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Johan Botes

Johan Botes is a partner and heads Baker McKenzie’s Employment Law Practice Group in Johannesburg. He focuses on employment law and labour relations and advises clients on industrial relations, employment negotiations, labour dispute resolution and change management. He also advises companies on organizational restructuring. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Mr. Botes was a director and partner at a leading South African law firm.

Travel restrictions implemented due to the pandemic have changed the way the majority of employers plan their workforce mobility programs. This is especially the case if they are based in countries included on travel red lists due to current high infection rates or different virus variants. While some sectors require employees to be physically present, in many others, remote working has taken off and is expected to remain a permanent feature of the modern workforce, even once cross-border travel has recovered.

South Africa’s Labor Court recently expressed little sympathy for an employee who was dismissed for failing to adhere to COVID-19 protocols by coming into work, knowing he had been exposed to the virus, thereby acting with little regard for the health and safety of colleagues and customers. The court also cautioned employers to be more diligent in ensuring the health and safety of their staff.

In brief The Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa has extended the validity period of legally issued visas, which expired during the period of the national lockdown in South Africa. These visa holders are permitted to remain in South Africa, under the existing conditions of their visas, until the expiry date…

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated (and for some, cemented) the work from home trend. As a result, many employers are increasingly turning to employee monitoring technology to replace the physical employee oversight once enjoyed in the office. While employers have many legitimate reasons for monitoring employee activity, the decision to monitor employees is not without its legal and ethical complexities.

The unheralded Botes’ Law on Annual Leave Interpretation holds that if there are two people arguing about the interpretation of annual leave, there will be at least three interpretations of the law on that issue. Johan Botes, Partner and Head of Employment & Compensation at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg, explains his theory, referring to recent South African judgments that had conflicting views on the matter.

The Labour Appeal Court in South Africa recently confirmed some of the principles inherent in limited duration contracts, which are used by employers to create certainty and limit legal risk in respect of staffing solutions. Johan Botes, Partner and Head of Employment at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg, outlines the details and how the risks can be effectively managed by employers.

Johan Botes, Partner and Head of the Employment and Compensation Practice at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg explains how the long-term effects of the pandemic are having a significant impact on women, with severe implications for gender equality that must be urgently addressed.  He notes, however, that, as was evident after World War II, elements of the global labor force could be forever changed for the better by COVID-19.

The Draft Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work (Draft Code) was recently published for public comment in South Africa. Tiisetso Rabolao, Associate and Kirsty Gibson, Candidate Attorney, in the Employment and Compensation Practice in Johannesburg, outline the details of the new Draft Code.