Aging Employees: When Must They Retire?

Legal
Record numbers of Baby Boomers are now reaching their 60s, and if you are an employer in any size of business (from the smallest family-owned enterprise to the largest corporate), make sure now that you have a policy in place to handle the thorny question of compulsory retirement. This is vital – sooner or later you are going to have an employee turning 55 or 60 or 65, and if you think you can just say “Happy Birthday Kim, time for you to retire, see you around” you are in for big trouble. So what’s the legally required retirement age? The problem is that nothing in our law imposes a standard retirement age on employees. So trying to force someone to retire at an age that you unilaterally choose (no matter how…
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What To Do When Someone Dies

Legal
The inevitability of death doesn’t detract from the shock and distress that it brings to the grieving survivors, and much as we don’t like to plan for these things it will help at least a little to know what to do in practice after a death. The formalities There is unfortunately a lot of red tape involved, but your family doctor, undertaker and spiritual advisor (if you have one) will help you with or attend to many of the formalities and practicalities – Firstly, you will need a Notice of Death which sets out the identity of the deceased as well as the date, time and cause of death. If the deceased died at home, call in your family doctor for help. The deceased will be transported to a mortuary or funeral…
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Dagga – Just How Legal is it Now?

Legal
Whether or not you personally have ever had (or intend to have) anything to do with cannabis/marijuana/weed/dagga, and whether or not you agree with the recent Constitutional Court ruling in Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Others v Prince (Clarke and Others Intervening); National Director of Public Prosecutions and Others v Rubin; National Director of Public Prosecutions and Others v Acton (CCT108/17) [2018] ZACC 30 that partially decriminalises it, the fact remains that the highest court in our land has spoken. All of us should be aware of the implications. The media has been awash with reports (sometimes conflicting, often vague) of what the recent Constitutional Court ruling actually means in practice. Whether you agree with the ruling or not, and whether or not you personally have ever had (or intend to…
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Selling Your House: Disclosing Defects

Legal
When you sell anything, our law requires that you deliver it to the buyer without any defects. That’s not easily achieved with property and you should always protect yourself with a voetstoots (“as is” or “without any warranty”) clause in your sale agreement. A recent High Court decision in the case of Van Rooyen v Brown and Another (A3104/2015) [2018] ZAGPJHC 453 again confirms that when it comes to selling your house, honesty is indeed the best policy. Specifically, disclose all defects you know of to potential buyers, or risk expensive litigation and damages claims. Defects and Defences The buyers of a house, who had paid R2.3m for it (the seller having reduced her original asking price from R3.6m to get a sale), sued the seller for damages in respect of various defects. These, they…
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