My LIPCO

Read more on South African law, news for LIPCO and legal tips from our mediators. LIPCO Law For All strives to make the law accessible and affordable to all South Africans through the provision of excellent legal services and mediation, passionately rendered by qualified legal professionals, in an organisational culture that prioritise compassion and respect for our members.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Finalization of the Mediation Rules



Parliament agrees that mediation is the answer to most legal headaches and therefore the Mediation Rules are in its final stages to becoming law. Once signed by the President, the Mediation Rules allows one to refer a dispute to mediation before or after receiving summonses to appear in court. More importantly, section 3(c) allows the Magistrate’s Court to refer a court battle to mediation at any time during litigation!

These rules come as a response to the indirect abusive previously overlooked by our justice system. People who have suffered far too long include the poor and those without answers. The poor suffer as they are unable to enforce their human and legal rights due to the steep costs associated with the law. Those waiting for answers have to deal with a heavily delayed court roll as it often takes our courts several years to provide the necessary answers and recourse.

It is especially through the guidance of our Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Jeff Radebe that South Africa’s legal woes will be solved shortly. The Mediation Rules rightly state that the main purposes of mediation include promoting access to justice, preserving the relationship between people and promoting a cost-effective resolution of a dispute.

The definition section of the Mediation Rules describes mediation as ‘the process by which a mediator assists the parties in actual or potential litigation to resolve the dispute between them by facilitating discussions between parties, assisting them in identifying issues, clarifying priorities, exploring areas of compromise and generating options in an attempt to solve the dispute.’

According to the Mediation Rules there is a ‘dispute resolution officer’ of the court and a mediator. The role of the dispute resolution officer is to explain to the parties the purpose of mediation, the affordable costs involved and to set out an ‘agreement to mediate’ for the parties to sign. This agreement will then be sent to the mediator. The role of the mediator is then to facilitate the mediation process impartially whilst treating all discussions and disclosures (oral or written) as highly confidential. If an agreement is reached between the parties, the mediator will then assist with the drafting of a settlement agreement. Once the parties of a legal dispute have signed the settlement agreement, the mediator will send same to the dispute resolution officer of the court to file.

If an agreement is not reached between the parties, the mediator nonetheless has to send his/her report to the dispute resolution officer of the court to file. If the dispute was initiated by way of litigation (summonses) but proceeded to mediation upon the request of one of the parties, alternatively as per the judicial officer’s (Magistrate’s) request, the dispute resolution officer of the court will file an unsuccessful mediation report and place the matter on the court roll for litigation once more. However, the idea is to keep our court rolls clean for cases that are less susceptible to mediation such as criminal cases in order to avoid years of delay. Furthermore, why would you pay up to hundreds and thousands, suffer emotional turmoil and years of uncertainty if you could rather preserve the peace and personally contribute to the terms of an agreeable outcome that both parties are more likely to keep to?

LIPCO (The Legally Independent Peoples’ Corporation) is proud to be part of the legal evolution towards mediation and to announce the forthcoming accreditation of I AM (Independent African Mediation). I AM is an institute for mediators that was founded by the Directors of the LIPCO Group. The vision of I AM is to make a continuous contribution to the body of knowledge within the mediation profession and to become the leading voice and representative forum for the diversity of mediators within South Africa. All legal professionals at LIPCO receive I AM training in order to become accredited mediators as prescribed and regulated by the Mediation Rules.

Comparable to the purpose of the Mediation Rules, LIPCO strives to make the law accessible and affordable. Founded in 1993, LIPCO has grown to become the largest mediation company in South Africa. LIPCO manages to resolve the majority without any court intervention and maintain a mediation success rate of more than 80%. LIPCO offers affordable monthly rates, settles the bulk of its matters out of court and explains the law in understandable terms.

For more information on IAM, please visit https://www.lipco.co.za/iam.php

Keeping you informed, 

LIPCO.  
www.lipco.co.za

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Domestic Workers Protected


Hi Members

Did you know? 1.5 Million workers in South Africa are domestic workers (including caretakers and gardeners)! Minimum wages for domestic workers are regulated by the Domestic Workers’ Act. Your pay is then determined in accordance with how many hours you work and secondly in which geographical area you are situated.

