sonialinden

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Apr 15, 2017
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Hello. I live overseas, and I'm not from SA, so these things are more difficult to navigate for me.

I lived in Cape Town for about two years total, and I had a maid for about six months, she'd come in once a week. When I was leaving the country she was devastated, because she was losing her only job. We kept in touch over WhatsApp, and she would regularly beg me to ask friends to hire her. I also lent her small amounts of money (probably a mistake because it sets a precedent).

To cut to the chase. Here is what happened.

Last year I purchased a house in Cape Town, and so I made a deal with the tenants that my maid would come in once a week to clean the house, and her pay would be covered by me. They already had their own domestic help, but they agreed to my have my maid come in once a week, because for them it was free help. For me, it was basically a charity, and I pay her above the average rates (I pay her R250 a day).

Yesterday I get on the call with the tenant, and they tell me that my maid only showed up to work 4 times this year, and it's already mid April! Apparently her excuse was that there was taxi violence around Khayelitscha and she is pregnant so she was afraid to come in. I knew that she missed work once - she did text me once back in March saying that she missed work because of taxi violence. I thought it happened just one day, and I asked her to come in another day to make up for it.

So you can imagine how used and foolish I felt when the tenant told me yesterday that my maid only showed up to work 4 times this year, while getting paid every week. I wish I would know about these problems earlier, I paid her every week via money transfer, unaware of her missing so many work days.

Anyways, I want to terminate the relationship immediately, because I don't tolerate being lied to, but the maid is pregnant and due in June. Before knowing about the spotty attendance I offered her three months paid maternity leave and 2 weeks sick leave before she goes into labor. I would normally fire her immediately, but what do I do with the fact that she's pregnant? What would you guys do?
 
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Mephisto_Helix

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took my money for nothing - don't care about the pregnancy, she lied and it would be over
 

Thor

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She lied, fck her. Should have though about that before she made the conscious decision to lie to you.
 

Hemi300c

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Kick her to the curb. Next after lying comes stealing and that'll be on your shoulders with the tenants.

If you lie and basically steal you go, no questions or remorse.
 

Ryansr

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Rather consult a legal practitioner from SA because of the unique situation with the maid possibly being in possession of more labor rights than you might think. If the maid decides to go the legal route via labor department you might end up having to sacrifice more than you already have.
 

biometrics

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Rather consult a legal practitioner from SA because of the unique situation with the maid possibly being in possession of more labor rights than you might think. If the maid decides to go the legal route via labor department you might end up having to sacrifice more than you already have.
I doubt a one day a week job has any rights.
 

Mortymoose

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/Moose bursts into song, " Hello Africa, tell me how you feel...."
 

Hosehead

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did you make UIF contribution for her ? Did you register her during your six months ? And because she continues to work for you since?
http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/legislation/acts/basic-guides/basic-guide-to-uif-registration
Chances are she will bring you before the CCMA for unfair dismissal if you fire her.
In this country we have procedure and it's no longer acceptable to fire at whim even if you feel you have
Been wronged . Main procedure is usually disciplinary hearing and warnings.
This could end badly if you don't tread carefully. My advice would be to seek a labour lawyer.
 

marlin178

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She does not.

When we retrenched our char, I called the CCMA, they confirmed that I had to pay her out according to some formula even though she worked 1 day a week.

I think that unless you catch someone in the act of stealing, it's not so simple to fire someone. I've heard horror stories where employers had to rehire staff who were caught stealing.

/just saying
 

Mephisto_Helix

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Dumbos not reading OP - the lying sack was only pitching once a month, no magical threshold for UIF. Fire her ass.
 

sonialinden

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Apr 15, 2017
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did you make UIF contribution for her ? Did you register her during your six months ? And because she continues to work for you since?
http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/legislation/acts/basic-guides/basic-guide-to-uif-registration
Chances are she will bring you before the CCMA for unfair dismissal if you fire her.
In this country we have procedure and it's no longer acceptable to fire at whim even if you feel you have
Been wronged . Main procedure is usually disciplinary hearing and warnings.
This could end badly if you don't tread carefully. My advice would be to seek a labour lawyer.

Thanks so much for all replies! Super helpful.

We never had any written contract. Also, I never registered her or made any UIF contribution for her - she was coming in only once a week for about 5-6 hours.

Some of you brought up finding a good labor lawyer... Wait, what?

Is it not acceptable to fire someone even if they don't show up for work? She was lying to me for the last 4 months but still received paycheck every week regardless of whether she came in or not... She knew that I am not in direct contact with my tenants (I rented my house out via property manager), so she knew that even if she doesn't show up for work I won't know.

Will I get in trouble for 1. not registering her; 2. firing her while she's pregnant?

Another solution I can think of is to terminate the employment after she's done with her maternity leave. For me it's quite a 'live and learn' experience, extremely disappointing.
 
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biometrics

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Thanks so much for all replies! Super helpful.

We never had any written contract. Also, I never registered her or made any UIF contribution for her - she was coming in only once a week for about 5-6 hours.

Some of you brought up finding a good labor lawyer... Wait, what?

Is it not acceptable to fire someone even if they don't show up for work? She was lying to me for the last 4 months but still received paycheck every week regardless of whether she came in or not... She knew that I am not in direct contact with my tenants (I rented my house out via property manager), so she knew that even if she doesn't show up for work I won't know.

Will I get in trouble for 1. not registering her; 2. firing her while she's pregnant?

Another solution I can think of is to terminate the employment after she's done with her maternity leave. For me it's quite a 'live and learn' experience, extremely disappointing.

She worked less than 24 hours a month so no requirements to register for UIF.

Just fire her and get it over with. I really don't see any downside imo.
 
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