It is advisable to inform your workers that any absences related to the protest action will be treated on the following basis in term of the Labour Relations Act:
- No work, no pay;
- No disciplinary action;
- A shift for leave pay and leave enhancement pay qualification purposes will be lost in respect of the day’s absence; and
Any overtime worked during the course of the week will be paid at ordinary rates to make up for the lost ordinary working hours on 13 February 2019.
The protest action is in respect of the high unemployment rate and job losses the country is experiencing such as imminent large-scale layoffs at ailing State-owned firms and at private companies.
The Labour Relations Act (LRA) permits registered trade unions or a federation of trade unions, such as Cosatu, to undertake protected protest action to promote the social and economic interests of workers, provided that they observe the procedural requirements contained in Section 77 of the LRA;
– if the issue in dispute has been considered by NEDLAC and the applicant concerned has given to Nedlac 14 days’ notice of its intention to proceed with such protest action. In the absence of these conditions, any protest action would not be protected.
Cosatu has filed a Section 77(1)(b) notice with NEDLAC, advising of its intention to participate in a socio-economic strike on 13 February 2019.
The NEDLAC Section 77 Standing Committee has determined the notice to be compliant with the administrative requirements of the LRA. Therefore, employees participating in any form of stay-away or protest activity on 13 February 2019 will be protected by the normal rules regarding protected protest action to promote or defend the socio-economic interest of workers, namely: no-work, no-pay and no-disciplinary action; employees will therefore not be entitled to be remunerated for the day.