Yes. Yes, we are talking Christmas in August. And for good reason.

Every year we emerge from our winter hibernation to find ourselves on a downhill slope towards Christmas. And pretty soon it’s December and we’re all spending way too much money. Of course, someone has to pay for that holiday at the beach and all the latest tech gadgets for little Joey. Unsurprisingly, this is when many companies find their employees lining up to receive their Christmas bonus. Only to be bitterly disappointed when they discover that they’re not getting the extra payment that they had so eagerly anticipated (and spent already). With the economic constraints of late, many companies are simply finding the payment of a Christmas bonus to be unaffordable. Things can turn sour rather quickly, with staff vehemently asserting that they have a legal right to their annual bonus and threatening the employer with retaliatory action. All this unpleasantness can be avoided if the employer sets the expectations in advance, well before down-payments are made and holidays booked. Read More.....

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There has been so much publicity about mental health recently, and this got me thinking: can you please draft a clause that I can use in my employment contracts? I want to be able to send my staff to get a mental health check done if I feel it necessary. If they refuse then I want to be able to discipline them for refusing to follow instructions. And if the medical assessment warrants it I need to be able to dismiss employees on the basis of their medical illness.        Read More.....

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“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

(Nelson Mandela: Rivonia Treason Trial, 20 April 1964) Read More.....

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Most of us are too busy with Life to worry about Death. But Death has this annoying habit of showing Life the finger and pitching up at the most inopportune time. While cheating Death may prove difficult, we can ease the process by making sure that we have drafted a will. Yet a worrying number of people do not have wills. Here are some of the more common excuses that people use for not having one. Read More.....

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Agreements are important.

Written agreements are more important.

Well-written agreements are most important.

We’ve all come across that contract. You know the one. There’re a gazillion clauses all crammed onto one page in a teeny-weeny font that requires a magnifying glass to read it. Assuming you could understand anything in amongst all the cross-referencing, Latin terms and legal jargon. Never mind that the document has been photocopied a few too many times, which means a few crucial sentences have been cropped off. But everyone is in a hurry to get on with their day. So you dutifully scrawl your signature and scurry off to your next appointment. What could possibly go wrong? The entire contract could be scrapped. That’s what could go wrong. Read More.....

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No creditor likes having to deal with a defaulting debtor. Matters become even more interesting when the said debtor goes into business rescue. In such instances, the creditor’s avenues of recourse become rather limited by the Companies Act – because a creditor is unable to sue its debtor while their debtor is in business rescue. What’s a hapless creditor to do? Particularly in the uncertain economy in which we currently live, where suppliers are increasingly at risk. One good option is to make use of suretyships. Before releasing goods or rendering services, request your debtor to provide some solid guarantors, eg. ask the shareholders, directors, trustees, members, holding company etc to sign a suretyship guaranteeing the debtor’s obligations. Read More.....

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When a debtor uses a myriad of excuses to delay payment for longer than three years… Sounds crazy, right? How does a creditor let a debt slide for three years without doing anything about it? But actually, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. Sometimes the debt is incurred in the course of a much larger, complex, more involved project, allowing the creditor to validate their payment delays until the project has been completed. And other times the creditor is just really, really good at coming up with believable excuses and unfulfilled promises that serve as little more than delaying tactics. Read More.....

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With the amount of publicity around mental health recently, it was only a matter of time before an ill-advised employer decided to address the issue head-on. In their employment contract. The clause landed up in the Labour Court, where the judge lambasted it. And rightfully so.

The facts, briefly, related to an employee who was appointed as a sales rep. She signed an Employment Contract that included a rather disturbing clause. The employer decided to include a requirement that the employee must submit to psychiatric testing as and when the employer requests it. It would be alarming enough if this was a standard clause in their contract. But it wasn’t. This delightful little clause was inserted solely for this employee.  Because she was bipolar. Despite the fact that her condition was being well-managed and in no way detracted from her work. Read More.....

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Being a landlord without having a signed, written lease agreement can be fraught with challenges. Not to mention the high probability of regular he-said-she-said arguments with your tenant. It can be extremely difficult to protect your interests as landlord and owner of your property if you don’t have a written and signed lease agreement. So if you’re planning on renting out your property, a good place to start is drafting your contract of lease. Here are some tips to help you on your way. Read More.....

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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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