Ban on social gatherings - no longer just a suggestion
When South Africa moved to level 4, on 1 May 2020, social gatherings were not allowed. In the latest Covid direction, all social gatherings are outlawed. This has a big impact on the workplace as what we are meant to do - beyond the workplace - is only to be within our family units.
Employees often take photographs of their socialisation after working hours and on the weekends. They would then post their pictures onto social media. So, we can expect a number of disciplinary issues to raise their head here. These would include where people have posted their socialisation with their friends on social media and have events that are not allowed in terms of the Disaster Management Act direction.
By doing so these employees, although they are acting outside working hours, would be exposing their fellow employees to risk when they do return back to work the next day or after the weekend. This would be a serious disciplinary infraction.
Not only would it be in contravention of the direction but also a serious infraction at the workplace. Employers have the duty to uphold the Occupational Health and Safety legislation to ensure all employees are protected. This kind of conduct could lead to employees’ dismissals, and I am not so sure everyone realises that.
About Jonathan GoldbergJonathan Goldberg is a leading voice in space Labour Law and Employee Relations. As the joint-CEO of Global Business Solutions, Jonathan has made the company into the foremost labour law, human resources and industrial relations consultancy.