Today, ten weeks ago, we scuttled to get everything in place for the 3-week National Lockdown!
The reality is that a bearable three-week lockdown become an unbearable, and in some instances devastating, ten-week lockdown, with the finishing line still looming in the distance and shifted numerous times.
We should therefore not be surprised by the havoc the lockdown leaves in its wake, especially on the economy and the livelihoods of each and every one of us. This is the reality!
Terms and Conditions of Employment
COVID -19 did not change the rules, legislation, your contract or your rights! What needs to be changed is our thinking and our conduct! For instance, your salary and benefits, such as commission and incentives are terms of your employment, whether in writing or implied.
The Labour Court held in Apollo Tyres SA (Pty) Ltd v CCMA and Others, that the “better” interpretation of benefit should include “a right or entitlement to which the employee is entitled (ex contractu or ex lege including rights judicially created) as well as an advantage or privilege which has been offered or granted to an employee in terms of a policy or practice, subject to the employer’s discretion.”
It was in this judgment that the court confirmed “’…’benefit’ in Section 186(2)(a) of the [Labour Relations] Act means existing advantages or privileges to which an employee is entitled as a right, or granted in terms of policy or practice, subject to the employer’s discretion.”
Currently the Automotive Aftermarket is flooded with communication from employers telling you that your salary has been or will be reduced and that you must sign agreement. These terms cannot be changed unilaterally! You must be in agreement through a process of negotiation or consultation.
Make an informed decision
Do not just sign, because the letter informing you of the reduction instructs you to do so! Or, as we had last week when a person in a position of power went off script and sent communication, with the reduction in salary letter, informing MISA members that if they do not sign acceptance, they will be retrenched without a package!
These are the questions you must ask yourself prior signing acceptance or refusal:
These and other questions must be tested and answered before you sign!
You are not alone
Last week I had a discussion with a MISA member employed at a very prominent and known group in the Automotive Aftermarket. She was highly irate with MISA as her employer told them that MISA is aware of, and in agreement with the proposed reduction in salary. The member, like many others, took the words of the employer for granted and signed!
MISA knew, but did not agree, as the reduction in salary proposed and implemented by this group was not a measure to prevent retrenchments. I did engage with her employer and retracted her acceptance.
DO NOT ASSUME – Phone us!
How to contact MISA during the lockdown?
Kindly utilise the following e-mail addresses and links for assistance during this time:
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
Mobile App https://onelink.to/w9a7ku
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