Forced leave, retrenchments and dismissals: common questions asked by employees during lockdown

07 July 2020 - 08:00 By Deepa Kesa
The workplace is presenting more challenges than ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the country's ailing economy. Stock image.
The workplace is presenting more challenges than ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the country's ailing economy. Stock image.
Image: 123rf.com/Aleksandr Davydov

Many people in South Africa have faced challenges regarding their place of work - be it salary cuts, loss of income, retrenchments or liquidation.

The Covid-19 lockdown in SA has brought a steep drop in income for most businesses, resulting in some closing down.

During this time, employees and employers are faced with situations they have never been in before, resulting in a lot of confusion. For example, what if you are told you have to work from the workplace but it isn’t compliant with the health protocols?

Aslam Patel, an attorney at Adams & Adams in Pretoria, answers five most commonly asked questions by employees during the lockdown.

How does retrenchment work during this period?
Can anyone be retrenched?

If an employee is diagnosed with Covid-19, how does leave and pay work during this period?

In what situation can an employer force an employees to take leave, and how does this work?

Can you claim loss of salary at any point in the future?
Do companies owe you that lost salary?

What if you are told you have to work from the workplace but it isn’t compliant with health protocols?