Reasons to implement short time
Short time – is COVID-19 a justifiable reason?
Working hours form part of the employment contract and the employer cannot make any changes unilaterally. So in order to implement short time, there must be an agreement in place between the employer and employee where the employee has given permission and consent to do so. We advise employers to be proactive and include a short time clause in the employment contract, as conditions that lead to the implementation of short time are often unforeseen – this can save the employer a lot of time and money!
No short time agreement in place?
Discuss the following:
- When will short time be implemented;
- How long will short time be implemented;
- How many employees will be affected/which divisions will be affected;
- What form of short time will be implemented (for example, will there be a reduction in working hours, or will there be a reduction in the number of days an employee works per week).
What about UIF?
Employees are entitled to claim benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for the difference in remuneration normally received and the remuneration received for the lesser working hours. The UIF benefit will be determined on a sliding scale.
What is the advantage?
Take note that every workplace differs and the employer’s unique circumstances will determine the right solution to be considered. It is critical that employers follow the correct procedure in terms of labour law, as non-compliance holds a serious business risk for employers.
The Department of Labour requires employers to keep a detailed logbook of the hours worked by employees. The recording of these hours can be done manually or electronically by using a clocking system.
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