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Employers have been facing many difficult and untested employment law issues over the last year and a half with COVID-19 and the impact it is having on their business. One of the most critical of these issues is whether they can make vaccination compulsory for their employees. On 7 May 2021, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (“MHRSD”) announced that it would be mandatory for public and private sector workers to be vaccinated in order to attend the workplace. On 18 May 2021, the Ministry of Interior (“MoI”) clarified that this mandate would come into force on 1 August 2021.

There was a massive increase in the value of mergers and acquisitions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in the first half of 2021. This was due, in part, to the post-pandemic boost, where deals that were delayed last year, were able to proceed in 2021. Also spurring investment in SSA was the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, strengthening relationships with Africa’s key trading partners, as well as rising demand in key industry sectors such as materials, power and energy, technology and telecommunications.

New rules dealing with South African Revenue Service client accreditation are set to streamline the customs and trade process for trading partners and allow a much more efficient and cost-effective movement of goods across South Africa’s borders. The rules, which became effective in July this year, entirely replace the old accredited client status rules under section 64E of the Customs and Excise Act, and are of interest to importers and exporters who wish to apply for accredited client status in South Africa.

The South African Reserve Bank has recently issued a directive concerning issuing and acquiring domestic card transactions. The Directive introduces regulations for all card issuers, card acquirers and domestic merchants regarding card issuing, acquiring and acceptance services for domestic card transactions. The Directive aims to ensure that the provision of domestic card payment services does not endanger the National Payment System, and for this reason, the SARB requires domestic card issuers to be domestic clearing system participants and requires that domestic merchants use local card acquirers.

Conservatively estimated, one in four women will experience sexual harassment in the workplace at some stage during their working lifespan. The personal toll on these women – and those around them who deal with the secondary effects – is immense. The psychological impact of such harassment and victimization cannot be overstated. A recent study has undertaken the mammoth task of calculating the financial cost to women who are victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. The findings are not only shocking but serve as a grim reminder that our quest for gender equality must incorporate actions aimed at eradicating sexual harassment as a main driver of workplace inequality.

The production of cannabis for medical and adult-use has the potential to provide new sources of taxable revenue for pandemic-stricken countries. In South Africa, legal requirements around the production and sale of cannabis for medical use are onerous, but recent legal developments indicate an attempt to further enable the cultivation and sale of the plant as a way to boost the post-COVID economy.

The recent unrest and looting in South Africa have had a severe impact on businesses and employers in the country. Such businesses have had to address urgent issues including concerns regarding insurance cover, invoking force majeure clauses, ensuring employee health and safely, assisting affected or stranded employees and implementing disciplinary action for employees caught taking part in the looting.

Welcome to our Virtual Global Trade Conference, a virtual offering for all our clients and friends worldwide. Baker McKenzie’s international trade compliance lawyers from around the world discussed the major developments impacting international trade. The sessions include trade policy, exports, sanctions, customs, China trade developments and trade developments.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has issued a long awaited resolution setting out exceptions to Article 13 of Federal Law No. 2 of 2019 (“Health Data Law”), which by default prohibits the transfer, storage, generation or processing of health data that relates to health services provided in the UAE (“UAE Health Data”) outside of the UAE.