Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr : Services - service employ

By: Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr  11-11-2011
Keywords: Labour Law, Dispute Resolution, Employment Law


Employment law has become increasingly complex with greater legislative intervention. Keeping abreast of changes in legislation is demanding and non-compliance with legal obligations can be costly financially and can have a negative impact on employer-employee relations.

Our Employment Law practice has extensive experience and expertise in all contentious and non-contentious areas of employment law. We advise on wide-ranging employment issues relating to large-scale restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, redundancies, business transfers and collective disputes, international secondment issues and on the establishment of employee benefits and incentives.

We have expertise in the rapidly developing field of restraint of trade undertakings that are not associated with competition law.

Areas of specialisation include:

  • Dispute Resolution
    We appear in all employment related forums (CCMA, Bargaining and Statutory Councils, Labour Court, Labour Appeal Court, the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal) in all types of litigious matters. These include arbitrations (private and statutory), applications, actions in regard to dismissals, alleged unfair labour practices, collective bargaining, employment equity and disputes about payments flowing from contracts of employment. We advise and represent clients in all disputes relating to collective labour law such as recognition disputes with unions, disputes about organisational rights, collective agreements, lockouts and strikes. We represent clients in their dealings with the Department of Labour. We also act in disputes arising out of alleged non-compliance with the Employment Equity Act (EEA) and represent clients in discrimination disputes. Our lawyers are highly experienced in litigating claims arising from all forms of discrimination, breach of contract and alleged unfair dismissal claims referred to the Labour Court and other tribunals arising generally out of the employment relationship.We act in disputes with employees over non-payment of wages, overtime, leave pay and retrenchment pay.
  • Consultative
    We give advice and opinions on a wide range of non-litigious employment law matters and commercial matters with employment law implications. We advise clients on corporate restructuring exercises and manage the entire restructuring process, draft all notices and documents, consult with the employees or their representatives, scrutinise minutes from consultation meetings, advise on the appropriate selection criteria to apply when selecting retrenchees and formulate severance packages and draft retrenchment agreements. We offer a step-by-step guide on the retrenchment process and represent clients at the CCMA or Bargaining Council facilitation meetings. We advise on disciplinary proceedings, draft charge sheets, assist in preparing for the disciplinary hearing and, when permissible, represent our clients at the hearing. We advise on performance management issues such as managing poor performers and introducing new performance management systems and employee grading systems. We advise on issues surrounding the transfer of a business as a going concern, the valuation and apportionment of liability, and the restructuring of newly formed the joint venture, merged entity or service provider following transfer. We give advice on the impact of a merger on employees and assist in the consultative process with employees and their representatives. We prepare the necessary impact reports and documents to support a merger filing with the Competition Commission.We advise clients on their obligations under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (leave, leave pay, sick leave and overtime), the EEA (how to draft an EEA plan and report) and the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (the appointment of Safety Officers, their reporting obligations in cases of injuries on duty).
  • Training
    We present seminars and run training sessions and workshops for clients on a range of employment law issues, including how to run a disciplinary hearing, how to prepare for and run an arbitration, new developments in the law and other employment related topics.
  • Drafting
    We draft a wide range of agreements, reports, policies, guidelines and procedures including:
    • contracts of employment for executives, managers at all levels, permanent employees and employees employed for a fixed term or specific task;
    • collective agreements at all bargaining levels;
    • severance and settlement agreements, restraints of trade, agreements contemplated by section 197 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA), valuation and apportionment agreements in relation to transfers of businesses, undertakings or services; training agreements;
    • independent contractor agreements; and
    • disciplinary and grievance regulations and procedures, warnings and dismissal notices, lockout notices and ultimata, codes on sexual harassment, retrenchment and picketing.
  • Corporate Immigration
    We act for a number of international and South African blue chip companies to assist with their immigration requirements normally associated with the import of foreign skills or relocations of ex-patriots and their families and are able to assist with all legal queries relating to immigration related issues; especially the current requirements of the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Adjudicatory
    Members of our Employment practice chair various hearings including disciplinary, appeal and mediation.

Keywords: Corporate Restructuring, Dispute Resolution, Employment Law, Labour Law, Law Practice, Supreme Court

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