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Covid-19 and its impact on the law.

1.          Retrenchments during COVID-19.     Due to Covid-19, an employer cannot simply skip the entire retrenchment process that is set out in terms of the Labour Relations Act which would likely lead to an unfair dismissal. Employers, during this unprecedented time, should try their utmost best to avoid retrenchment proceedings and find alternative measures to put into place in order to retain their staff. Employers must always consider alternatives to retrenchment such as demotion. Demotion can take place in the following ways: the employee’s pay or responsibilities are reduced, the employee’s subordinates are taken away, reporting roles are changed or an employee returns back to an old position if they have recently taken on a new role. A particularly important principle to remember is that an employer must always obtain the employee’s written consent to the demotion. Should your business have to shut down completely, an employer can apply for the National Disaster Ben
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On the 23 rd of March 2020, a week after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared South Africa to be in a state of national disaster, the President announced a national lockdown for a period of 21 days to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which has the world population fearing for their lives. In imposing the national lockdown, the President announced several limitations and prohibitions, the most significant being a complete lockdown, that is, the prohibition of South Africans leaving their homes unless it is for essential purposes. Whilst a lockdown is necessary to destroy the chain of transmission of COVID-19, it is noted that the restrictions imposed by the President will limit the human rights of South Africans. There are factions that support this decision, and some that question its legality from a human rights perspective. What is a lockdown? A lockdown is defined as an emergency protocol which temporarily prohibits non-essential activities and requires people to sta

Youth Day in South Africa

Youth Day in South Africa is an important and inspiring day. It commemorates the Soweto uprising of the youth on the 16 th of June 1976 against the Bantu Education system. [1] A system created by the Bantu Education Act 47 of 1953, which entrenched numerous racist provisions such as enforcing racially separated educational facilities.

POPIA: Its Impact on Businesses and Benefits to Individuals

Living in the information age, data has commonly been considered a valuable asset. To avoid the exploitation of information at the expense of individuals the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (‘‘POPIA’’) was enacted. Although the POPIA was signed into law in 2013, only a few limited sections pertaining to the Act’s definitions, the Information Regulator, and the Regulations are in force. In preparation for the commencement of POPIA, it is imperative that all parties affected are aware of their rights and obligations. POPIA regulates South African institutions and the manner in which they collect, store, process, disseminate, and delete information. For purposes of POPIA, a responsible party refers to any body or person who determines the purpose of, and methods for, processing personal information and a data subject refers to the person to whom personal information relates.

#HUMANRIGHTSMONTH: Closing the Gender Pay Gap

Globally, women earn significantly less than their male equals.  The gender pay gap on the international scale currently weighs in at about 20%. Simply put, the term ‘‘gender pay gap’’ refers to the difference of average earnings between men and women. The term has taken centerstage globally and remains in the spotlight. In South Africa however, the topic seems peripheral to discussions this Human Rights Day. The International Labour Organization, in its Global Wage Report of 2018/19, found that South Africa has one of the highest wage inequalities among 64 other countries. A 2017 report by the World Economic Forum revealed that South African men earn an average of R 6600.00 more than women on a monthly basis. Apart from the fact that this disparity hinders economic growth, it also infringes on a woman’s human right to equality as it stems from unfair discrimination. Notwithstanding the South African legal system prohibiting discrimination, the gender pay gap remains a challe

Cohabitation Relationships and Agreements

What is a cohabitation relationship? “Living together is an art.” – William Pickens. Cohabitation differs from a marriage in that it is a monogamous relationship between any two people that choose not to, or are not allowed to, get married but still live together as spouses. While cohabitation is often mistaken for a common law marriage, it is not recognised in South African law, regardless of how long the couple cohabitate together. Furthermore, Cohabitation does not automatically create any legal rights and duties between the applicable parties. The only way to currently regulate a cohabitation between two people is through a cohabitation agreement.