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
Let's get constructive about constructive dismissal - you can still be fired

Very few workplace issues elicit as firmly held views or fears as the topic of constructive dismissal. Whether it is a manager, fearful of doing something wrong and at risk of an employee lodging the dreadful claim of constructive dismissal, or Harvey Spectre wannabes cascading their views on the legal impact of such a claim: say "constructive dismissal" and you have everyone's attention...

By Johan Botes 26 Jan 2021

#BizTrends2021: The post-pandemic workplace - a look at key trends

Putting the brakes on business travel and physical offices due to tech transformation...

By Johan Botes 11 Jan 2021

It's leave, Karen, not a savings plan

Whenever an employee's services are terminated, or an annual leave cycle ends, there will be at least two people arguing about whether the employee's old, untaken annual leave could be accumulated and paid out...

By Johan Botes 10 Dec 2020

Limited duration employment contracts - unlimited hassles when not properly managed

Employers use limited duration contracts (LDCs) to create certainty and limit legal risk in respect of staffing solutions. Appointing an employee for a fixed period or defined project allows an employer to plan for the employee's exit in advance. But what happens when the work is not completed by the end date...?

By Johan Botes 30 Sep 2020

Disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on women in the workplace

Women are unable to escape disparate treatment in the workplace, with even the current global pandemic causing greater upheaval for them compared to their male counterparts...

By Johan Botes 25 Aug 2020

Alternatives to dismissal - contemplating retrenchments post Covid-19

The issue of when an employer should explore alternatives to retrenchment has never been more relevant than now, as businesses begin to respond to the impacts of Covid-19 on their operations...

By Johan Botes 15 Jun 2020

Q&A - pressing issues employers are addressing in light of the coronavirus outbreak

Johan Botes, partner and head of the Employment & Compensation Practice at Baker McKenzie Johannesburg, addresses a series of questions many South African employees and employers are asking amid the the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak...

By Johan Botes 19 Mar 2020

Employee rights proposed for film and TV industry workers

On 11 December 2019, the Minister of Labour in South Africa issued a notice calling for interested parties to make submissions on his proposal to deem persons in the film and television industry as employees for the purpose of selected portions of South Africa's employment law...

By Johan Botes 24 Jan 2020

Not in my name - gender violence in the workplace

Employers can play a critical role in stigmatising violence against women and ensuring that perpetrators are ostracised from civilised society. No employer should have any doubt about its ability to dismiss any employee who assaults a female colleague, client or supplier...

By Johan Botes 10 Sep 2019

Harvesting attention capital and reducing the risks of the frictionless workplace

The evolution of the flexible age means that the business world is desperate to eliminate friction, seeking to remove any obstacles that stand in the way of maximising customer satisfaction, attracting the best talent and improving operational efficiency. This desire for a frictionless environment, however, has given rise to new challenges...

By Johan Botes 30 Apr 2019

#BizTrends2019: When it comes to gazing, crystal ball beats navel in 2019

In this age of overflowing inboxes, diaries filled with meetings sandwiched between conference calls and yet another round of performance assessments, managing time and focus requires Herculean effort...

By Johan Botes 7 Jan 2019

Collective bargaining agreements are valid - whether or not all employees agree

Protection of employment during business transfers is an integral piece in the employment law legal puzzle in many jurisdictions around the world...

By Johan Botes 21 Nov 2018

Defining the lines for automatic transfer of employees

Do employees automatically transfer from an old service provider to a new service provider when the client replaces the one with the other...?

By Johan Botes 4 Oct 2018

Leave judgment rustles employers

Is an employer bound by its own changes to its leave policy? What happens when the employer disputes whether the changes were ever implemented, and there is no witness to gainsay claims of what happened...

By Johan Botes 17 Sep 2018

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

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