Seeking Advice on Labour Law (assistance welcome)

DoubleJimmy

New Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
9
HI i'm not sure i'm in the right forum (please move to correct forum thread) i've tried googling legal forums for advice but i must suck at googling:confused: as i only found one and no reply on that. So i'll post it on a forum i read often but not reply to often.

I'll be posting the exact same post as i've posted on the other forum hopefully the good ppl of MBBforums will assist a man with out any more options.:crying:

Greetings and Thank you in advance for assisting me with my current situation.



I'm seeking some legal advice on behalf of myself and fellow colleagues who work with me. In 2012 Our Company sent out a Memorandum stating...

(Direct Memo Quotation) “A cash incentive will be offered to all rostered staff, excluding Senior Management for their attendance at work over a period of eleven (11) months from the 01st September 2012 to the 31s of July 2013

For all employees with a 100% attendance record, they will earn cash Payment close to the equivalent of their monthly salary. The payment will reduce as the percentage drops."

After the said date mentioned in the Memo... Staff started enquiring about this Incentive... with only mention of it being looked at... Auditors are checking the details... these quiries were left unanswered untill recently when a few colleagues wrote a formal Grievance against the Managing Director who sent out the Memo.



Some staff members where paid according to the days they were off sick others have to date still not been paid, word/rumors from our Head Offices where saying that there are Cash flow problems and money will eventually be paid out.



Today 14th March 2014. An email was sent out coming from the Managing Director after more staff sent out grievances the email states the following..

“We refer to the memo dated 12 September 2012 and record that the reason for the incentive was to encourage staff to attend work and not be absent unduly utilizing sick leave. Further, this incentive was primarily aimed at all employees who achieved a 100% attendance during the period 1st September 2012 to 31st July 2013. A reduced payment would only have been considered if there were no employees who achieved a 100% attendance.



An audit exercise has revealed that there were indeed employees with a 100% attendance, which meant that there was no need to consider reduced payments. All who achieved a 100$ attendance have been Paid and notified.



There were employees who lodged grievances for payment of incentive. The audit exercise revealed that on investigation we determined that those employees who grieved did not qualify for the incentive and accordingly have been notified.”



I for one am some of the few that have not been notified about whether I’m getting a increase or not. Other Staff members who had taken sick leave during that period has been paid out. We contacted the CCMA and where told that they can no handle the matter, so therefore I’m seeking some advice as to whether or not my colleagues and myself have any case as It seems my Company are changing the goal posts to suit them.



Please advise if we are able to get our money, what It would cost as a group to settle this matter in court and whether we have a leg to stand on if we take this matter further .





Again Thank you in advance.
 

XennoX

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
2,205
This is a bit of a sticky situation.

If I remember correctly the Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 2002 states something about creating a reasonable expectation. In the case of what your MD has done, he or she has created a reasonable expectation [with proof in writing] for the staff that they would be rewarded for proper attendance. This is akin to giving someone a bonus, that is not stipulated in their contract, for a number of years and then suddenly taking it away. The company has created a reasonable expectation of a bonus which is no longer there.

The other piece of advice I can offer is, if you guys do this, you will probably be burning bridges. Not something I would recommend, but you need to do what you feel is correct.
 

doubletrouble

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
1,326
I don't think the company is allowed to pay an incentive for attendance, as it is forcing you to come to work when you are sick. I know that is the case when companies pay out annual leave at the end of the year, instead of it being carried over. Labour department found it unlawful. The company is paying you not to take annual leave. So I guess it is the same with sick leave?
 

cbrunsdonza

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
13,383
@DoubleJimmy the fact that your employer need to bribe you to come work might want to make you consider changing jobs.
 

Sonic2k

Executive Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
7,641
This is the second time this week I am hearing about companies who penalize people for being sick.
So what do they want you to do, sweat blood now too?

Companies in this country are really pathetic. Damn sweatshops!
 

XennoX

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
2,205
This is the second time this week I am hearing about companies who penalize people for being sick.
So what do they want you to do, sweat blood now too?

Companies in this country are really pathetic. Damn sweatshops!
I don't follow. How is this company penalizing them? Most companies will say "Thank you, but don't expect any form of compensation," for 100% attendance. OP's company was adding an incentive sort of like when you were at school, 100% attendance got you a certificate at the end of the year.
 

DoubleJimmy

New Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
9
Let me just say i'm not doing this for myself. the money is not an issue.. I'm doing this on behalf of all employees in the three major provinces, 2 of those provinces havent even seen any form of coin and the one i'm in half ppl been paid others have been told not getting paid even when they have 100% attendance. All I want to know is.. can a company do this to its staff.. Can they promise u a lovely bowl of Stew and serve up a Warm bucket of Cr@p, and then turn around and tell.. yea well if u hungry u'll eat it.

As for Changing jobs.. not that easily done. I might be able to find a new company to work as i'm young and have no real responsibilities, i'm not married nor do i have a family its not that easy for most of the ppl who work in this company who are single mothers just trying to get by. Work as we all know is not easy to come by.
 
Last edited:

Paul Hjul

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
14,902
IANAL - more particularly labour law is not something I really look at - but some thoughts:

[1] the phrase "will be offered" is quite open ended - I would be cautious of assuming it to mean that you'll be paid unconditionally the money will be paid. In particular

[2] I don't think it is opportune to think of this as a "legal" problem at this point in time. There is uncertainty and the company is being a bit douchey but address the issue on that basis. I also don't see a grievance as necessarily arising and it may well be that thus far the complainants do not qualify for the offer.

[3] Beyond the open ended nature any "cash flow problems" would be a good reason to defer the actual payment - to make an offer equal to close to one months salary as a 13th cheque in 6 months time or whatever.

I think that a polite email to the relevant HR person asking for further details on the basis of personal financial planning is probably apt.
 
Top