Explainer: Employee rights in the face of coronavirus pandemic

Explainer: Employee rights in the face of coronavirus pandemic

- President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced a list of far-reached implementations concerning the coronavirus pandemic

- The president called upon citizens to do their part in combating the virus

- Briefly.co.za explains how this may well extend to granting leave to workers

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President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced a national disaster due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Urging citizens to play their role in combating the virus, Ramaphosa revealed travel bans, large gathering bans and early closure of schools.

Briefly.co.za explores how this call to arms extends to employers, especially those who employ domestic workers.

IOL recently reported that the Manzomthombo Senior Secondary School in Cape Town had shut down. A mother and pupil had allegedly tested positive for the virus.

The woman was reportedly employed by a family who had recently travelled overseas. This has brought the behaviour of the family into question, raising concerns over the woman's rights.

READ ALSO: Fact Check: No, SA Reserve Bank isn't collecting 'contagious' money

According to Health-e News, the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) states that staff members are entitled to claim compensation under certain circumstances:

“Workers who are injured on duty or obtain an occupational disease can claim compensation for temporary or permanent disablement. If workers die as a result of an injury on duty, their dependants will also be entitled to claim compensation. Employers that register their employees are protected against civil claims in this regard."

The Occupational Health and Safety Act also provides protection for employees who might contract the disease at work:

“The Occupational Health and Safety Act does say that every employer must make the environment safe. But if you have a domestic worker or gardener order that does not fall within COIDA, then we use the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure that you made the environment safe for this employee."

A safe environment includes the employer providing hand sanitiser and educating workers on the due protocol as precautionary measures.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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