Employment Associate


Job Reference







Johannesburg, South Africa

The role

DLA Piper Advisory Services Proprietary Limited in South Africa is seeking to hire a highly motivated employment lawyer to join our team in Johannesburg.

As an international firm, we provide advice to multi-national companies on various aspects of employment law including section 197 transfers, retrenchments and restructurings, merger-related employment advice, due diligences, unfair dismissal claims, unfair discrimination claims, compliance with employment equity legislation, how to deal with poor performance and incapacity in the workplace, protected disclosures, sexual harassment, and the deeming provisions in relation to fixed term contracts and temporary employment service employees. We also regularly draft employment contracts, policies, employment equity plans and other employment-related agreements as well as pleadings in litigious matters. In addition, we conduct investigations into workplace misconduct, sexual harassment, bullying and protected disclosures and provide training to clients on employment equity, sexual harassment, social media, chairing disciplinary enquiries and managing misconduct and poor work performance in the workplace.

We also advise on all aspects of data protection with a strong emphasis on data protection in the employment sphere. As we form part of a global organisation, we frequently assist global clients with data protection compliance projects and navigate the nuances between the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013. 

DLA Piper in South Africa is part of a global organisation with leading employment and data protection teams across multiple jurisdictions, thereby providing the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from specialists across other jurisdictions and become involved in cross-border transactions. DLA Piper also has a strong African network with the opportunity to work on multi-jurisdictional matters across Africa.


The successful candidate would have at least 1-2 years post-articles experience in employment law. It would also be preferable if the candidate has some knowledge of data protection law. 

Candidates must be able to demonstrate exceptional standards of client service and quality of work within quick turn-around times, as well as experience in taking a proactive role on transactions.  

The candidate would be required to have expertise and experience in advising global organisations in relation to the full life cycle of employment as well as providing advice in relation to mergers, restructurings, retrenchments and section 197 transfers. The candidate must have strong drafting skills and be able to draft opinions and agreements of a high quality in quick turn-around times. It would also be an advantage if the candidate has experience with training, litigation and conducting employment-related investigations. We also encourage our team to take part in business development initiatives and write articles and participate in events that show case our expertise and would be seeking a candidate who shares this passion.

From a data protection perspective, the candidate would need to be able to upskill themselves within a reasonable period to draft and amend documents to ensure that such documents contain appropriate data protection clauses in line with the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013.


We pride ourselves on having a collegiate environment and we are looking for down-to-earth but confident lawyers with future leadership potential.  

The successful candidate will have the following skills and attributes: 

  • Strong relevant technical skills, ideally experienced in the types of work described above 
  • Working knowledge of the South African employment environment 
  • An excellent academic record 
  • Be able to create and deliver sustainable, high quality client service whilst also considering the client’s wider business objectives 
  • Carries out delegated work efficiently and to the highest quality
  • Seeks to manage own utilisation in order to meet individual targets 
  • Takes ownership for achieving agreed objectives 
  • Client-facing and actively undertakes to help drive and support a variety of business development activities – demonstrates the desire to build own reputation and personal brand through client and sector initiatives, internally and externally
  • Commercially astute and stays current on key legal and business news 
  • Ability to work seamlessly across regional and multi-jurisdictional teams and time-zones, as well as effectively work on own initiative  
  • In-depth experience drafting and creating legal documents 
  • Exhibits behaviour consistent with the firm’s values and builds relationships based on respect, trust and integrity

This job description is not designed to be exhaustive and can be varied as required to develop or fulfil this role. 

The firm offers excellent training, learning and development programmes and career opportunities as well as a genuine opportunity to experience a wide range of work and clients in a friendly, supportive and diverse environment.


DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers and business service professionals located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Our global reach ensures that we can help businesses with their legal needs anywhere in the world. We strive to be the leading global business law firm by delivering quality, service excellence and value to our clients and offering practical and innovative legal solutions to help them succeed. Our clients range from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies, as well as government and public sector bodies.


In everything we do connected with our People, our Clients and our Communities, we live by these values:

  • Be Supportive – we are compassionate and inclusive, valuing diversity and acting thoughtfully
  • Be Collaborative – we are proactive, passionate team players investing in our relationships
  • Be Bold – we are fearless and inquisitive, challenging ourselves to think big and find creative new solutions
  • Be Exceptional – we are strategic and driven, exceeding standards and expectations


At DLA Piper, diversity and inclusion underpins how we live our values and everything we do. We believe that everyone has a voice, and that everyone’s voice counts. We know that the rich diversity across our firm makes us stronger, more innovative and creative, which helps us to better serve our clients and communities. We are committed to providing an inclusive working environment and culture across our global firm, where everyone can bring their authentic self to work.

Diversity of perspective, thought, background and culture combine to make us the leading global law firm; that’s why we actively seek to build balanced teams. We welcome the unique contribution that you will bring to our firm and actively encourage applications from all talented people – however your talent is packaged, whatever your background or circumstance and regardless of how you identify.


We recognise that people have responsibilities and interests outside of their career and that as a business, we all benefit from working flexibly. That’s why we are open to discussing with candidates the different ways in which we are able to support requests for agile working arrangements.


In the event that we make an offer to you, and where local legislation permits and where relevant, we will conduct pre-engagement screening checks that may include but are not limited to your professional and academic qualifications, your eligibility to work in the relevant jurisdiction, any criminal records, your financial stability and work-related references.