Our annual feature on the top final year LLB students is always interesting for a variety of reasons, for me not least because there often seems to be a similarity in their characteristics, and I enjoy the five and ten year on catch-ups to see whether students still display the traits I may have observed when they graduated.
In 2013 the Employment Equity Act was amended to provide that a difference in terms and conditions of employment between employees of the same employer performing the same or substantially the same work or work of equal value that is directly or indirectly based on any one or more of the grounds listed in s6(1) of the Employment Equity Act is unfair discrimination.
There is an ever-growing number of people who have decided to enter the "gig" economy (on demand work), as opposed to traditional employment. In August last year, it was estimated that there were 1.1 million people working in this sector, in the United Kingdom.
Our previous article (without prejudice December 2018) unpacked the gig economy – how it is defined, how it finds itself present in modern day economies, and began to explore how the gig model interacted with South African tenets of employment law. Examination of the relationship between workers participating in the gig economy and the employment laws that govern them remains integral to the innovation of employment opportunities, particularly in developing nations. It is estimated that of the 162 million people in the independent workforce in the United States and Europe, 33% of employers with 100 000 employees or more are expected to be using 30% or more "giggers" by the year 2020.
The discussion on the prohibition of unfair discrimination starts with s6(1) of the Employment Equity Act (55 of 1998) (EEA). The EEA does not give us the definition of unfair discrimination which results in difficulty in interpretation. In an attempt to provide a clear understanding of unfair discrimination, the courts have given us guidance through judgments. It is important to mention that the EEA had a few amendments in 2014, among them s6(4).
The meaning of discrimination is, or at least ought to be, important to all who live in South Africa, especially considering the historical and political context that continues to haunt South Africa. Consequently, this article seeks to explain, as succinctly and clearly as possible, the meaning of discrimination, as contemplated in s9(3) and s9(4) of the Constitution of South Africa.
The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) recently considered whether the insistence by a party on the incorrect interpretation of a contract constituted a repudiation thereof.
In November 2013, Marlise Munoz, a 33-year-old pregnant Texan woman, collapsed in the kitchen of her family home. She was found by her husband an hour later and subsequently rushed to John Peter Smith Hospital. She was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and declared clinically brain dead. Her husband requested the hospital remove her life support. However the hospital declined as it wished to keep her on life support until the foetus was viable or eventually died. Naturally, the case sparked controversy within the medical ethics community.
The feature this year includes responses to some questions put to the Top Students of 2018 which have been collated according to topic: what they have recently read and would recommend; what they planned to do and did with their first salary; what they would have studied had law not been an option and what is top of their bucket list. I had a positive reaction from the graduates about these sections. I enjoyed reading their responses and I am sure you will too. I also asked, among other questions, which module they would have liked to study but were unable to – it is interesting how many at various universities had similar interests. And what most of the students see as a failing at university is the lack of practical elements to the modules they study. This has been pointed out to the universities by students and law firms for many years but few seem to have taken the challenge and improved things.
I find it challenging to reflect on my time at University with any clarity; a realisation which is rather unsettling considering my last semester ended only a few months ago. It's often said that true recollection comes with time, but I occasionally feel that the passage of time will only cloud my memori s as I try to piece together the loosely knitted tapestry of the past four years of my academic life.
Firstly, congratulations! Nothing beats the feeling of completing your degree so, kudos to you, Champ! For what it's worth, here are a few pointers on a few changes I've had to effect into my life transitioning from student to candidate attorney. Let's go!
Small talk before a meeting, pulling out a chair for a senior, interrupting to make a valid point, determining the "firmness" of a sweaty-palmed handshake…all these unwritten social cues can be a minefield for a student to navigate. Add the pressure of attempting to put your best foot forward and remain yourself in an interview or vacation programme and those small behaviours can easily seem deadly.