Tag archives: COVID-19

Economic relief measures for members of pension funds

People unable to work due to the pandemic may be looking to access their pension credits in this time of financial hardship. The position in South Africa remains that a member cannot access their pension benefits while they are still in service. Several other countries have however included, as part of their economic relief packages, … Continue reading

Risk assessment to be conducted by employers before resuming operations

The Department of Employment and Labour (DOL) issued the COVID-19 directive on Health and Safety in the Workplace on 28 April 2020, stipulating measures that must be taken by employers to protect the health and safety of workers and members of the public entering their workplace or exposed to their working activities. Employers must do … Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

Directors’ responsibilities and risk taking

Businesses across the country are facing serious headwinds. South African law requires that directors must exercise their powers in the best interests of the company, and with the degree of care, skill and diligence that may be reasonably expected of a person carrying out those functions. Directors can be held personally liable, and are now … Continue reading

Managing a company and COVID-19: South African directors and their duties

Limiting risk in a pandemic The effects of COVID-19 on the economy has led to many companies facing the possibility of being declared financially distressed. The mounting pressure on directors to appropriately fulfil their duties in response to this crisis will continue into the foreseeable future. Risk advisory: Practical considerations and steps for directors While … Continue reading

Director’s duties, the business judgment rule, and COVID-19

Where a director has taken reasonable steps to become informed of a matter and has made, or supported, a decision in relation to that matter (which they rationally believed was in the best interests of the company), then that director cannot be seen to have breached their fiduciary duties if the decision later turns out … Continue reading

8 things to know about the amended COVID-19 TERS Directive

On 26 March 2020, the Minister of Employment and Labour issued a Directive that set out the requirements for the newly established COVID-16 TERS benefits (the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme). These benefits were provisioned to alleviate the economic impact of the national disaster by assisting employers to pay their employees during the closure of their … Continue reading

10 things to know about BEE and COVID-19

COVID-19 is affecting businesses globally. However, its impact on the broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) status of a business is an effect which is unique to South Africa. Here are 10 things to know about the potential effects of COVID-19 on BEE and your business: 1. BEE verifications can still be conducted The South African … Continue reading

Should South African media name those who die of COVID-19?

The answer to this question posed by the media, probably lies in the National Health Act (the Act). The Act provides that all information concerning a patient, including their health status, treatment or stay in a health establishment, is confidential. This information may not be disclosed unless: the patient consents to that disclosure in writing; … Continue reading

Company transport considerations during the lockdown

With the rapidly changing legal landscape, employers may be left in the dark around how to ensure they comply with the latest laws and regulations relating to road transport during the national lockdown. A company vehicle used for the purposes of transporting essential service employees to and from work must be limited to 50% of … Continue reading

The impact of COVID-19 on anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures

Whilst the world deals with the challenge of COVID-19, an equally concerning issue is the manner in which this pandemic threatens anti-corruption and anti-bribery efforts for organisations. Appropriate measures must be put in place to mitigate corruption and bribery risks. Experience has shown that when there is a global health state of emergency, such as … Continue reading
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