LATEST URGENT INFORMATION! – SEPTEMBER 2020
You need to note the following urgent information (please email or call to set up a meet to discuss more detail):
Although government declared that everything should return as much as normal to level 1 as from Sunday midnight. There are new legislative requirements. The reality is unfortunately that with or without a vaccine the threat may be far from over for a lot of us for some time to come.
To assist businesses for the next six months to a year we are not only conducting a survey. We can assist to reduce your risks to lessen the effect of COVID 19. It is estimated the economy and most probably your business also suffered at least a 50 to 100% drop in turnover for the last 6 months.
As a labour and now also commercial consulting business we are now able to deal with many more issues than normal. Normally we assist clients to only maintain policies and procedures, manage disputes and other to protect their interests and ensure staff enter and exit a company smoothly. Some of the issues we found during the pandemic that were unique or created new challenges with new questions related to COVID 19 only were inter alia:
- UIF: Ters COVID 19 claims, payments, no work no pay, leave, deductions, short pay, salary decreases, payments and non-payments of benefits, allowances, commission, wages, employing foreigners;
- Retrenchments: Lay-offs, short time, severance pay, procedures related to retrenchments, substantiating retrenchments, retirement, voluntary separation, consensus;
- Strikes: Wage negotiations, Work stoppages, Unprotected strikes, Protest Action, New wage claims;
- Health and Safety: Policies and Procedures, Protocols, Indemnity forms for staff over 60 and comorbidities, masks, hygiene, risks assessments, safety officers, compliance checks and management, social distancing, safety measures, protecting clients, customers and staff, COIDA, medical aid, leave and sick leave for staff and supporting policies, death certificates;
- Conditions of Employment: Working half day, every second day, parental leave, working hours, maternity leave, family responsibility leave, quarantine, payments, sick certificates;
- Dispute resolution: Insubordination, breaking health and safety protocols, gross dishonesty, failing to work working hours, refusing to change conditions, absenteeism, transport and travel restrictions and permits.
We are improvising in some instances as a consulting business as we noticed a number of shortcomings in as far as companies that do not have policies and procedures to cover the above circumstances. Where companies had policies they are hoping their existing policies and procedures may cover it. The reality is that there are and may be a number of these policies and procedures and forms that may be outdated or not be providing for any of the above circumstances.
Apart from the above, clients inter alia also face the following new challenges that we can now assist with:
- Recently published new Health and Safety requirements and COIDA claims procedure for staff contracting COVID 19, leave and sick leave provisions which must be added to existing policies;
- Changes to the Employment Equity Act: Reporting, record keeping;
- POPI Act: In force from 1 July 2019 and companies have until 1 July 2020 to get all procedures, policies, documents and forms in place to prevent fines;
- New challenges are faced with mergers, business rescue and other commercial requirements to sustain businesses;
- Commercial agreements and compliance from companies, including lease requirements.
It is our opinion and duty to ensure that we keep you informed for you to make the right decisions. Also to require that you urgently allow us to revisit your business in order to discuss and conduct a` proper audit of what you have, what you think you may have and what you may realize after reading this letter that even if you do have and make provision for it, as a result of the pandemic that is not really over yet, you may be missing some information or require assistance from us.
We started to engage some of our clients, but your business may need an urgent follow up to ensure that you and your operations comply as well as every single business unit, department of function that is part of your company. That you are prepared and your business can weather any storm.
We use the existing HR Audit (kindly find copy attached) we wish you to inform us what assistance you may require further from us, taking into consideration that some of the aspects listed above may not even be provided for in the HR Audit as a result of the uniqueness of COVID 19, so from that perspective it makes even more sense to revisit everything you have.
We kindly request that you complete it and return within the next 7 to 14 days to us. Alternatively set up an appointment, to allow us to conduct further investigation to see what you comply with or not. This is so important that clients must please ensure they follow through with this, as the last thing you may want is for your business to be closed down or receive fines or have staff refer a case to the CCMA/BC due to non-compliance.
We wish to sincerely thank you for your continued support in utilizing our labour and now also commercial consulting company’s services during this extremely difficult time of COVID 19.