement on Collective Bargaining and Strikes Seminar – Training and upskilling

Unpacking the New Agreement on Collective Bargaining and Strikes Seminar – Key recommendations

Khomotso Makapane unpacks the New Agreement on Collective Bargaining and Strikes

Unpacking the New Agreement on Collective Bargaining and Strikes – South Africa

Eight SABC journalists that were fired by the broadcaster must be reinstated

Damaging a company’s brand from employees` inappropriate use of social media

What is the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) all about?

The Labour court recently held that the transfer of the right to use of assets was sufficient to trigger section 197 of the LRA