25 March 2020

Message from the ECA(SA) National Director, Mark Mfikoe

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 23 March 2020 that the country is going on Lockdown from 23h59 on 26 March 2020 for 21 days. This left us all scrambling and depending on various directives and seeking certainty on all fronts. This proved to be a major challenge. We are relying on our knowledge of Labour Law and our understanding of the directives and the situation at hand to provide this guidance.

This is not an absolute prohibition on working. Those that can work without leaving the home are allowed to do so. The other people that are exempted from the prohibition to stop work are those who have been described by the President and the guidelines from the Department: Government Communication and Information System – Talking Points: 21 Day National Lockdown Covid-19 issued on 24 March 2020. This document has been shared with members.

If your services are classified as maintenance of power services, you are exempted from the prohibition. It is our considered view that if you provide services to exempted businesses, you are equally exempted. Please secure proof of exemption from your client in this regard.

If you are exempted but you do not work because you do not have exempted work, ‘No leave – No Pay’ provisions apply.

If you are exempted and your employees are at work, you pay your employees as you ordinarily would, as well as all the payments due and payable to the Bargaining Council or collected by Council for and on behalf of various beneficiary funds and clients including your ECA Levies.

Please note that if you are working as an exempted employer during this time, you are not to put employees in Covid-19 danger and you are to subject such employees to induction and align your risk assessments accordingly.

Payment for public holidays is not suspended. The lockdown absence is considered authorised.

If your employees do not work during this period, the following applies:

  • The principle of ‘no work, no pay’ applies.
  • The Bargaining Council levy and all contributions to the Bargaining Council in respect of such employees for the lockdown period are frozen.
  • If you elect to assist your employees with any monies during this period, it will not be compulsory for you to deduct anything from such payments to honour the Bargaining Council payments.
  • If you owe the Bargaining Council and are not in good standing, the monies you owe remain due and payable to the Council.

You are to assist your employees with the submission of UIF claims. The National HR Director will share information in this regard.

You may be able to submit claims to the National Disaster Fund.

The ECA(SA)’s National HR Director will share guidance in this regard in due course.

Issued by:        Mogomotsi Mark Mfikoe, ECA(SA) National Director

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