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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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If my general manager is sick and she has told us she has pneumonia

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If my general manager is sick and she has told us she has pneumonia but we subsequently have found out she is hiv positive and has TB, what are our rights with regard to replacing her. She holds the most responsible position in the company, and runs the whole show. She has hidden her illness for some time, and exposed herself to all her co-workers and ourselves and our children.
She is very sick and will probably not make it. She has been working for us since Nov 2011. What are our responsibilities as far as paid sick leave and annual leave are concerned. She is due for 3 weeks annual leave and has been on paid sick leave for 10 days. That is how quickly she has deteriorated. Her chances of survival are minimal. Her family is looking to us for financial assistance.
In the meantime we have had to travel and find accommodation to run the business without her, as she was our right-hand lady. We also need to find a temp to replace her in the hopes that she recovers, but it is clear she will not be well for some time if she recovers from this.
Good day.

This is an info request to assist you better. Please continue on this thread.

I assume that she is currently physically unable to do her job?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes, she has been booked off since Tues 23 July

Apologies for the late reply:

I assume that you want to dismiss her due to poor health?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If it comes to that. At the moment, her doctor says that she has very little chance of survival. If she survives, and she is unable to work for th foreseeable future, what action can I take?

I am going to be away from my computer for a bit. Will it be fine if I answer you during the course of the night?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes u can revert tomorrow if that suits u many tx

Thank you.

I am afraid that it is going to come to that. You are going to have to look at the Codes of Good Practice on dismissal and in particular, items 10 and 11 of the code. You can find the code here

Basically what this means is that you need to establish whether she can still do the work. If not, will she in future be able to return to work, is it going to be within a reasonable time that she is going to return, is there something else that she can do etc

It does, however, seem clear that she is not likely to return. Remember that you cannot dismiss her for having HIV and TB. Your only criteria must be, is she able to do the work despite the illness. The fact that she did not tell you of the disease is not going to entitle you to dismiss her. The fact that she is unable to do the work, will.

You must get her input in this. So, you need to find out from her as well whether she is going to be able to return to work and maybe set deadlines. From what I hear, however, I think she probably will agree that she would not be able to return.

You are not liable towards her for anything other than her salary that she has worked for, any leave pay that is due to her and any other benefit that she is entitled to in terms of her employment contract. She would be able to claim UIF illness benefits because she can no longer work.

I hope this answers your question, but if you have any further questions, feel free to ask them before you rate. It will not cost you anything extra. If you are satisfied with the answer, kindly click on one of the five faces on the ratings page. I don't get anything for this answer unless you do.

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