Hugo  Pienaar

Hugo Pienaar

Director, Sector Head

Professor Hugo Pienaar is a Director in our Employment Law practice and Head of the Infrastructure, Transport & Logistics sector. He has vast experience in employment law and litigation and dispute resolution matters and represents most of the major corporations in South Africa. Hugo publishes on a regular basis on various employment law topics and has done a number of television and radio interviews.

t +27 (0)21 481 6317

Hugo Pienaar acted as a judge in the Labour Court, lectures part time in employment law subject to post-graduates at various tertiary institutions, the Da Vinci Institute, and similarly, for the Law Society of South Africa. He has contributed to textbooks and served on the government task team established to compile labour legislation for the State. Hugo has lead a study group to Malaysia and Australia to research the application of affirmative action.  He has also advised on and helped to develop a labour framework for a major institution in the United Arab Emirates. In addition, Hugo has advised on labour framework for a Japanese based motor manufacturing company and visited the Jakarta, Bangkok and other international plants for such purpose. 

Experience

  • Establishing new legal principles in labour law with regard to strikes and enforcing of restraint applications
  • Advising on mergers and acquisitions as well as restructuring of companies
  • Collective bargaining and facilitating negotiations
  • Employment equity, equal pay and discrimination disputes
  • Implementation of affirmative action programmes
  • Facilitating and mediating disputes
  • Handling and interdicting of strikes and strike related actions
  • Labour court, labour appeal court and CCMA appearances
  • Managing retrenchments and redundancies
  • Strategising on all employment related matters

Presentations and Publications

  • Runs training workshops on various topics such as disciplinary enquiries, arbitrations etc
  • A speaker at the Annual Labour Law Conference; the IMPSA Conference; SASLAW; the HR Conference as well as the Law Society
  • Publishes chapters in the SABPP Women's Report for the University of Johannesburg
  • Contributes to articles to the Road Freight Industry Newsletters
  • Contributes to articles in the Without Prejudice Magazine.
  • Regular contributor to Lexis Nexus
  • Chambers Global 2014-2022 ranked Hugo in Band 2 in Employment. 
  • The Legal 500 EMEA series 2014-2022 recommended Hugo for employment.
  • He was the exclusive South African winner of the ILO Client Choice Awards 2017 and 2019 in the employment and benefits category.

Education

  • BJuris Cum Laude, LLB, North West University
  • Extraordinary Professor, North West University, Visiting Professor, University of the Free State
  • Admission as an attorney: 1983
  • Enrolled with the Legal Practice Council

Membership

  • The South African Society for Labour Law (SASLAW)
  • A member of the Board of the Road Freight Association
The possibility of compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace
14 June 2021 Employment Law

The possibility of compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace

Hugo Pienaar, Director in our Employment Law practice joined eNCA to discuss the NEDLAC agreement and the possibility of compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace. He explains the consultation process that employers will need to undertake, if they would like to implement compulsory vaccinations.

Vaccinations policy in the workplace
18 January 2021 Employment Law

Vaccinations policy in the workplace

Hugo Pienaar, Director in the Employment Law practice featured on an eNCA interview discussing the vaccinations policy in the workplace and the ten legal principles that should be considered when deciding to create or implement such a policy.

COSATU Nationwide Strike
7 October 2020 Employment Law

COSATU Nationwide Strike

Hugo Pienaar, Director in the Employment Law practice joined CNBC Africa to discuss the federation union's strike on 7 October 2020. He unpacks the legislative framework and the impact of the strike.

Management of the Public Sector Wage Bill
25 November 2019 Employment Law

Management of the Public Sector Wage Bill

Employment Director Hugo Pienaar recently joined eNCA to unpack the Finance Minister's mini-budget report and the management of the Public Sector Wage Bill.

Unemployment rate in South Africa
17 May 2019 Employment Law

Unemployment rate in South Africa

It was recently announced that South Africa's unemployment rate has increased to 27.6% in the first quarter of this year. Employment Director Hugo Pienaar joined eNews Channel Africa to discuss this.

Hugo Pienaar discusses the recent NUMSA judgment
28 July 2017 Employment Law

Hugo Pienaar discusses the recent NUMSA judgment

CDH Employment Director Hugo Pienaar appeared on eNCA on 27 July where he discussed the recent NUMSA judgment which could have significant implications for the South African Labour market.

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An effort to fast-track transformation – The proposed Amendments to the Employment Equity Act and their implications on industry
7 November 2022 Employment Law

An effort to fast-track transformation – The proposed Amendments to the Employment Equity Act and their implications on industry

In this episode of CDH Conversations, Professor Hugo Pienaar and Abigail Butcher discuss the Employment Equity Amendment Bill, which is likely to be promulgated in late 2023, and the impact that its promulgation will have on employers. The proposed amendments include a change to the definitions of "designated employer" and "people with disabilities", the removal of the requirement for HPCSA certification in respect of psychological testing, the introduction of sectoral numerical targets by the Minister and the practicalities around the submission of employment equity reports.

Tattoos in the workplace
13 September 2022 Employment Law

Tattoos in the workplace

Are your employees tattoos visible when they wear a suit and tie? And is it even relevant if they are? Hugo Pienaar, Director in our Employment Law practice discussed the topic with 567 Cape Talk's Jonathan Maytham.

Work from home becoming a legal right
14 July 2022 Employment Law

Work from home becoming a legal right

On the other side of the sea, the Dutch parliament has approved to make work-from-home a legal right. Hugo Pienaar, Director in our Employment Law practice, discusses the likeness of this ruling in South Africa with Cape Talk. Listen to his interview here.

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