‘Employers can’t force employees to take unpaid leave during lockdown’

26 March 2020

South Africans will from Thursday go through a 21-day national lockdown in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.

What obligations do employers have towards their employees wellbeing during the lockdown.

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Employment and Labour Department director-general Thobile Lamati says if there is ever an opportunity for employers to care for their employees, now is the time.

We issued guidelines in terms of what workplaces need to do with regards to occupational health and safety. We know that this is a very stressful time for employees because there is a possibility that they may loose income.— 

Thobile Lamati, Director-general – Employment and Labour Department

He says the department has come up with a benefit that is delinked from the normal UIF credit based system.

We require employers to access this benefit. We are saying to employers not to tell their employees to take unpaid leave as the lockdown is not the employees own doing. The lockdown is an instruction from the commander in chief.— 

Thobile Lamati, Director-general – Employment and Labour Department

Employers and employees should call 012 337-1997 in order to get information about this UIF benefit, he says.

Source: 702 Live at http://www.702.co.za/articles/378932/employers-can-t-force-employees-to-take-unpaid-leave-during-lockdown