The Labour Court, in a recent case, has confirmed that dismissing an employee who came to work knowing that he had been exposed to the virus, was fair in the circumstances of this case.
The facts in Eskort Limited v Stuurman Mogotsi and Others (JR1644/20)  ZALCJHB 53, were that the employee (Mogotsi) was an assistant manager and a member of the in-house “Coronavirus Site Committee” at work - which, amongst other things, was tasked with informing employees about the risks of COVID-19, what symptoms to look out for and what to do in the event of exposure.
Mogotsi usually travelled to and from work with a colleague. The colleague started feeling unwell, was booked off from work and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Mogotsi also started experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19. Despite him being booked off and his employer advising him to stay at home, he however persisted in coming to work. During the period when he was awaiting the...
Uncertainty. The new normal. VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity).
All of these are buzz words floating around in the current global Covid-19 environment. And the main question on everyone's lips is: "how long"?
How long before ...... we return to how things were, to my comfort zone, to the way I am used to doing things, to safety, to financial stability, to LIFE! Well, how long is a piece of string?
We have daily discussions with business owners and managers who are desperate to find some measure of certainty and to be able to give direction and guidance to their staff. They feel the responsibility of leadership weighing heavily on them - they understand all too well the emotions and financial strain that their employees are going through, yet they have to make the tough decisions to try and ensure the survival of their organisation, business or school. The usual planning models and financial projections have just about become irrelevant while we do...
[Updates: DoH published Guidelines on Vulnerable Workers - 25 May 2020; Health and Safety Directive - 4 June 2020]
The phased-in lifting of the lockdown in South Africa means that employers have started to open up their businesses again. There are, however, measures the employer must put in place prior to the return of employees to the workplace. One of the requirements is that ‘special measures’ must be implemented for employees over the age of 60 years and those with health issues or comorbidities.
There have been a lot of questions about how employers should handle employees who are regarded as such ‘vulnerable workers’ for the purposes of Covid-19 back-to-work measures. In particular, there is a misconception that such employees may not return to the physical workplace, and some believe that such employees would be entitled to (paid) ‘special leave’ if they fall into this category. It is not quite as simple as that.
Today we have decided that it is time for a bit of positivity and a splash of colour! There is enough going around to be negative about at the moment - including the many difficult decisions to be made by organisations everywhere as we are planning for the post-lockdown environment.
We must however not lose sight of the opportunities that may come out of this whole difficult process.
Our country might just be able to shake loose the shackles of inaction as regards much-needed economic (and possibly even political) reforms. Avenues for assistance and collaboration that may have been tightly closed before, have opened up due to the fact that everyone (whether local, global, public or private) is in the same boat.
Many recalcitrant executives who have put off delving into and anticipating the 4IR-world, and who have resisted pleas to investigate flexible work, gigging, the use of freelancers and so on, have been forced into remote-work...