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Services Offered
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 employment standards.

Advice
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 1990’s 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 client’s business is critical for the purpose of facilitating effective, customised advice.

Representation
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.

Our approach 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.

Background

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 organizations.

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.

Distinguishing Factors
We believe that our firm is distinguishable from other service providers through:

our focus on practical and strategic, rather than limited technical advice
our unique access to policy making forums and its historical contribution to the formulation of South African employment policy
the strengths of each of our individual practitioners;
our flexibility and speed in a traditionally cumbersome business environment
our use of cutting edge information technology
our culture of enjoyment and work satisfaction

our commitment to Black Economic Empowerment and transformation


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Edition
10
includes:
Zietsman & others v Transnet Limited
Randfontein Estates Limited v National Union of Mineworkers


includes:
The Rustenburg Test: Z Sidumo & Congress of South African Trade Unions v Rustenburg Platinum Mines & Others

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