Printing company deducts wages due to loadshedding

Printing company deducts wages due to loadshedding

Written By Xolani Baloyi

It’s alleged that Atomic Branding, a Johannesburg-based printing company, deducts wages from employees during power outages.

Load shedding was introduced in South Africa more than a decade ago, crippling the economy and bringing the labour market to its knees. According to studies, the economy has lost more than half a million jobs in the last two years. Our source has alleged that a printing company in Johannesburg deducts its employees wages when there is a power outage and the employees are working without a contract.

Jacques Van Wyk Director and senior associate at Werksmans Attorneys cited at the Labour Guide “The employment contract is a reciprocal agreement in terms of which an employer’s obligation to pay an employee is subject to the employee doing the work or putting his/her product capacity at the disposal of the employer. The duty to pay and the corresponding right to remuneration do not arise from the actual performance of the work, but from the tendering of service or productive

Therefore, where an employee offers to do the work and the employer does not want the
employee to work or cannot provide the employee with work (due to load shedding or any other reason), the employer is still obliged to pay the employee his/her wages or salaries.

An employer is therefore obliged to perform even when an employee is unable to perform due to circumstances beyond the control of the employer.”

The provincial communications officer for the Department of Employment and Labour said, The case needs to be referred to the legal department, and the unplanned load shedding isn’t in line with the Basic Condition of Employment Act legal will advise on what companies must do.”

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