Johan Botes

Partner and head of the Employment Practice Group at Baker McKenzie
Location:South Africa


Johan Botes is Head of the Employment Practice for Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg. He has a Master's Degree in Labour Law, and regularly appears in the CCMA, Bargaining Councils, Labour Court and High Court. Contact Johan:
Tel: +27 (0) 11 911 4400, mobile: +27 (0) 82 418 0157, switchboard: +27 (0) 11 911 4300, fax: +27 (0) 11 784 2855
Could Zuma approach the Employment Tribunal?

With Jacob Zuma finally resigning from the presidency following pressure from the ANC NEC, the question arises on his possible legal remedies should he feel aggrieved at being compelled to vacate his office and official residence...

By Johan Botes 15 Feb 2018

#BizTrends2018: Five trends in employment law we can expect in 2018

As we launch into 2018, here are a handful of trends we'll be seeing in the workplace this coming year...

By Johan Botes 8 Jan 2018

All the King's Horses and all the King's Men could not put the contract together again...

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone," it means just what I chose it to mean - neither more, neither less." ...

By Johan Botes 3 Jan 2018

Varying decisions on bargaining agreements and cancellations

A curious statutory effect of collective agreements is that a collective bargaining agreement amends the contracts of employment of individual employees...

By Johan Botes 15 Aug 2017

Exchanging public holidays could increase South Africa's productivity

South Africa's ranking on apparent labour market inflexibility (129th out of 138 countries according to the World Economic Forum Competitiveness rankings 2016/2017) suggests that businesses perceive South Africa to be a rigid operating environment...

By Johan Botes 28 Apr 2017

Could your boss having an affair with your spouse be deemed a constructive dismissal?

Employers meddling in the private affairs of their employees have been the topic of many a discussion in the past. However, it appears that some employers take their right to interfere in the private conduct of employees a step too far...

By Johan Botes 6 Mar 2017

Common mistakes employees make during disciplinary hearings

Whether it's a result of lapping up Suits or Law & Order is an open question, but we frequently see employees misconceiving their rights and obligations when faced with allegations of wrongdoing in the workplace...

By Johan Botes 21 Feb 2017

Five New Year's resolutions for employers in 2017

After the festive season break, gyms and health clubs overflow with bodies keen on making good on New Year's resolutions pledged over a glass of bubbly...

By Johan Botes 12 Jan 2017

No country for racists

May an employee who uttered racist statements be placed back into the same workplace...?

By Johan Botes 9 Nov 2016

To command and obey - employer vs employee rights at the SABC

The current situation at the SABC brings into question the rights of employers to issue commands and the duty of employees to obey and carry out such instructions...

By Johan Botes 7 Jul 2016

Once a South African employee, always a South African employee

Does a South African citizen employed by a South African business in a foreign jurisdiction have a claim for unfair dismissal under the South African Labour Relations Act, 66 of 1995 (LRA)...?

By Johan Botes 19 Nov 2015

SABMiller employees may view takeover with apprehension

The decision by SABMiller's board to accept, in principle, the takeover bid made by the world's number one brewery (and SABMiller's largest competitor) Anheuser-Busch InBev may make the brewery's employees apprehensive...

By Johan Botes 14 Oct 2015

Texas restaurant fires pregnant manager after robbery

A Texas fast food restaurant has fired the store's manager after loosing $400 in a heist...

By Johan Botes 29 Apr 2015

MEC liable for damages after doctor's rape

An employee, who suffered the horrendous ordeal of being raped whilst on duty, is not precluded from suing her employer for damages.

By Johan Botes 13 Oct 2014

Employers do not enjoy special protection against claims of defamation

Can an employer be held liable for defamatory statements made about an employee? The High Court recently confirmed that it can but that an employer may rely on the standard defences to such a claim to escape liability.

By Johan Botes 8 Jul 2014

Alternatives to retrenchment

The latest Adcorp Employment Index (January 2014) indicates that the South African economy lost 36,290 jobs during January 2014. Unemployment, according to StatsSA, sits at 24.1% (or 4.8m people actively looking for work being unable to find jobs).

By Johan Botes 17 Feb 2014

Trade union liable for neglecting to prosecute members' claims

The Constitutional Court held (on 9 October 2013) that a trade union cannot avoid liability for its neglect to prosecute claims by its members merely because the union has a constitutional right to determine its own administration.

By Johan Botes 16 Oct 2013

Concern over increase in trade union applications

Late last week the Department of Labour expressed its concern regarding the dramatic increase in South African trade union applications. This expression of concern should be welcomed by the industrial community.

By Johan Botes 24 Jul 2013

Pay rise for taxi drivers and hospitality staff

The Minister of Labour has announced an increase in the minimum remuneration payable to employees engaged in either the taxi or the hospitality sectors. The salary increase is effective from 1 July 2013, and follows hot on the heels of the increase in the general Earnings Threshold communicated by the minister recently.

By Johan Botes 4 Jul 2013

Top 10 New Year's resolutions for employers

Here are some resolutions for 2013 for you that you, as an employer, may well find useful. Get them right now - and avoid any unpleasant surprises during the year.

By Johan Botes 31 Dec 2012

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