With South Africa in complete lockdown until midnight on the 16th of April 2020, companies are trying to understand how this government ordinance will directly affect them, their employees and all their livelihoods. As such, the lockdown period has raised serious labour related questions about the rights and obligations employers have towards the wellbeing of their employees and their own businesses during this time.
Tertius Wessels, Advocate and Legal Director of Strata-g Labour Solutions, says that there is a lot of uncertainty as to how employers should go about dealing with their staff during this time. Non-essential businesses have been forced to shut down, meaning many workers have been sent home. Businesses such as gyms, restaurants and museums can’t work remotely from home, and therefore it impacts both parties.
Few employers have the time or expertise to deal with complex staff related issues and legal compliance from an employment perspective. For this reason, Strata-g Labour Solutions is offering corporate South Africa part of its service offering for free. The Strata-g COVID-19 hotline provides legal guidance to companies who do not have access to labour experts and who require legal guidance during this business unusual period.
Advice will cover concerns such as how to deal with employees who resign during this time; how the ‘no work, no pay’ principle applies; UIF claims; how to deal with disciplinary issues; leave schedules; salaries; and retrenchments, for instance.
Six of Strata-g’s top legal consultants will counsel companies telephonically on employment related matters, to guide them to stay on the right side of the law and to equip them to revert to their employees with accurate and factual advice.
Wessels adds, “Our consultants will also assist employers with post-lockdown direction to help them address issues such as business relief claims. Government has made available two funds: the National Disaster Benefit (NDB) fund and Temporary Relief Scheme Services (TERS), to assist employers in alleviating some of the financial difficulties encountered during this period.
“As part of our commitment to give back to corporate South Africa during these trying business times, the Strata-g team aims to help as many companies as we can to understand their and their employees’ legal rights. As the market leader and preferred industrial relations partner for all employers, it is our honour to offer this invaluable support during lockdown,” Wessels concludes.
Strata-g Labour Solutions’ consultants are available for legal consultation between 8am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays, or companies can send their enquiries to email@example.com.
The Strata-g hotline numbers are:
Tertius Wessels - 079 887 0742
Werniech van Blerk – 083 551 7162
Michael Hatherell – 066 486 9566
Nombuso Ndlovu – 071 604 3272
Charlene Roux – 082 656 5879
Justin Hattingh – 071 604 3553