As the COVID-19 pandemic tightens its grip on South Africa and a 21-day national lockdown is implemented, companies, employers and employees across the country are hastily navigating a minefield of unfamiliar working conditions and stringent new Regulations that cut across multiple areas of law.
Legal technology company, LexisNexis South Africa, has drawn upon its global expertise to launch a COVID-19 Free Resource Centre aimed at informing the public of its rights and responsibilities during this period, as well as the rights and obligations of employers, employees and businesses.
The COVID-19 portal provides free access to a convenient online platform housing resources and information that cover a variety of general public themes such as Labour Law, Immigration, Property and Planning, as well as Notices, Court Directives and Regulations pertaining to COVID-19.
CEO and Chairperson of the Board of LexisNexis South Africa, Videsha Proothveerajh, said: “Now and then, every country faces a crisis of one kind or another. The difference here is that COVID-19 represents a common enemy that we are all fighting across the globe. It continues to test all aspects of our societies - our people, our infrastructure, our systems and processes - and indeed, even our understanding and implementation of the Rule of Law. This COVID-19 portal is one of our responses as a good corporate citizen that is committed to upholding the Rule of Law and ensuring that the country survives this difficult period.”
The site includes commentary from legal experts around the country on emerging themes and topics around COVID-19 matters. Articles published to date on the platform cover some of the most important questions around COVID-19, such as employee rights and employer obligations, immigration rights for foreign nationals working in the country, rental payment problems caused by COVID-19 and demotion as an alternative to retrenchment.
LexisNexis’s editorial team has also made available COVID-19 legislation and regulation changes on the same site at no cost to the public. This provides direct access to a consolidated and authoritative source of COVID-19 regulatory information, together with useful tips, data and other helpful resources.
“Creating information and content that is anchored by the Rule of Law is perhaps one of our most important reasons for existing and we believe this proposed tool will be an extremely helpful resource as we continue to see people’s information needs expanding during this outbreak,” said Proothveerajh.
“Even more importantly, this comprehensive resource could help reduce the spread of misinformation and assist South African citizens to become more savvy about their rights and responsibilities during this time,” she added.
As a company, LexisNexis has a proud legacy of supporting the Rule of Law on a global basis and of enhancing the potential of the African continent by Advancing the Rule of Law, which it believes is the very foundation for the development of peaceful, equitable and prosperous societies. In existence in South Africa for over 85 years, the company has partnered with governments, judiciaries and legal experts across the African continent to update and maintain online legal repositories that help citizens, professionals and governments to navigate legal content more easily and efficiently.
LexisNexis has also been commended for its swift action during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Long before the first COVID-19 cases were announced in South Africa, we had activated comprehensive mitigation measures that intended to ensure the safety of our employees, customers and the communities we live in. We continue to review and adjust these as the circumstances dictate, ensuring business continuity and sustainability,” said Proothveerajh.
“COVID-19 represents a new normal for us all and it is our hope that this resource centre will aid the public in navigating this uncharted territory with ease, through direct access to simple but authoritative that keeps them well informed of their basic rights at this time,” she said.
For more information and to access the COVID-19 Resource Centre, visit: https://www.lexisnexis.co.za/news-and-insights/covid-19-resource-centre