Area A:
Bergrivier Local Municipality, Breederivier Local Municipality, Buffalo City Local Municipality, Cape Agulhas Local Municipality, Cederberg Local Municipality, City of Cape Town, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, Drakenstein Local Municipality, Ekurhulen Metropolitan Municipality, Emalahleni Local Municipality, Emfuleni Local Municipality, Ethekwini Metropolitan Unicity, Gamagara Local Municipality, George Local Municipality, Hibiscus Coast Local Municipality, Karoo Hoogland Local Municipality, Kgatelopele Local Municipality, Khara Hais Local Municipality, Knysna Local Municipality, Kungwini Local Municipality, Kouga Local Municipality, Langeberg Local Municipality, Lesedi Local Municipality, Makana Local Municipality, Mangaung Local Municipality, Matzikama Local Municipality, Metsimaholo Local Municipality, Middelburg Local Municipality, Midvaal Local Municipality, Mngeni Local Municipality, Mogale Local Municipality, Mosselbaai Local Municipality, Msunduzi Local Municipality, Mtubatu Local Municipality, Nama Khoi Local Municipality, Nelson Mandela, Nokeng tsa Taemane Local Municipality, Oudtshoorn Local Municipality, Overstrand Local Municipality, Plettenbergbaai Local Municipality, Potchefstroom Local Municipality, Randfontein Local Municipality, Richtersveld Local Municipality, Saldanha Bay Local Municipality, Sol Plaatjie Local Municipality, Stellenbosch Local Municipality, Swartland Local Municipality, Swellendam Local Municipality, Theewaterskloof Local Municipality, Umdoni Local Municipality, uMhlathuze Local Municipality and Witzenberg Local Municipality.

If you work in one of the above areas for more than 27 hours a week, you may expect an R8.95 hourly rate. If you work in one of the above mentioned areas for less than 27 hours a week, you may expect an R10.48 hourly rate.

If you work in an area other than those mentioned above (area B) for more than 27 hours a week, you may expect an R7.65 hourly rate. If you work in an area other than those mentioned above for less than 27 hours a week, you may expect an R9.03 hourly rate.

If you feel that you are not being paid what you deserve, please visit the Department of Labour in your area. An independent investigator will be appointed to review the matter and make contact with your employer/ issue penalties.

Keeping you informed,


LIPCO

www.lipco.co.za

Monday, 26 August 2013

Injury whilst Traveling to Work


Dear Members

Is the injury on or off duty if the employer transports workers to and from work in a company car and the driver makes an accident?

Before one can claim from the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (CODIA) one must prove an accident as ‘arising out of and in the course of an employee’s employment and resulting in a personal injury, illness or the death of the employee.’ At first glance it then seems that one cannot claim, why? Because usually when traveling to and from work, the employee is not on duty and is not busy doing what he/she would normally do based on his/her job description.

This however seems unfair based on the above scenario! That is why there is an exception in terms of COIDA that provides that an injured employee could claim provided the following criteria are met:

a) The employer provided the vehicle and transport to the employee free of charge;

b) This was provided for purposes of employment only;

c) The vehicle was driven by the employer himself or one of the employees. If the transport was provided by a contractor, one would most likely not be able to claim from COIDA.

If one is however still unsure, why not simply complete the necessary forms and send same to the Commissioner of COIDA for determination? Remember, the Commissioner has the discretion whether or not to cover a claim.

Keeping you informed,

LIPCO
www.lipco.co.za

Thursday, 15 August 2013

LIPCO Careers



Are you job hunting or interested in working for a remarkable company with significant growth opportunities? Click on the links below for available positions at LIPCO Law for All!

Sales & Marketing Representative in Bloemfontein: http://www.gumtree.co.za/cp-sales-telemarketing-jobs-in-bloemfontein/marketing-sales-representative-bloemfontein-512430772 


Keeping you informed, 

LIPCO
www.lipco.co.za