The ELA is proud to welcome our newest member firm: LOGOS  in Iceland!
The ELA is proud to welcome our newest member firm: LOGOS  in Iceland!


Employment Law

South Africa

We help our clients overcome legal complexity and unlock opportunity in Africa.

Our track record of providing specialist legal services in the fields of corporate law, banking and finance law and dispute resolution, spans over a century. With eight offices in six African countries and over 400 specialist lawyers, we draw on our unique knowledge of the business and socio-political environment to advise clients on a wide range of legal issues. Everywhere we work, we offer clients a service that uniquely blends expertise in the law, knowledge of the local market, and an understanding of their businesses. Our aim is to assist them to achieve their objectives as smoothly and efficiently as possible while minimising the legal and regulatory risks. Our clients include corporates, multinationals and state-owned enterprises across a range of industry sectors as well as financial institutions and governments.

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. 

Our Specialist Employment Law Services include:

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)

Dispute Resolution

We deal with disputes arising out of the employment relationship, advising and representing parties throughout the processes of mediation, arbitration and litigation. Our specialist services include advising on:

  • Boardroom conflict
  • Dismissals (executive, mass redundancies)
  • Employment discrimination
  • Unfair labour practices (promotion, demotion, probation, benefits, whistleblowing)
  • Mediation, facilitation and arbitration
  • Urgent court proceedings (strike interdicts, confidentiality and restraints of trade)
  • Appeals and judicial review

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