“Things done well and with care exempt themselves from fear” – William Shakespeare

COVID-19 – PRACTICAL EMPLOYER’S GUIDE

With the Nation being in turmoil, every business and employee is uncertain of the future or how long the shutdown period will last.   With payroll being one of the largest financial burdens on any business, Moore has compiled some pertinent issues that we can provide guidance on at this time.

Business owners need to act quickly and contact their various suppliers and review contractual obligations to understand where possible reduced payments can be agreed such as bank loans, suppliers and landlord.  After this has been exhausted, business owners my need to look at options to reduce the looming wage bills.

Staff that are able to work from home would need constant monitoring and intervention to ensure productivity is maintained.  A dedicated management team should be put in place to manage this. Billings must be processed and collected as soon as possible to ensure liquidity.  Staff that are unable to work from home for various reasons, have the following options for employers and employees to consider:

  •  Staff that work from home should be paid accordingly.
  • Companies who can afford to place staff on paid leave during the shutdown, should communicate the process to staff.  This would be applicable to staff who have days available. Should staff be in a negative leave balance, staff can claim UIF for the days that they are short. The company must assist with the UIF process and forms and advice can be found at www.labour.gov.za.
  • Staff who fall ill during this time and do not have enough sick leave benefits can claim via UIF under the illness benefit (Online at: www.ufiling.co.za. (Illness benefits)
  • ·Should a company not be able to pay staff but would like to continue trading after the shut-down period, the company can consider a “temporary termination” period.  Employees can be reinstated once the company is financially stable and employees can claim UIF.
  • Further consideration can be a “no work, no pay” consideration and employees can claim UIF.
  • The final option for any company should be retrenchment but this should be carefully considered as it is labour intensive, time consuming and costly.  This also prohibits future re-employment should the company recover after the shut-down period.

Business owners need to ensure that communication across the company is vital for survival at this time.  Positive and reinforced input is essential for employees to understand their options and where to find assistance.

Collier is a trusted business partner throughout every industry and we have teams working throughout the shut-down period should you require advice or assistance.

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