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The Labour Appeal Court in South Africa recently clarified for employers the situation in which their employees’ cannabis use at home becomes applicable to their roles at work. In Enever v. Barloworld Equipment South Africa, a Division of Barloworld South Africa, the LAC ordered the employer to reinstate and pay over ZAR 1 million in backpay to an employee dismissed for repeatedly testing positive for cannabis use. The judgment reiterates the requirement of rationality where employers seek to limit an employee’s private conduct

Ahead of the coming into force of the new Egyptian merger control regime on 1st of June 2024, the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) today published its new notification form as well as questions and answers providing clarifications to merger parties. The ECA had received feedback that its proposed jurisdictional thresholds were too broad leading to transactions with no impact on the Egyptian market needing to be notified. To address these concerns, the ECA has narrowed down its jurisdictional thresholds, clearly requiring a local nexus for transactions. The ECA has also created a simplified procedure and fast track process for certain transactions.

The National Council of Provinces in South Africa has passed the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill, which aims to provide for increased electricity generation capacity and additional infrastructure in South Africa. It also establishes the duties, powers and functions of the Transmission System Operator and introduces an open-market platform for the competitive trading of electricity.

The pandemic of medical certificate abuse is rife in both the public and private sectors, with many labor court cases in South Africa having decided that forging a sick note constitutes serious misconduct. A recent case of sick leave abuse in South Africa that found its way to the Labor Appeal Court again confirmed that an employer’s zero-tolerance approach to dishonesty and fraud was correct and that employees who are dishonest in their timekeeping practices will likely have a bitter pill to swallow when their actions are revealed.

In the case concerning a matter of unfair discrimination under the Employment Equity Act, the South African Labor Court ruled that, in this instance, the refusal to employ a job applicant because of their criminal history was unfair discrimination based on arbitrary grounds. This case serves as a reminder to employers that statutory protection against unfair discrimination also applies to employment applicants, and that there are risks in the rote reliance on factors used to select or reject staff.

On 14 September 2023, the Personal Data Protection Law (PDPL) promulgated by Royal Decree No. M/19, dated 09/02/1443H, amended pursuant to Royal Decree No. M/148, dated 05/09/1444H, officially entered into force in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While the PDPL came into force on 14 September 2023, organizations were afforded a further 12 Hijri months’ period from the date of entry into force to bring themselves into compliance with the PDPL (i.e., on or around 2 September 2024). There should have been no enforcement action during the intervening period.

The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) recently issued its first vertical restraints case prohibiting the vertical agreement between eight manufacturers and suppliers, along with their distributors (organized/hypermarkets and independent merchants). The ECA stated that were they found to have agreed on setting the minimum fixed resale price maintenance (RPM) and adopted Most Favored Nation clauses (MFN) in distribution contracts of household electrical appliances. This conduct was deemed a violation of Article 7 of the Egyptian Competition Law No. 3 for 2005.

On 28 February 2024, the NBR notified taxpayers via email and an announcement on its webpage that the record retention requirement for Value-Added Tax has been extended from five to ten years. The initial five-year record retention period for the 1 January 2018 – 31 March 2018 tax period (Q1 2018) would have lapsed as of 31 March 2024, but now has been extended to 31 March 2029.

On 4 April 2024, the Executive Regulation of the new Egyptian pre-merger control regime was officially published by Prime Minister Decree No. 1120 of 2024. The ER introduces the implementing regulations for the newly established pre-merger control regime issued by the Law number 175 of 2022 which empowers the Egyptian Competition Authority with significant powers in reviewing and approving transactions. The ER states that it will enter into force on 1 June 2024, i.e. transactions that close on or after 1 June 2024, and meet the prescribed thresholds, must obtain prior approval from the ECA.