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My sister is in South...
My sister is in South Africa and works for Witts University. She has been employed for less than 6 months by them. She has several degrees and has a solid work ethic and background and has never found herself in this situation, she is being emotionally abused and feels that she is in physical danger from her boss. She has stopped going to work as she feel her safety and well being is being threatened by this person. She has talked with Lawyers, the Union and her bosses boss and have filed a complaint against him. She is now facing 2 challenges. Her lawyer told her that she only needs to give a one week notice if she has worked their for 6 months or less - the University is telling her she needs to come back to work for a 30 day notice - which she cannot see herself doing under the circumstance. She got booked off work from a doctor under emotional stress and is having a very hard time getting any lawyer to take her case - they either have the university as a client, or just won't take them on. It is a matter of "bullying" at work and the question is - can she be forced to work the 30 days and if not what legal backup can she get for not? Thank you so much.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: South Africa Law
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Answered in 14 hours by:
6/12/2010
Lawyer: WCLawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
WCLawyer
WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15,603
Experience: L.LB (UOVS)
Verified
The Basic Conditions of Employment Act says that you have to give one week notice if you have worked for six months or less.

The Act also says that the Basic Conditions set out in the Act may be amended by an employment contract, but that the terms of the contract may not be less advantageous than what is set out in the act.

If an employee gives shorter notice, the employer might have a claim for damages.

So, we have to ask ourselves why they require the 30 days notice period when it is not set out in the Act? It might be that she took some paid sick leave or normal leave time that did not yet accrue to her and that she has to work that back.

At any rate, you could also try a claim at the CCMA for constructive dismissal. This is a very difficult claim to get success on, though, but it might be worth a try.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thank you for your advice. I have forwarded it to my sister and I am waiting her response to see if she has any other questions. I guess what I am understanding from you is that the law applies either way even under the circumstances of her absence from work? Are they not in breach of some kind of law by making it impossible for her to perform and do her work in a safe environment? I am not sure about the leave time your brought up but I will find out from her. Thank you again for your time and expertise.
Lawyer: WCLawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
That is where the constructive dismissal thing comes in. Constructive dismissal would be when, instead of just firing her, the employer makes the employment conditions so intolerable that the employee has no other option than to quit.

If the information was to your benefit, please don't forget to click on accept.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I apologize, I don't mean to not accept answer but I am waiting to hear a response from my sister about the information before I accept or ask another question - I should be able to do that by tomorrow. Thank you.
Lawyer: WCLawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
No problem. As I understand it, the system sends out e-mails periodically.
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