The firm provides more than
a traditional employment law service. Our clients value
our judgment in industrial relations, human resources
and related matters almost as much as our conventional
legal advice. We are regularly consulted for our opinion
on practical matters such as collective bargaining strategies,
strike management, workplace changes, employment benefits
(including pension issues), employee participation,
incentive programs, executive appointments, union relationship
management and so on. We are frequently retained to
provide ongoing strategic advice on issues such as corporate
restructuring, management of employee discipline and
We believe that our key service is the provision of
tactical and strategic advice to assist clients with
legal compliance and the development of appropriate
business strategies. We seek and enjoy a close relationship
with our clients in order to facilitate immediate and
strategically appropriate advice in the best interests
of our client and its shareholders.
There is almost
no limit to the range of issues on which we advise.
Since the early 1990s the practitioners of the firm
have advised clients on issues relating to the full
range of new legislation including collective labour
law, dismissal and unfair labour practices (the new
Labour Relations Act of 1995), minimum standards (the
new Basic Conditions of Employment of 1999), employment
equity (the Employment Equity Act of 1999), skills development
(the Skills Development Act of 1998) and health and
safety in the workplace (the Occupational Health and
Safety Act of 1993).
We are able to
provide immediate advice by telephone, telefax or email,
or to provide formal written opinions on important matters.
In all cases we believe that an intimate understanding
of our clients business is critical for the purpose
of facilitating effective, customised advice.
Increasingly the employment arena is being opened to
public scrutiny and employees are entitled to have their
workplace grievances determined in public forums of
an administrative or judicial nature. The firm regularly
represents and assists its clients in these forums.
The firm has extensive experience in the CCMA, Labour
and Labour Appeal Courts as well as in the High and
Constitutional Courts. It also enjoys an excellent track
record in all these forums. We represented Business
South Africa in Nedlac (the "National Economic
Development and Labour Council") and have advised
national employer bodies in the retail, mining, banking,
chemical and petroleum sectors.
in representing employers is consistent. We believe
that a client's interests in a matter can be properly
advanced only through proper preparation and a complete
understanding of the employer's business.
Training, Presentations & Seminars
Increasingly broad ranging and complex employment laws
require increasingly skilled and knowledgeable employees
and practitioners. We provide training and development
for its clients by way of seminars and training courses.
This reflects a proactive approach aimed at avoiding
employment practices which may result in expensive and
time consuming litigation.
The firm has its origins
in a desire of the founding practitioners to break away
from the traditional constraints of the larger, conventional
practice. The re-incorporation of the local economy
into the global market, the far reaching changes wrought
through political transition to employment and other
laws and the changing dynamic within corporate South
Africa were all factors that facilitated this move.
The founding directors, in their
capacity as the legal representatives of Business South
Africa, have played an active, direct role in the negotiation,
development and drafting of the new employment laws.
The firm represents the significant proportion of the
larger South African corporations that have had to grapple
with the advent of political change, reintegration into
the global economy and the material reform of South
Africa's labour laws.
Experts in Employment Law and Related Fields
The lawyers at Perrott Van Niekerk Woodhouse
Matyolo Inc. represent and advise local and international corporations
on all aspects of employment law and practice in South
and Southern Africa. The firm draws on its extensive
knowledge base and practitioner experience to assist
clients not only with traditional legal issues, but
also with a full range of employment and employment
related services. These include input on business and
industrial relations strategy, human resources, change
management, collective bargaining, conflict resolution,
minimum standards and related considerations. In addition
to providing comprehensive advice on South African labour
laws, the firm has assisted employers throughout Southern
Africa, including Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland,
Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It has also played
a role in the development of labour laws in certain
of these countries.
Our lean but flexible structure
and creative use of information technology ensures that
a professional is available to assist clients at all
times. We pride ourselves on our speed of response in
a field in which success is often dependent upon the
immediate availability of information and strategic
direction. Our advice is orientated towards the practical
and is firmly rooted in policy considerations underlying
the South African labour market.
Clients and Relationships
The firm has strong relationships with many leading
South African and international businesses. It has a
particularly strong client base in the retail, mining,
chemical, petroleum, financial services and industrial
sectors. We also represent numerous state and non-governmental
The firm is proud to have represented
Business Unity South Africa (and its predecessor Business
South Africa) the organisations representing business
interests in the country in its employment and broader
policy related activities. Our ongoing relationship
with Business South Africa and with its successor, Business
Unity South Africa, has resulted in the firm's involvement
and input in the forums which have determined the direction
of labour and employment policy over the past 10 years.
We believe that our firm is distinguishable from other
service providers through: