Previously we talked about contractual obligations and the importance of knowing your rights. We do however need to distinguish between your rights prior, during and after lockdown.
Reality is that the National Lockdown changed our lives the way we know it forever.
Short Time and Reduction of Salary Prior Lockdown
In the, what now seems to have been, perfect world, there was two scenarios in terms of short time. The first scenario was prior the lapse of the MIBCO Main Collective Agreement when employers could, within 24 hours, inform you that you are on short time and should it last for more than 4 weeks, merely inform MIBCO.
The second scenario began when the MIBCO Main Collective Agreement lapsed on 31 August 2019. Short time, no longer a right to employers, became a subject of negotiations and employers had to consult with you and your union, prior to placing any employee on short time.
COVID -19 National Lockdown
The current situation, National Lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, came with its own set of rules. The period since 27 March 2020 is marked as a “no work – no pay” period and neither you or your employer could prevent it from happening. Initially the lockdown would have been for 3 weeks only. Many employers, in doing the math, were willing to continue to pay salaries, whether as leave or in goodwill, and the COVID-19 TER Scheme was created to give employees and employers some sort of relief.
On 9 April 2020, another day to remember, South Africa was informed that the National Lockdown had been extended for another 2 weeks. The reality hit us without warning. We almost reached a point of acceptance, just to be hit with a whole new Level 4 to 1 Phasing-In Plan from Government.
Short Time and Reduction of Salary during Lockdown
The Automotive Aftermarket is one of the Industries who could return in a very limited capacity in Level 4.
Tomorrow, 8 May 2020, marks the end of a 6 week period of “no work – no pay” for many of our members, whilst others could work from home for a number of hours a week. The reality in the current situation is that you may be called upon to work only a couple of days during a week or month. Reduced hours of work, for those who can return, is currently part of a phasing-in process. Presenting, hopefully, every employee with an opportunity to earn some income to add to the current TERS pay-out. The flipside of the coin is that should you and your colleague be equally capable of performing a specific task during Level 4 and you are not called upon, that might be an unfair labour practice.
Some employers are still willing to pay their employees, but at a reduced salary. The reality is that if you do not work and receive only a percentage of your salary, or work reduced hours are paid for those hours only, it is not a unilateral reduction of salary. The flipside of the coin is that should you work full hours and are paid at a reduced rate without your consent, that is a unilateral reduction of your salary.
Talk to us!
MISA did not stop to look out for our members and finding ways to assist and accommodate you! Should you be unsure whether you are unfairly treated, please do not hesitate to contact us. You are not alone!
How to contact MISA during the lockdown?
UIF/TERS Support UIFClaim@ms.org.za
Legal/Labour-related enquiries Legal@ms.org.za
*WhatsApp or sms only (No calls) 0718809682
MISA Benefit claim-related enquiries Claims@misa.org.za
Any other enquiries Info@ms.org.za
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