Picture: 123RF/LIGHTWISE
Picture: 123RF/LIGHTWISE

In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we take at look at the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees in the workplace as Covid-19 has led to a number of organisations in SA and around the world to change the way people work.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Lizle Louw, an attorney from law firm Webber Wentzel, who specialises in employment law, to unpack the issues.

Here is what you need to know: 

Panic and concern around the coronavirus has not only affected organisations in the Asia, Europe and the US. Some local employers have recently introduced travel bans for staff, while others have introduced testing regimes, and a slew of work from home programmes. 

Louw says Covid-19 has introduced much complexity into the workplace in recent weeks, especially around the treatment of leave, pay for quarantined workers, travel policies and health checks.

She says employers are well within their rights to to implement mandatory testing for the virus given the risk it poses. Employees in such organisations, who go against such policies, may be seen as refusing a “reasonable order”, which could result in possible disciplinary action, depending on the employer.

Given how new the virus is and how the threat has evolved globally, Louw says her company has been advising clients around these issues according to established local legislation, such as the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

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Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.