southafricalogoThe Star reports that Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) Minister Thulas Nxesi has revealed that they were receiving resistance from some employers in connection with the payment of workers through the financial assistance the DEL has provided by way of the Covid-19 relief scheme.  

Concerns were apparently being received from workers and unions that some employers were seeking to shift the burden of the lockdown on to the workers by using their annual leave as the first line of response to the lockdown.  “This is despite the fact that we have said that the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) will fund and put in place systems to address the lay-offs during the lockdown in relation to workers registered for UIF.  It is important that all parties understand that the UIF cannot deal with millions of individual claims – this would lead to chaos,” Nxesi pointed out.  The DEL has put in place systems to pay out UIF benefits through companies, sectoral associations and bargaining councils.  The textile bargaining council has already concluded such an agreement with labour.  The minister also threatened to name and shame companies that did not provide their workers with the required personal protective clothing.  Indicating that the DEL had received numerous complaints from workers that some employers were forcing them to work without the necessary personal protective equipment, Nxesi commented:  “At this stage, we are urging these employers to do the right thing.  By next week, we will start to name and shame individual companies and branches.”  He added that inspectors were following up complaints, largely in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

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