Policies and Procedures: what is the difference?

Well-defined Policies and Procedures can help your business to grow because they enhance your employees’ ability to deliver consistent, high caliber service without dramatically increasing the burden of employee management responsibilities on you.

Despite this generally accepted truth, it is surprising how many companies do not have Policies and Procedures in place that are easy to read and allow employees to clearly understand their roles and responsibilities.  Compliance policy documents in particular are usually full of legal jargon that makes it difficult to read – or just plain boring. They are there to “tick the box”.  Hardly anyone reads them.

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Emoluments attachment orders no longer free for all

There are a few civil matters in which the conduct complained of is so morally reprehensible that one is left aghast at the fact that such conduct managed to continue unchecked for so long. Yet, it took a determined legal aid clinic, a textbook test case and  a no-nonsense Constitutional Court to change a debt-recovery procedure that has been in operation (and subject to abuse) for nearly 40 years. Read more

Compliance with the NCA: credit providers are liable for the actions of their employees

Earlier this year the National Credit Regulator (NCR) referred a matter relating to Lewis Stores, to the National Consumer Tribunal for breach of the National Credit Act (NCA).

The role of the Consumer Tribunal is to adjudicate on applications and allegations of prohibited practice made in terms of the NCA and the Consumer Protection Act.

It was alleged that Lewis Stores and Monarch Insurance Company (its in- house insurance provider) sold retrenchment cover to pensioners and self-employed consumers. It was also alleged that Lewis Stores sold occupational disability cover as part of credit insurance to pensioners, and self-employed consumers. Read more

What you need to know about the largest competition law fine in South Africa to date

Over the past 16 years there have been various competition law cases pending against Arcelor-Mittal (Mittal).

In order to bring these cases to finality, Mittal has reached a settlement agreement with the Competition Commission to pay an eye-watering and record-breaking R1.5billion fine (payable in annual installments over the next 5 years) for its involvement in cartel conduct.  The fine (together with other remedies) is significant and represents the largest fine paid by a single firm to date for anti-competitive conduct. Read more

Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill – Back to basics

Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill – Back to basics

The Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill [B33-2015] was published for comment on 29 April 2015. The parliamentary process is complete and the Bill is now awaiting presidential assent. Little has been made of this Bill in the media, perhaps because the changes envisaged by the Bill has no apparent nor immediate impact on ordinary consumers.

For accountable institutions (identified in FICA), however, the Bill is a call to action. It is an opportunity for businesses to take ownership of their processes to combat money laundering and terrorist financing activities. Merely ticking the boxes will no longer suffice. Read more

Social Media Policy

Why companies need a social media policy and what should be in it

The media has been flooded in recent months by stories about people who made inappropriate statements on Twitter and Facebook: Penny Sparrow, Gareth Cliff, Chris Hart etc. Why should employers care what their employees post on their private social media accounts? Because it is becoming harder and harder to separate the personal from the professional.

Currently, employees who are found making offensive or harmful statements on social media can be fired and, depending on the circumstances, can even be liable for damages. This is because the employee-employer relationship is based on the utmost good faith. Why then do you need a social media policy? Read more

Competition Law

SA Competition Commission Signs MoU With The Directorate-General Commission of The European Commission

Competition authorities around the world recognise the importance of cooperation in investigating and prosecuting cross-border anti-competitive practices.

The recent memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Competition Commission and the European Commission aims to enhance national, regional  and international cooperation and enforcement across various jurisdictions in relation to competition law related matters. Read more

Justice and correctional services committee recommends candidates for information regulator, SAHRC and NCCS

Below please find the official press release form parliament:

Parliament, Wednesday 18 May 2016 –The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services met and recommended candidates for the Information Regulator as well as the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

Subsequent a briefing yesterday by the Department of Justice and Correctional Services pertaining to the list of candidates that should be appointed and serve on the National Council for Correctional Services (NCCS), the Committee was in concurrence with the proposed candidates by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services as to the public representatives who should serve on the NCCS. Read more

Competition Law

Criminal sanctions: an important weapon in the fight against cartel activity

As of 1 May 2016, competition law in South Africa will be strengthened when the criminalisation of hard core cartel activity becomes a reality.  This amendment to the Competition Act makes it an offence for company directors or persons in a position of management authority to engage in or “knowingly acquiesce” in cartel conduct and brings competition law in line with other jurisdictions such as the United States and more recently, Australia and the United Kingdom. Read more

What is collusion?

Any interaction between competitors, even if completely above board, will raise suspicion from competition authorities. Authorities are concerned that competitor interaction may lead to collusion that will be to the detriment of consumers.

Collusion refers to anti-competitive agreements or understandings amongst competitors to coordinate their conduct – for example agreeing to all sell at the same price or not to sell to certain customers. Instead of competing, competitors form a so-called cartel and behave like a single powerful supplier and this is almost always to the detriment of the consumer. Read more