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Employment & Pensions

South Africa

As one of the world’s largest law firms, with over 8,000 professionals and staff, CMS has first-hand experience of a wide range of employment matters. Due to our size and reach, we face many of the same challenges as our clients – and often find solutions together.

Successful businesses in every sector know that employment terms, conditions and benefits are key competitive functions in today’s changing and increasingly mobile markets. The challenge of attracting and keeping talented employees has intensified, as employment relationships adapt to the age of the platform worker and the emerging impact of automation and digitalisation.

To ensure the odds are on your side, you must manage your employees and their benefits, as well as your employee representatives, such as bargaining councils and unions. Yet most HR matters – from executive contracts and equal opportunities to restructurings, transfer of business issues and restrictive covenants – can be complex and contradictory.  Your management team may have to deal with employment law in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, and face issues like directives, court decisions, national laws, local cases and precedent. Our 450 sector specialists can help you navigate the maze of HR regulations, policy documents and legal complexities confronting you on a daily basis.

If your business crosses borders, you will face additional hurdles. With a global network covering over 40 countries, the CMS Employment team advises on employment law issues affecting cross-border business including:

  • The effects of mergers, acquisitions, outsourcing, offshoring, nationalisation and privatisation
  • Bargaining councils’ co-determination rights at international, national or individual company level
  • Compliance (including remuneration) with national and international laws and standards
  • Behaviour at work, misconduct, ill health and discrimination (on prohibited grounds as well as in relation to equal remuneration for equal work)
  • Individual and collective dismissals and severance agreements
  • New forms of employment and ways of working
  • Wage taxes, fringe benefits, expat regulations and cross-border secondments
  • Dispute resolution, litigation and mediation for employment and labour matters, including labour law and trade union issues and disputes
  • Employee competition and confidentiality
  • Employment contracts, policies and collective agreements.

Given that employment related issues are so complex, they may also require expertise in other areas, such as corporate law for restructuring cases, or tax law relating to, for example, senior management contracts and international mobility. To provide the best possible advice, the CMS Employment group works closely with experts from other practice areas and specialist CMS groups.

At CMS, we aim to guide our clients through evolving business environments and to ensure they make the most of opportunities.

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19 May 2021
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