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Alert Level 4 Regulations: 5 factors for employers to consider

On 29 April 2020, new Regulations were published in terms of the Disaster Management Act which replaced previous lockdown regulations and set out the restrictions that will be imposed during Alert Level 4. These Regulations permit more categories of business to resume operations, subject to the establishment of, and compliance with, strict health protocols and … Continue reading

The challenges faced by employers in trying to retrench during the lockdown

The current pandemic and the implementation of the lockdown has forced companies to implement various cost cutting measures to keep afloat. Those companies considering the need to retrench employees must first make every effort to find alternatives to retrenchment. Alternatives to retrenchment include: Companies can make use of support measures implemented by government such as … Continue reading

Your workplace plan: What you need to know

Businesses allowed to resume operations under the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 must put in place measures aimed at reducing the spread of the virus, to ensure the safety of employees. A COVID-19 compliance officer must also be appointed. The updated Regulations to the Disaster Management Act, published on 29 April 2020, allows for more businesses … Continue reading

South Africa’s March 2020 ratings downgrades could be a catalyst for structural reforms

On 27 March 2020, the last of the three major ratings agencies announced its downgrade of South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to ‘Ba1’. This downgrade rendered South Africa’s sovereign credit rating as non-investment grade. On 3 April 2020, two of the three major ratings agencies downgraded the major South African banks’ credit ratings to ‘BB’ … Continue reading

Five cost cutting measures to sustain your business and safeguard your employees

The declaration of a state of national disaster due to COVID-19 and the resulting nationwide lockdown has left employers and employees in a precarious situation. The lockdown has had a devastating impact on employment throughout the country, with many employees feeling the financial pinch of not having worked throughout the lockdown. What is clear is … Continue reading

COVID-19: Is a government announcement law?

Since the declaration of a national state of disaster in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africans have been presented almost daily with announcements, as well as regulations and directions issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act (DMA). Regulations and directions are formal law, but a regulator does not have the legal authority to … Continue reading

Ten essential terms of secondment agreements

Secondment agreements allow for an employer to assign an employee to another organisation for a specified duration, for purposes of developing good business relationships; enhancing an employee’s particular skill set or for sharing the particular expertise of that employee with the host company. The employer and host company are required to enter into a secondment … Continue reading

Term sheets: some important considerations

A term sheet (sometimes referred to as a memorandum of understanding, heads of agreement or letter of intent) is an important document which sets out the commercial terms upon which persons or entities agree to transact with one another. The term sheet is often the first recordal of a proposed transaction and is the document … Continue reading

What you need to know when claiming under COIDA for occupationally acquired COVID-19

On 23 April 2020, the President of South Africa announced that the lockdown would be relaxed, with some industries being permitted to return to work, subject to extreme precautions being taken to limit community transmission and outbreaks of the infection. Specified business will be permitted to operate under strict parameters, including: preparing the workspace for … Continue reading

Condonation granted where no prejudice proved

A plaintiff who suffers damage usually has 3 years within which to sue the defendant. But a claim against the State must be notified within 6 months of an incident occurring. This notification comes before the summons is served. If a claim is not notified within this time period (set out in the Institution of … Continue reading

Interdict pending defamation action seldom granted

In a defamation dispute between two politicians (the former and the subsequent mayor of Johannesburg) the incumbent mayor sued for defamation damages for remarks about him. At the same time he applied for a court interdict ordering the respondent to retract the offending remarks, to refrain from repeating them, and to issue an unconditional apology … Continue reading

Essential service businesses, have you received an updated certificate from CIPC?

Companies which are registered to perform essential services during the lockdown should have by now received a new certificate from the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) for the extended lockdown period. The old certificates are no longer valid and will have to be disposed of. The new certificates should be automatically emailed to companies … Continue reading

10 things to know about business rescue

Business rescue offers a very useful alternative to the liquidation or winding-up of a company. During and after the pandemic, many companies may have to consider whether business rescue is an appropriate response to the economic impact that COVID-19 may have had on their business. Here are 10 things to know when considering business rescue: … Continue reading

SARB’s responses to COVID-19 and its recommendation to South African banks on the payment of dividends and executive bonuses in 2020

The SARB’s Prudential Authority (PA) issued a guidance note advising that it did not expect banks to distribute dividends on ordinary shares or pay cash bonuses to senior executives in 2020. This guidance is not binding on banks but is recommended. In terms of section 46(2) of the Companies Act 2008 resolutions authorising a distribution … Continue reading

SA websites must be updated to have a link to government’s COVID-19 site

To promote the dissemination of real time public information (and to help in combatting the spread of fake news), internet sites operating within za Domain Name Authority (.zaDNA) top level domain name must be updated to include a landing page with a visible link to www.sacoronavirus.co.za. .zaDNA is the statutory regulator and manager of ‘.za’ … Continue reading

HPCSA relaxes scope of practice rule, and provides more COVID-19 guidelines

On 17 April 2020, the Health Professions Council of South Africa provided its latest COVID-19 guidelines to registered practitioners. The guidelines were circulated to registered practitioners via e-mail – as at the date of publication of this article, the guidelines are yet to be published on the HPCSA’s website www.hpcsa.co.za The HPCSA acknowledges that the … Continue reading

Deciding between mutually destructive versions of oral agreement

Where there are mutually destructive versions of an oral agreement, a court will side with the version which is more probable considering the circumstances. The credibility of witnesses, including whether their evidence is coherent and consistent, will be taken into account. The applicant in Meintjies v Annandale and another, an owner of an accounting business … Continue reading

COVID-19 and the potential use of medical scheme reserves

Medical scheme trustees cannot take a business as usual approach during the COVID-19 pandemic. Boards should be giving thought to the value of their reserves and whether using such reserves would be of benefit to members. At a minimum, trustees need to understand the options available to them when considering using scheme reserves. In terms … Continue reading

Tax relief measures for challenging times

The Minister of Finance announced tax relief measures in an attempt to assist small to medium businesses in the face of COVID-19. But what tax relief is available to taxpayers who fall outside the ambit of these new measures? Instalment payments Taxpayers unable to pay tax debts due to economic instability caused by the pandemic … Continue reading
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