1-Editor's-Letter

EDITOR’S LETTER


Dear Reader

“You have to try and reach for the stars or try to achieve the unreachable.” – Cathy Freeman.

May 2017 be the year that you FINALLY achieve and sustain your new year’s resolutions of 2014.

We will ensure that at least your legal new year’s resolutions will be taken care of. The rest is up to you…make it happen!

We look forward to helping you achieve the ‘unreachable’ in 2017!

Enjoy the read!
JJR Inc. team

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IN A PAPERLESS WORLD, IS YOUR WORD YOUR BOND?
Legal New Year’s Resolutions for 2017


– Melcom Oosthuizen

Concerned with the environment, many individuals and companies have turned away from the conventional hard copy and rely on paperless offices. Gone are the days of the cluttered office with documents strewn over the floor…but at what cost?

We are all too often guilty of blindly relying on a person’s word and tend to be far too blasé with the actual consequences of loose arrangements with business partners, family, friends, employees et cetera without consciously protecting ourselves and our interests. We are creatures of habit, frequently falling into the same trap.

We are inclined to believe the illusion that the future will be as the present. So why fix what isn’t broken? Because, when it finally breaks, the consequences can be grim, possibly resulting in divorce, separation, a summons, a CCMA case or insolvency.

Let 2017 be the year of change, the year where basic personal house-keeping is done. It is better to rely on legal assistance and put arrangements into writing than purely relying on a person`s word. This is to the benefit of not only you, but also your business partner, your significant other or your beneficiaries.

Here is a list of legal New Year’s resolutions our offices can realise for you:

• Creating a will
• Drafting of a partnership or shareholders agreement
• Creating a cohabitation agreement If you live with an individual
• Issuing some standard conditions of sale and purchase to protect your legal position If you sell goods or services
• Putting informal business relationships into written agreements to provide better protection
• Drafting written contracts for all your employees, including your domestic worker
• Registering trademarks or patents of any intellectual property you use in your business
• Updating your company policy and the terms of your standard contracts
• Checking your compliance with various areas of the law
• Checking your website for legal compliance

Contact our offices to get your personal and family affairs in order for 2017 and the future.

TOO SHORT A HOLIDAY?
Time to revise annual paid leave.


– Chazanne Grobler

December, for many, is synonymous with a time to unwind and rest after a very busy year. We enjoy the well-deserved holidays in order to be ready to seize the year in January. Many employees, however, return after the holiday not feeling refreshed and the New Year seems to be an uphill battle. Perhaps the holiday was just too short?

In South Africa, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act provides the statutory framework for annual leave and according to the Act, companies must ensure that all (full-time) employees have at least 21 calendar days (15 working days) of annual leave in every annual cycle. Of the various countries, the United States of America is the only country that does not mandate paid leave. In Europe, countries such as Germany and Netherlands provide 20 paid annual leave days for full-time workers, whereas Denmark and France strongly believe in a work-life balance with 25 paid annual leave days. Australia provides their workforce with 20 leave days, whereas in the United Kingdom full-time workers are allowed 28 days annual leave. A report by Centre for Economic and Policy Research in the United States confirms that most advanced countries oblige employees to take far more leave than South Africa does.1

According to the South African Employee Benefits survey (2013) the average leave granted by employers is as follows:

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In the study, “An Assessment of Paid Time Off in the U.S.” (commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group, and completed by Oxford Economics) it was found that some of the benefits of taking leave or time-off from work included higher productivity, stronger workplace morale, greater employee retention, and significant health benefits. Ensuring that employees take annual leave, enables them to cope better with stress and manage their responsibilities more efficiently after being refreshed and re-energised. A rested mind and body boosts productivity and creativity. Shawn Achor, in his book, The Happiness Advantage, states that, “the greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged brain.” To be truly engaged, your brain needs a break.

In light of the comparison with various other countries and the report by the Centre for Economic and Policy Research in the United States, South Africa should consider revisiting its statutory framework. Given that the average of leave days is more than the required minimum, it is apparent that many employers have recognised the importance of leave and a well-rested employee. It might be a good idea to make 2017 a productive year by ensuring your employees receive the rest they need after a demanding year and revise your contract of employment.

1 http://cepr.org/content/reports.

A NEW YEAR
A new house


– Alicea van der Ryst

A New Year’s resolution is a tradition in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as opening doors for people beginning from New Year’s Day.

Some people however tend to make resolutions which are unrealistic or unachievable at that specific point in time like buying a house without weighing up the pros and cons thereof.

Buying a house is likely the single largest investment you will make, and the right one could be your “happy home” for many years to come, but unfortunately buyers’ remorse is a reality and some people tend to choose homes that really don’t suit them.

In order to make sure your resolution of buying a house falls within the parameters of reasonableness and affordability we have set up an easy 5 step plan to follow in order to find and buy your dream home:

1. Determine your basic needs in a home
Make a list of your basic needs and then your personal “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” in a home. A must have is for instance 2 bedrooms, where as a nice to have is an extra Wendy flat.

2. Determine what makes your current home appealing
Look around your current home and note the things that you like most about it, even if it is a rental property, and also note the things that do not appeal to you. This will give you a good idea of what works for you and what you need to consider when you look at homes for sale. Rather be as honest and detailed as you can about what you want, because this will really help you find the right “match”.

3. Family input gives a beneficial output
If you have a family, spend time with them and discuss what is most important to each person when compiling your house-hunting master list. This will give you a much better chance of finding a home everyone likes, and you can all settle down comfortably for many years.

4. Planning ahead is key
Plan well ahead so you don’t have to buy in a rush just to have somewhere to live. This is especially important if you are moving in with another person for the first time, or moving your family to another area or town.

5. Research and groundwork prevents you from being a dull boy
Finally, be ready to commit. Seek advice from a reputable mortgage originator to make sure you have your finances in order and qualify for a home loan before you start your search for the right home. It will give your confidence a big boost to know that when you find it, you can immediately make an offer and start the process of becoming a happy, long-term homeowner.

Once you have found your dream home, JJR Incorporated will gladly assist you in making your resolution come true. Our exemplary services in conveyancing will help you to finalize the transfer and registration of your dream property to your name in a convenient and affordable fashion.

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This newsletter is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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