Employers warned not to retrench workers

Written by on 21 April, 2020

Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi, says he’s worried that some employers have decided to retrench workers due to regulations linked to COVID-19.

Nxesi had been addressing media on matters related to Unemployment Insurance Fund in Johannesburg.

More than 40 thousand domestic workers have taken their employers to the labour court following this dispute.

Nxesi says they’ve warned employers not retrench worker.

“It is very unfortunate that employers at this sensitive stage are able to do that, when we have come forward to say interms of the payment for this particular period we will be able to assist the employers. Its unfortunate and its insensitive. We suspect that come the end of this particular period when the lockdown ends, we are going to be sitting with thousands and thousands of disputes. We are already planning with the CCMA how we will handle those disputes. Clearly we will have to look at our capacity to handle them but it is clear that we are heading for a huge number of disputes.”

Nxesi says the SA Revenue Service will help with the payments of UIF claims should the labour department’s systems crash because of the high volumes
of claims received.

Nxesi says they have processed almost a billion rand in the Temporary Employee or Employer Relief Scheme of the UIF to date, adding that SARS will likely come on board later this week to assist.

He says for now his department has increased the number of agents handling the queues to ensure speedy processing of UIF claims.

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