NUMSA CIRCULAR BLATANTLY FALSE
We have received reports from members that NUMSA has been issuing circulars regarding the measures employers ‘must’ implement during the lockdown.
The statements made in these circulars are patently false and irresponsible and may well lead to a deterioration of the relationship between employers and employees.
The statements made by NUMSA are as follows:
• “No worker can be forced to take unpaid leave during the lockdown.”
This issue does not even arise as the no-work-no-pay policy applies. However, the imposing of annual leave on an employee remains the prerogative of the employer and should an employer elect to utilise leave during this period, he is, in the absence of an agreement stipulating otherwise, legally entitled to do so. This includes unpaid leave, although this may be somewhat counter-productive in light of the no-work-no-pay-policy.
• “Workers must be paid in full during the lockdown.”
This is completely false. Due to the national disaster, the obligations of parties in terms of the employment contract are suspended. The no-work-no-pay policy applies.
• “Companies who cannot afford to pay salaries can apply for funding from UIF for COVID-19 temporary relief fund.”
This statement is correct insofar as it states that companies can apply for TERS funding. However, any company can apply, irrespective of affordability, and is under no obligation to make payment to employees, except for the funds received from UIF. NEASA is currently awaiting amended regulations in this regard and will provide more information as soon as the regulations have been published.
• “Employers must top up the benefit if it is less than total monthly salary.”
This statement is incorrect. As already mentioned, the no-work-no-pay policy applies, there is no obligation on the employer to make any payment.
Employers are requested to contact their regional NEASA office should they require assistance with these types of demands.
We are all in this together.
Privileged and challenged to be South African.