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Labour Law

TERS applications: annual leave benefits

Article written by Albert Mouton (SEESA)

South Africa and the world at large are currently going through a devastating economic downturn as a result of COVID-19. Employers and employees alike are living through an incredibly uncertain time with the nationwide lockdown. Whilst many efforts have been implemented by the Government to lessen the dire economic impact of the lockdown, money from the relief scheme is not always immediately available.

For the businesses that have been unable to work during the lockdown, it is important to note that employers are not legally obliged to pay staff and may put staff on lay-off whereby no work is rendered but likewise no remuneration is paid by the employer. Where employees have lost out on their normal remuneration or a portion thereof, they are eligible to claim from the COVID-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme.

The Coronavirus and the effect thereof in the workplace

Article by Herklaas Oberholster (Legal Advisor in Labour Department Seesa)

Now and again, a pandemic takes the world by storm. From the “Spanish Flu”, the 1918 influenza epidemic to the more recent swine flu outbreak of 2009. Each brought with it its hysteria and pandemonium. The present-day cause of great concern and panic that has taken over the world at large and remains a hot topic on everyone’s lips is the COVID-19 disease, more commonly referred to as the Coronavirus. 

My employee wants to leave before their notice period has lapsed – what now?

Article provided by SEESA

Employers often face the issue of employees not giving sufficient notice of termination of services as prescribed by the Act. This does not give employers sufficient time to find a proper replacement or to provide the necessary training for the replacement and can in some instances lead to a loss of income to the employer.

Load shedding – must employees be paid?
Article provided by Sanlam and written by Jan Truter for Load shedding is having a devastating impact on businesses. Questions that typically arise are: Do employees have the right to be paid if they are unable to work during power outages, and may employers change working hours to fit in with load shedding schedules? In this article, we will revisit the relevant principles again to make sure they are aligned with current acceptable employment practices.
Discrimination based on religion
Article provided by Sanlam and written by Jan Truter for Adherents to certain religions are reluctant to work on their sabbath or other holy days. In some cases, they refuse to do so. But what if such a refusal clashes with the employer’s operational needs? Our labour legislation affords employees protection against discrimination on several grounds, including religion. This protection has at its foundation the constitutional protection of a person’s dignity. However, all constitutional rights have their limitations. These limitations are often tested in the workplace, as happened in the case of TDF Network Africa (Pty) Ltd vs Faris (2018), which found its way to the Labour Appeal Court (LAC).
Implications of national minimum wage
Article provided by Sanlam and written by Barney Jordaan for The national minimum wage (NMW) came into effect on 1 January 2019. What exactly does this mean for employers and employees? R20 per hour The new minimum wage of R20 per hour applies across all sectors, with a few exceptions.

Temporary exceptions

The exceptions include domestic workers, farm/forestry workers and workers employed in Expanded Public Works Programmes. These exceptions will only be temporary. It is envisaged that there will be a gradual adjustment of certain wages to come in line with the NMW. As a first step, these minimum wages will be as follows:
  • Domestic workers: R15 per hour
  • Farm/forestry workers: R18 per hour
  • Workers employed on Expanded Public Works: R11 per hour
Schedule 1 of the National Minimum Wage Act of 2018 states that these minima will be effective “from a date fixed by the President by proclamation in the Gazette”. Although this suggests a future date that is not yet known, some commentators have assumed that it should also be 1 January 2019. While we disagree with the latter interpretation, we nevertheless recommend that our readers adhere to the stipulated minima as from 1 January 2019.
Understanding taxation
Article provided by The Cloud Accountants Benjamin Franklin is credited as saying the only things certain in life are death and taxes. Taxes come in an array of forms: petrol tax, excise duties, import duties, estate duty, transfer duty, dividend tax, VAT and income tax. The subject is complex and difficult so in this article I will give an overview of the issues one needs to manage as a business owner and provide some ideas in order to minimise the time and effort required to remain compliant.
Dagga in the workplace
Article provided by Sanlam and written by Barney Jordaan for People may no longer be prosecuted for cultivating, possessing and using small amounts of dagga for private purposes. But what are the consequences for the workplace? The recent decision of the Constitutional Court in Minister of Justice & Others v Prince & Others to decriminalise the cultivation, possession and use of dagga for private purposes set the cat among the pigeons for employers. Questions raised by employers include whether employees are now allowed to use marijuana (dagga) during working hours; whether possession of it on the employer’s premises is permitted and whether an employer may still take action against an employee who is under the influence of dagga or has dagga in his system.

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