A few months ago I entered a Baby Bump competition, which was part of a marketing campaign run by a manufacturer of baby products. I landed up winning a hamper of goodies. When I tried to claim the prize, they said that before I could get the goods, I had to post a picture of their products on my social media feeds, say something complimentary about them, and link them in so that they can share my “compliments” in their feeds. They even gave me some sample wording! I’m really angry about this. They didn’t tell me this when I entered the competition. Can they really insist on this? Read More.....

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Ideally, there shouldn’t be any necessity for estate planning. In a congenial, perfect family, surviving members would amicably divide everything equitably without a squabble, and set matters to rest with minimal fuss.

In Utopia, maybe. But we live in the real world.

In reality, death often leads to dissention. Arguments among the surviving members of the deceased’s family make estate planning an indispensable exercise. A will becomes even more essential in the case of a second marriage. Read More.....

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An unfortunate fact of the South African labour environment is that the employer-employee relationship is not always a bed of roses. Occasionally you need to deal with thorny issues that inevitably arise from time to time. Like the employee that sleeps on duty, swears at customers, persists in arriving late and leaving early, obstinately refuses to follow instructions, blatantly disregards company policies, commits theft, __________ fill in the blank! Difficult though it may be, employers are cautioned against acting on a knee-jerk. Admittedly it is tempting to yell “You’re Fired!” and instruct security to boot your employee out the door. But unless the thought of dealing with a CCMA action appeals to you, a more tempered approach is advised. Here are a few guidelines for when you find yourself having to discipline a wayward employee. Read More.....

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I have a moral dilemma – please could you help me? I work as an admin clerk in a small financial services firm. Sales have been flat lately, so the company has decided to run a competition. The way it’ll work is that there’ll be advertising both to our customers and in the media that people who take out any insurance products with us will stand a chance of winning a holiday to Disney World. People can also buy extra tickets for the competition if they want. Then, on the day of the draw, it’ll be rigged so that our Sales Manager will draw our marketing agent as the winner. She’ll then reject the tickets on the basis that the date the holiday has been booked for is “too inconvenient”. I’ve been given the job of consolidating all the entries and passing on new customers to our agents to cold-call. But I’m really not happy with this competition. Is it legal? And what can I do about it? Note: I really need my job, so I don’t want to be responsible for getting the firm into trouble! Read More.....

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Are restraints of trade legal? Can they be enforced? Should I be worried about signing a restraint? Or is it true that a restraint of trade isn’t worth the paper it’s written on? The short answer is: restraints of trade are indeed legal.

Restraints are a common employment requirement and form an integral part of many employment contracts. Without a restraint in place, any employee who has access to key confidential information could cause serious damage to the business if s/he decided to leave and join (or startup) the opposition. But it is of critical importance that the restraint of trade has been properly worded if it is to stand up to the Courts’ scrutiny. South African law recognises the employer’s right to enforce restraints of trade in order to protect legitimate proprietary interests. But these interests must be balanced against the employee’s right to work and to earn a living. Read More.....

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Section 60 of the Employment Equity Act may not be all that well-known. But it should be. It can have severe consequences on any employer that fails to take sexual harassment complaints seriously. Section 60 effectively provides that when an employer becomes aware of a sexual harassment allegation, the employer must consult with all relevant parties and take “necessary steps” to eliminate the perpetrator’s conduct. The employer’s failure to do so may render it liable to pay rather hefty damages to the complainant. Read More.....

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I signed a JV Agreement a year ago. My business associate is now trying to get out of the agreement. He says the agreement isn’t valid because I didn’t get two witnesses to sign under my signature. Can I get two people to sign the contract now before he officially cancels?

Firstly, as a general rule, you do not need witnesses to enter into a valid contract. So just because you didn’t get witnesses to sign the JV Agreement doesn’t necessarily mean that the agreement isn’t valid. Read More.....

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With South Africa finally emerging from the mayhem of the last few months, many companies are knuckling down to doing business in the vastly different post-Zupta era. With court-cases galore, and scores lining up to become state-witnesses in return for saving their own skin, it has become clear that palm-greasing is no longer an acceptable business practice. Gifting a business colleague with a luxury German car is more likely to land you a jail cell than a sales order. Many questions are being asked about how the business will be conducted differently going forward. Company gift policies should feature prominently in any company’s post-Zupta Q & A sessions. Read More.....

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With South Africa’s unemployment rate soaring and job growth plummeting, it’s little wonder that job-seekers get more desperate with every rejection. After each futile interview, the CV gets tweaked and fine-tuned to ensure that the next one will go better. Unfortunately, several job-seekers fail to observe the line between stretching the truth and re-writing it all together. Exaggerating the status of your previous position is one thing. Fabricating your qualifications is a whole different ball-game. But fake “graduates” beware. As the following case shows, your actions are unlikely to curry favour with our courts. Read More.....

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To find more customers I send marketing brochures to email addresses that I get from a database supplier. I received a really angry response from someone saying that I’m committing a crime by breaking some law called “Poppy” and that she’s going to report me because she never gave me consent to send her emails. Is this seriously a thing?

Actually, yes – POPI is a “thing”. The Protection of Personal Information Act requires you to ensure that the consumers you market to have given your consent before you send them your brochures. If you don’t have consent you can contact them once – to ask for consent. If they decline then you can’t include them in your mailing lists. You can, however, market to consumers with whom you have transacted with before provided that you’re marketing similar products and services to what they received from you in the past and that you give them the opportunity to effortlessly unsubscribe at any time. POPI is not yet in effect, which means you’re in the clear at the moment. But it’s a good idea to start reviewing your processes and getting your consents in place so that you’re ready when the Act is finally operational. Read More.....

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