Articles
Home Affairs - Zimbabwean Dispensation Project
As you may have realised, Home Affairs has formulated a new policy with regards to Zimbabweans. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so please see attached a letter from Home Affairs explaining the new dispensation policy.

So how does that affect you?

Well it’s a quicker and easier way for a Zimbabwean to get a work permit. And once they have a work permit, they can legally stay and work in South Africa for up to 4 years – so no more semi regular visits to Home Affairs to get their refugee status renewed.

Now, if you employ any Zimbabweans, you need to send them to Home Affairs with a letter on a letterhead. Here is a suggested wording for the letter:

4 October 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

This serves to confirm that [insert name] (CTRZWE xxxxxx) is currently employed by myself as a housekeeper. This is a full time position.

Required information:
Tax number: insert your tax number
Contact Details: Tel: 021 xxx xxxx Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

[insert employee's name] currently has a Refugee Asylum status with permission to work; I understand that she is now applying for a work permit. Considering her skills and that he/she meets all the requisite requirements, I trust that you will consider her application favourably.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, should you have further queries.

Yours faithfully




_____________________
[insert name]
Employer

It must be mentioned, that although the official documentation requires just a letter; we have had a few reports that some Home Affairs departments are also requesting a copy of the contract of employment – which must be verified by a Commissioner of Oaths – in this case, the easiest thing to do is to photocopy your contract of employment, take the original and the copy to the police station and have it verified. So, a bit of a hassle but not actually that complicated.

This must be completed before 31 December 2010.

For further queries, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Download Home Affairs Release here. (PDF)

 
Pitfalls of Dismissing
There may come a day when you decide that you’ve had enough! Perhaps it’s the perpetual lateness, the petty pilfering, the bad attitude or one burnt shirt too many. You can’t take any more – it’s time to fire your domestic worker!

STOP!


Before you fire anybody, you need to know what to do or you’re setting yourself up for a whole heap of trouble. Marvellous Maids would like to present a brief synopsis.

FACT: You can’t just fire someone summarily. No matter what the incident or provocation (theft; drinking etc).
Read more...
 
Leave - A Basic Guide
On the subject of leave for our domestic workers. What exactly are they entitled to?

ANNUAL LEAVE

....The annual leave entitlement is 21 days (this is equivalent to 15 working days). In terms of the law this can be taken as and when due; so if the worker has worked for 4 months, she may then take a week’s leave or save it up to take all 3 weeks at once.

The law does allow for negotiation about when the leave may be taken, should there be no consensus, the employer has the ultimate say. However, it is wise to plan in advance and ensure that you and your employee know well in advance when leave should be taken. So if December is a busy time of year for you, or you are in the hospitality business it would be wise to put into the employment contract that a condition of employment is that leave is not taken during the busy season. You can always add an addendum to your contract; this must be in writing and be accepted and signed by both parties.
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Leave - Part 2
In our last article we discussed the provisions of leave – this time we’ll be discussing the habitual problem:

What do you do when your domestic worker doesn’t return from leave?

Whatever you do, DON’T employ somebody else! Yet!

It is important that you act within the law; otherwise you may find yourself in the awkward position of employing two people! Or worse, being taken to the CCMA for unfair dismissal; and standing to lose and being liable for a year’s salary! Scary story but it happens.

The reality is that a lot of people, who wish to leave a job, don’t always act correctly or procedurally. They prefer to just disappear (most often after the leave period). It’s partly down to culture (they are embarrassed about wanting to leave); lack of education (how to give notice correctly) and not understanding the consequences (losing a good reference). However, it leaves the employer in an awkward limbo land of “are they coming back or not?”

So what do you do?
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HIV / AIDS
We are asked on a daily basis about having domestic workers tested for HIV/Aids. The short answer is NO.

Of course you may ask someone to be tested and even make the arrangements with your own medical practitioner for the test to be done, but you cannot demand that someone be tested or make his or her employment dependant on their agreement to be tested.

Should your domestic worker agree to be tested for HIV/Aids, he or she will have to sign an informed consent form even before blood may be drawn. The worker will receive counseling before the test and will be asked if they are undergoing testing as a pre-condition of employment. They will then be counseled that they are not legally obliged to undergo the test or to inform their employer of the results.
Read more...
 
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