Domestic workers and leave pay

Kosmik

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
21,977
Hi all,

Before the lockdown there were a few threads about domestics and the lockdown but everything was quite vague and still uncertain. What are the current opinions/options for the below scenarios:

1. The employer has enforced the lockdown and has allowed the employee to stay away but still get paid in full. Can this be granted as annual leave in lieu of December leave? Rather than unpaid with no remuneration from the employer?

2. The employer has permantly lost income and is unable to continue the employment agreement. The closest case here would be retrenchment but with no income are they still expected to pay additional severance and if so how much? The employee can then apply for UIF and TERS.

3. The employer currently has the possibility of income but is also under unpaid circumstances during this time. The employee remains employed but is now on unpaid leave. Can a domestic employer apply for TERS for their employee? If so how?

Thoughts? Opinions? Personally I'm at scenario 1 and possibly going into 3 in the next month. 2 is a worst case scenario.
 

3GLee

Active Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Messages
48
I think the rule of thumb is that we all in this together and they are an extension of your household.

If you are able to pay their salaries then do so alternatively negotiate something with them.

Both my domestic and gardener are from Zim and sitting in SA during this lockdown thus not with their families. They save up their yearly income to send it home and gets a chance once a year to see their families over December thus I'm not expecting them to put in annual leave.

Well understood that we are not all in the same boat and tough times might require tough measures.

Domestics can claim UIF even as foreigners. Found this - UIF SA

Another link on TERS stating that they can claim - TERS SA
 

Gordon_R

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
18,726
AFAIK applying for UIF would involve public transport and standing in queues. This is completely impractical under current circumstances, and I don't think the government has thought this through.

Those who can afford it should continue paying indefinitely, and renegotiate terms of employment at a later stage.
 

RedViking

Nord of the South
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
41,884
I am also wondering about some of those questions.

So what happens now that you need to retrench the domestic worker at immediate effect but you yourself have lost your job and don't even have money to pay your rent.
 

Snyper564

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
9,694
At the moment my wife and I are still earning as normal, so even though no work is being done from our domestic's side we will continue to pay her during this time, help where we can. We have the funds she doesnt.
 

RedViking

Nord of the South
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
41,884
At the moment my wife and I are still earning as normal, so even though no work is being done from our domestic's side we will continue to pay her during this time, help where we can. We have the funds she doesn't.

This makes sense, yes. But what happens if you also don't get an income and is without a job when the circus is over.
 

Snyper564

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
9,694
This makes sense, yes. But what happens if you also don't get an income and is without a job when the circus is over.
thats a different story but wont happen in my case however I can see this being an issue for others.
 

greg0205

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
25,833
Paid our domestic her full salary at the end of March and will pay her full salary at the end of April too. eWalleted her an extra half-month last Friday 'cos I can...

This isn't leave IMO. If you can help folk, you should.
 

Kosmik

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
21,977
AFAIK applying for UIF would involve public transport and standing in queues. This is completely impractical under current circumstances, and I don't think the government has thought this through.

Those who can afford it should continue paying indefinitely, and renegotiate terms of employment at a later stage.
I agree but I think many are going to be in the position of NOT being able to, even though willing. Sure, I can pay mine right now but I can't take the knock in December if my employer doesn't pay bonus. They would get their pay as normal but extra can't be forth coming. People cannot just pay money from nothing and I think it would be unreasonable to expect people to pay others from their savings with no income forthconing.

I've told both my employees, domestic and gardner, I will pay as long as I can but can't promise every month.
 

RedViking

Nord of the South
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
41,884
thats a different story but wont happen in my case however I can see this being an issue for others.
Fortunately for us we use a domestic service. But they have a no work no pay policy. So all those domestic workers are without an income, people who are paid a min. wage and not a living wage, already living in poverty. We offered to still pay for our domestic but they refused to except it otherwise they need to pay all the employees, which they can't.

But the big question remains for those who can't afford to retrench. UIF will only help for a short while to some extend, but then you still need to fire or retrench. Does the law make provision for those who can't keep their employees and can't afford to retrench them due to no income?
 

Fuma

Executive Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Messages
5,098
My situation is a little different. My parents are 80 and 76 years old and live in Limpopo. So there is no one to help them if the helper is not there since she travels around 10km.
 

RedViking

Nord of the South
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
41,884
I agree but I think many are going to be in the position of NOT being able to, even though willing. Sure, I can pay mine right now but I can't take the knock in December if my employer doesn't pay bonus. They would get their pay as normal but extra can't be forth coming. People cannot just pay money from nothing and I think it would be unreasonable to expect people to pay others from their savings with no income forthconing.

I've told both my employees, domestic and gardner, I will pay as long as I can but can't promise every month.

As long as we are willing to accept the same we deal.

If we can say people can't get paid for nothing, then we can't expect from our employers to pay us.
 

Kosmik

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
21,977
As long as we are willing to accept the same we deal.

If we can say people can't get paid for nothing, then we can't expect from our employers to pay us.
Most aren't. Ours also has a no work no pay, been able to work for the initial Lockdown but that may change with the extension. Others are having annual leave used but once it's up, that's it. We all waiting to see what will happen this month.
 

WalkWithMe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2016
Messages
458
As long as we are willing to accept the same we deal.

If we can say people can't get paid for nothing, then we can't expect from our employers to pay us.
This^
Firstly everyone is a human and needs to be treated as such.
Be honest and open conversation with them. Help them access UIFS etc.
 

Kosmik

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
21,977
This^
Firstly everyone is a human and needs to be treated as such.
Be honest and open conversation with them. Help them access UIFS etc.
Personally, I think that is best. If it comes to retrenchment etc, ensure your employees uif is up to date and help them apply. Even if you can't pay a severance, ask them to come talk to you after the lockdown if you as the employer are then able to pay.

If I had to temporarily let them go, be happy to take them back in a heartbeat if able. Just hope they understand, my garden worker is having a child, had to drop his girlfriend off at the hospital, not allowed to stay and had no more income. Begged me for a loan but said I couldn't as I have no idea of my future income but will still pay him as if he was working for me and gave a bunch of baby stuff before the lockdown.

He said he was grateful after sending the money yesterday but I could hear in his voice he's hoping for more but we just cannot :(
 

Gordon_R

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
18,726
I am also wondering about some of those questions.

So what happens now that you need to retrench the domestic worker at immediate effect but you yourself have lost your job and don't even have money to pay your rent.

If you can't, then you can't. At a human level paying your domestic seems more important than paying your rent.

Government bailouts are likely to be top-down, since the infrastructure is simply not in place to pay small amounts to millions of unemployed.

Edit: My char works multiple jobs, each a single day per week, so she is not registered for UIF.
 

RedViking

Nord of the South
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
41,884
If it comes to retrenchment etc, ensure your employees uif is up to date and help them apply. Even if you can't pay a severance

But is this legal ?

Can they take you to CCMA and the case be dismissed?

This is what I am wondering about. I know if you can't do something, you can't do it. But does the law care about it?

What forms do you fill in or procedure follow to do a dismissal without any severance pay?
 
Top