In an attempt to weather the poor economic climate exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have taken on a ‘side hustle’. Similar to ‘moonlighting’, a ‘side hustle’ is defined as any work performed to supplement one’s primary income. With flexible working arrangements becoming more common, taking on a side venture has become a viable option for many employees.

Engaging in a side-hustle business does however expose an employee to certain risks in relation to his or her primary employment. Even if no contractual term or workplace policy precludes an employee from partaking in any side-line business, he or she may end up in hot water should it become evident that a conflict of interest exists between his or her side hustle and primary employment, or if the side hustle interferes with his or her primary workplace duties. This was demonstrated in the recent case of Bakenrug Meat (Pty) Ltd t/a Joostenberg Meat v CCMA and Others (CA8/2020) [2022] ZALAC 4.

In Bakenrug Meat, an employee took on a side-hustle business which entailed the marketing of biltong, while she was primarily employed as a sales consultant at a meat production business. The employee was found guilty of a charge of dishonesty in that she failed to disclose her side venture to her employer, and that her venture hindered her work performance.

Upon being dismissed, the aggrieved employee referred an unfair dismissal dispute to the CCMA. The CCMA found that the dismissal was substantively fair in that the employee failed to, at the very least, inform her employer of her side business. Had the employee been transparent about her side venture with her employer from the onset, her employer would have had the opportunity to determine whether such an activity would be deemed a conflict of interest. This blatant omission, coupled with the evidence provided by the employer that the employee neglected her duties, warranted the dismissal.

The employee then approached the Labour Court to have the decision by the CCMA set aside. There, the Court held that, due to the fact that the employee was not bound to perform her duties to her primary employer 24 hours per day, no nexus could possibly exist between the duties of her primary occupation and her side business which she only partook in during her free time. It further held that a duty to disclose one’s side business only exists when a real conflict of interest is present, and not merely when there is a possibility that such a conflict may arise. The Court therefore set aside the CCMA’s decision.

On the employer’s appeal to the Labour Appeal Court, the Court placed great emphasis on the fact that the employee’s side business of the sale of biltong was very similar to her primary occupation – in meat sales with Joostenburg Meat. As she had made the conscious decision not to disclose her materially similar activities to her employer, the Court held that she was being dishonest and manifestly acted in violation of her duty of good faith to her employer. The Court therefore upheld the initial decision by the CCMA.

It is evident that this case is equally as important to employers as it is to employees. For employees, it illustrates the extent to which one’s duty of good faith towards one’s employer stretches. For employers, it highlights the possible risks in failing to establish clear workplace policies regarding side ventures, especially in a setting where flexible working arrangements are embraced.


If you are considering starting a side hustle and are unsure whether this puts you in breach of existing employment obligations, contact us today for advice,

About the author

We use cookies to analyse website usage and other technical information to improve the functionality of our website   View more
Cookies settings
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active
This policy informs you how we will use your personal information, by using our services and/or website you consent to our use of your personal information for the purposes described herein.
    • Personal Information means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person, and where it is applicable, an identifiable, existing juristic person, including, but not limited to, name and surname; identification number; physical address; contact information such as an email address and telephone number.
    • Data Subject means the person to whom personal information relates.
    • Responsible Party means a public or private body or any other person which, alone or in conjunction with others, determines the purpose of and means for processing personal information.
    • Identification Information means information that can be used to identify the data subject.
    • Compliance Information means information that is needed by Dunsters Attorneys for us to be compliant with relevant laws including the Financial Intelligence Centre Act “FICA” and regulatory standards and government orders such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know-Your-Client (KYC) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF).
    • Communication Information includes all correspondence such as emails and messages.
    • Financial information means any information relating to payment of invoices, including but not limited to banking information and account details
  • We may collect website usage and other technical information such as details of your visits to our website through cookies and other tracking technologies. Cookies are small data files stored by your computer to help improve functionality or tailor information to provide visitors with more relevant pages.
  • The information we collect may include information provided to us through your initial correspondence, possibly including:
    • Name and Surname
    • Email address
    • Contact numbers; and/or
  • This may also include information that we may have requested, and you subsequently provided, including, but not limited to:
    • Compliance Information
    • Identification Information
    • Communication Information
    • Financial Information
    • Other Personal Information
  • Reasons for collection of your personal information will be explained to you when we collect/request the information. We may request certain personal information to comply with global industry regulatory standards, local regulatory standards or government orders.
  • You, the data subject, consent to our use of your information in line with this privacy policy and/or any terms of engagement you may sign with us. If you wish to revoke your consent, please email .
  • We acquire information from you directly, save where accessible from publicly available sources.
  • Information may be collected through various platforms, including:
    • Our onboarding process with you
    • Email engagement
    • Telephonic engagement
    • In-person engagement
    • Cookies
    • Your personal information may be collected and saved on our system for the following purposes:
      • To enable us to provide legal services.
      • To send news, updates and marketing information.
      • To review job applications.
      • To comply with legal requirements
    • Your personal information will not be used for the following purposes:
      • We will never use your personal information for direct marketing purposes without your consent (you may opt-out of our newsletter at any time)
      • We will never disclose your personal information to another third party without permission from yourself, unless it is required for fulfilment of our legal services or as mandated by law.
  • Right of the data subject under the POPI Act include, but are not limited to:
    • Having access to their recorded personal information
    • Requesting correction or amendment to their personal information and to have information corrected or amended
    • Requesting deletion or destruction of personal information from the responsible party’s system
    • Objecting to the processing of personal information
    • Submitting a complaint to the Regulator regarding the alleged interference with the protection of the personal information of any data subject or submitting a complaint to the Regulator (
    • Instituting civil proceedings regarding the alleged interference with the protection of their personal information.
  • We will retain your information for the period required by law.
  • Where we retain your contact information for any period other than may be prescribed by law, we retain this information to keep you updated of our various offerings and news. By not unsubscribing from newsletter, you consent to us retaining your personal information on our records indefinitely, for the purposes explained above, including, to keep you informed about news and updates pertaining to Dunsters Attorneys Inc.
  • We take reasonable technical and organisational measures to secure the integrity of your personal information and use accepted technological standards to prevent unauthorised access to or disclosure of your personal information, and protect your personal information from misuse, loss, alteration and destruction.
  • The measures that are taken in order to protect your personal information include:
    • Physical measures: access to physical copies of your information is controlled using strict protocol.
    • Electronic measures: firewalls and password protection
  • While we will take all reasonable steps to ensure the security of your data and personal information according to industry standards, it is not possible to guarantee the complete security of all information provided at all times.
  • We will notify you as soon as reasonably practicable of any breach of security, loss of or damage to your personal information.
  • Data subjects are responsible for taking reasonable precautions to safeguard their personal information.
  • Although we endeavour to ensure your information is as correct as possible, you are responsible for notifying us of any changes to your data or personal information in respect of the services provided and/or your account with us.
  • We will not be held liable for losses of any nature which are due to incorrect data or personal information provided by users in respect of the service provided.
  • We will not be held liable for any loss or damage arising from a security breach or disclosure of your personal information or data, to the maximum extent permitted by law.
  • We shall not be liable for any damage or interruptions caused by any computer viruses or other malicious code that may affect your computer or other equipment, or any phishing, spoofing or other attack.
  • If you suspect that your personal information has been compromised, or that there has been unauthorised use of your email address by any person, or any other violations to the security of the website, please contact us.
Save settings
Cookies settings