26 April: COVID-19 Communique: Employment Update – The New Normal

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20 April 2020



It is
really difficult to keep up with the Department of Labour chopping and changing the Regulations pertaining to the Covid19TERS UIF claims – not to mention that their own guidelines seem to cause more
confusion than giving clarity.

Nevertheless – towards the end of last week, these were the developments:

  • A dedicated online
    for Covid19-TERS applications has been created.
  • A
    FAQ document

    was issued by the DOL – however, there are discrepancies between some
    of the answers in the document and the actual Regulations, and the document also seems to have been drafted without accounting for the extension of the lockdown – referring only to the ’21-day lockdown period’ and ’16 April’. The document does clarify that
    employers who have not been registered with the UIF prior to the start of the lockdown, will not qualify to apply for the TERS benefit; nor will freelancers or people working on commission. Informal businesses such as Spaza shops must utilise one of the options for
    small business assistance.
  • Further Bargaining Councils have signed MOA’s with the UIF – so far we are aware of the Textile BC, Road Passenger BC; BIBC; NBCEI; BCCEI and the MEIBC.

Also, a new directive that was apparently issued by the Minister of Employment and Labour on 16
April to
amend the Covid19TERS regulations
, yet again, has been published on the MEIBC website. This has however not been formally gazetted yet – it will probably happen early this week.

It appears that the amendments specifically provide for the set-off of TERS benefits against salary payments that an employer has made to its employees – including leave pay. Even if there was no loss of income
per se on the part of the employee because s/he has received leave pay, the employee will nevertheless still qualify. An employer will then be able to proportionally reverse an employee’s paid leave
to the extent that it may be covered by the UIF benefits paid to the employer for that employee. Also, employers who have closed (part of) their operations are now obliged to apply for such benefits on behalf of their eligible employees who cannot apply in
person, due to the UIF offices being closed.

As soon as the final official version has been gazetted, our
online Booklet
will be updated accordingly – and if you have already installed your copy, it will show these updates automatically.


Rules, discipline and performance issues when your
employees work remotely

No one knows what the world (and specifically the working world) will look like post Covid-19. But everyone agrees that there will be a ‘new
‘. Things will not go back to the way they were and the best way to prepare for that, is to change our perceptions and mindsets – especially where these
have been based in convention rather than facts or best practice. 

📌 We
discuss what to expect and how managers and leaders can best prepare for and manage this new normal, in our latest

Blog Post

  • Body-in-the-seat: necessity or convention? 
  • How can you support your team during this time and take advantage of the ‘new normal’?
  • What if an employee is breaking rules, slacking or not performing when working remotely – can you take action?



📌Also be sure to read this excellent article
by Matt Mullenweg, who has built an entirely distributed company with more than 1,100 employees working from 62 countries, and with no physical headquarters.

He states that ‘any company that can enable their people to be fully effective in a distributed fashion, can and should do it far beyond after this current crisis has passed’. He identifies “Distributed
Work’s Five Levels of Autonomy
” to help make sense of this journey — from a company’s cautious exploration of remote possibilities to a fully realized distributed experience.
Valuable insights indeed.


Risk management during the time of Corona

The Institue of Risk Management SA called on Chief Risk Officers and Heads of Risk for a high-level round table session to discuss and share their challenges and lessons learnt from rolling-out their business continuity management plans.

In this
they unpack what those risks and opportunities are that organisations should have on their radar between now and when life returns “to normal” – whenever that may be and whatever shape and form “normal” will
take. Presented by Christopher Palm, IRMSA Chief Risk Advisor.

Send us your feedback – we’d love to engage with you.
Let us know how you are holding up.
Above all, stay safe!

Judith Griessel     

Copyright © 2020 Griessel Consulting, All rights reserved.
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