No work, no pay unlawful says expert

No work, no pay policy unlawful says expert

With the lockdown meaning many South Africans can't go to work, a KZN lawyer says the no work, no pay policy during this period is unlawful.

Counting money  / iStock
Counting money / iStock

Allison Schoeman from AMS Attorneys says in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, an employee is entitled to continue receiving payment. 

But she stresses this is subject to the amount of annual leave they have available. 

Schoeman says if the worker has no annual leave, the employer is entitled to record the period of the lockdown as unpaid leave but should claim from Unemployment Insurance Fund.

She says employers are contractually bound to their employees to continue making salary payments. 

"Employers may not unlawfully withhold or make any deductions that are not provided for in the employemnt contracts. Employees that are in distress as a result of the lockdown can apply for the national disaster benefit fund from the UIF." 

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Schoeman says if a worker finds themselves in a no work, no pay situation they need to act. Unfortunately this is going to be a difficult period for employees as it may not be possible for them to obtain an immediate  resolution from an employer. 

Once the lockdown is over, employees will have to contact the CCMA. alternatively they can approach the courts for alternate relief. 

UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping, says they are ready to assist affected workers and companies.

A hotline has been set up for enquiries during the lockdown period. The number is 012 337 1997.

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