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Department of Labour collects worker compensation from Mthatha companies

Feb 15, 2019
Department of Labour collects worker compensation from Mthatha companies

The Department of Labour’s Advocacy and Statutory Services, under the Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES) Unit has successfully collected outstanding money due to employees for non-payment of work done on Sundays and underpayment from Gcogco Security, Mamela Hardware and World Focus.

According to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), 1997; which applies to all employees and employers except members of the National Defense Force, National Intelligence Agency, South African Secret Service and unpaid volunteers working for an organisation with a charitable purpose; on the ordinary hours of work: section 9 says: “no employer shall require or permit an employee to work more than 45 hours in any week; nine hours in any day if an employee works for five days or less in a week; or eight hours in any day if an employee works more than five days in a week”.

Section 16 of the Act talks on the pay for work on Sundays: An employee who occasionally works on a Sunday must receive double pay, an employee who ordinarily works on a Sunday must be paid at 1.5 times the normal wage and paid time off in return for working on a Sunday may be agreed upon.

Advocacy and Statutory Services delivered a Writ of Execution to the Sheriff against Gcogco Security, a case that was handled by the Butterworth Labour Centre under Inspector, Ms Mancoba.

A compliance order was issued in 2016 for non-payment of work done on Sundays and the case was referred to court in 2017.

A court order was then granted against the employer in 2018, but the employer still did not comply after receiving it. After the Sheriff pointed out items estimated that would be equal to the amount on the Writ, Gcogco Security deposited R60 000 into the Department’s account in the presence of the Sheriff.

'Department of Labour commits to protection of vulnerable workers'

The amount included interest on the capital amount owed to the clients and a fine that the department is allowed to charge in accordance with the BCEA.

Other cases that were taken to the Sheriff are Mamela Hardware and World Focus, both handled by Ms Ngxaka, Inspector at Mthatha Labour Centre and referred to Statutory Services.

The compliance order for Mamela Hardware was issued in September 2017 for underpaying a client. The court processes were followed and a Writ of Execution delivered ordered an amount of R14 837.15 including interest and 25% fine for underpayment.

World Focus compliance order was issued in September 2017 for underpayment of employees.

The Writ of Execution was delivered and the employer indicated he would not be able to pay the full amount of R88 629.70 that is owed in 6 equal instalments of R15 000.00. The first installment was paid on 07th February 2019.

The inspection and Enforcement Service is mandated to promote sound labour relations, eliminate inequality and discrimination in the workplace, alleviate poverty through employment, enhance occupational health and safety compliance and awareness in the workplace and nurture the culture of acceptance that worker’s rights are human rights.

The unit has well trained inspectors who provide specialist service to the labour market for decent work.

“The department commits in excellent service delivery and strengthening social protection by making sure that vulnerable workers are safeguarded in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997.

"This should be taken as a wake-up call to all employers who do not comply with labour legislations,” said Chief Director: Provincial Operations for Eastern Cape, Advocate Mzwanele Yawa.

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