There seems to be conflicting views being put forward with regards to the implementation of short-time or temporary lay-offs following the President’s announcement of the country-wide move from Level 4 to Level 3 restrictions.
Companies are not required to implement either short-time or temporary lay-offs when contemplating the return to work, but rather its own plan of the phased in return to work compiled in accordance with the Regulations and Directives to the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, more specifically Regulation 16(6)(b) read together with Annexure E. Companies must consult with their employees and their unions (if applicable) in terms of the phased in return to work plan, which must include the following:
1. The date the business will open and the hours of opening;
2. The timetable setting out the phased return-to-work of employees, to enable appropriate measures to be taken to avoid and reduce the spread of the virus in the workplace;
3. The steps taken to get the workplace COVID-19 ready;
4. A list of staff who can work from home; staff who are 60 years or older; and staff with comorbidities who will be required to stay at home or work from home;
5. Arrangements for staff in the establishment:
a) sanitary and social distancing measures and facilities at the entrance and exit to the workplace;
b) screening facilities and systems;
c) the attendance-record system and infrastructure;
d) the work-area of employees;
e) any designated area where the public is served;
f) canteen and bathroom facilities;
g) testing facilities (for establishments with more than 500 employees);
h) staff rotational arrangements (for establishments where fewer than 100% of employees will be permitted to work).
6. Arrangements for customers or members of the public, including sanitation and social distancing measures.
Please see attached below a template that may be used for this purpose: