In March 2012, I was employed as a Business Development Manager by a South African owned company, Company A – a mining consultancy (herein after ‘A’), for the purpose of Business Development for this company in Mozambique. My remuneration was set at R100,000.00 per month and was in accordance with my employment contract and agreement. Besides 21 working days leave per annum, I was not given any other benefits. However, it is stated, in my contract of employment, that I will be given ‘accommodation’. Until I had been transferred to Mozambique, I had not received ‘accommodation’, or an allowance for this.
In April 2012, I was transferred to Mozambique, for the agreed purpose as the Business Development Manager, to a sister company, Company B – an engineering consultancy (herein after ‘B’). At that stage, the two companies belonged to the same group of companies, although, they had different names (A and B). The intention was to use the premises of B to perform my duties for A and, at the same time, to promote and develop business for B. This was all in accordance with my employment contract with A.
Due to the Labour Laws and other legal requirements for working in Mozambique, I was “forced” to sign a new employment contract with the registered Mozambican company, now making me an employee of B. This allowed me to apply for, and receive, a work and a residence permit to work and reside in Mozambique. The employment contract was also somewhat changed. The new contract includes a salary of USD 13,100.00 per month, housing allowance of USD 4,000.00 per month (accommodation is very expensive in Mozambique), membership to a Medical Aid Scheme (fully paid by B. I believe the value, at current exchange rates, is approximately R2,500.00 per month), and an extra flight per annum, for personal use, return to South Africa (my previous contract with A included 3 flights per annum and I now get 4).
During the period July to September 2012, our companies went through a merger and all of the companies in our group have since been combined into one company. They now all carry the same name (herein after ‘AB’). However, each ‘branch’, A and B inclusive, still performs its original tasks as prior to the merger.
Due to excessive workload in South Africa and a shortage in staff with my skills, I have recently been recalled, by the mining consultancy branch of AB (originally A), back to South Africa. I have been told that I will no longer receive the benefits that I enjoyed in Mozambique (housing allowance, medical aid, flights, etc) and I will be resuming on my ‘old salary’.
My queries are as follows:
- Does my ‘new employment contract’ supersede and override my previous employment contract? Also note: no new employment contracts have been issued to employees since the name change, so technically I am still employed by B.;
- Do I have a right to my current salary (my salary from A was converted to USD by B using an exchange rate of R7.50/USD)?;
- Do I have rights to claim my current benefits from A when I resume work in South Africa (including medical benefits and housing allowance)?; and
- A verbal agreement between my ex CEO, no longer with the company, was that I can have my salary paid in any currency I wish (the reason for USD in Mozambique). If I were to ask him to witness this, would it be binding on AB?
I would appreciate your assistance and advice in the above regard.
Thanking you in advance.