The recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused grave challenges throughout the world and South Africa is no exception. As a result, the President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa has attempted to mitigate the effect of the coronavirus by implementing a nationwide lockdown. Despite the praise received for this decision, a decision of this magnitude is bound to have severe ramifications. Employers and employees in particular are bound to face significant financial difficulties during these uncertain times.
During this crisis, we have had numerous queries from clients regarding their legal obligations and rights. In the circumstances, it is imperative that employers are fully advised on the following topics prior to making any decisions:
- The employer’s obligation to create and maintain a safe working environment;
- Categories of leave employees may be entitled to;
- Reduction in salaries;
- Government relief in the form of TERS and UIF;
- Short time;
- The enforceability of contracts; and
- Prescription and time periods for on-going legal disputes as well as for new disputes that may arise during this time.
It is ostensible that this is unchartered territory and as such these issues are constantly being discussed and updated by Government. A consequence of this is that businesses are continually trying to keep up with the law. We thus strongly recommend that you contact us for legal advice as soon as possible in order to ensure compliance with the law and to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on your business or to assert your rights as a vulnerable employee in this time.
We understand that this lockdown has had negative financial implications for many businesses and individuals and we are accordingly offering consultations at reduced rates. Please book your consultation now as limited openings are available.