Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


The Implications of Covid-19 in the Workplace in South Africa

Author(s): Baboolal-Frank, R

 COVID-19 created chaos across the globe. The effect and impact of the virus brought economies and countries to a standstill as lockdown conditions were imposed. Companies were forced to close, as they could not operate virtually. Mass retrenchment packages were undertaken for permanent staff. In South Africa, there were no retrenchment packages for contract workers and independent contractors as they were forced to resort to the unemployment insurance fund for financial relief. The companies in South Africa that operated remotely, used online mechanisms such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meet and Microsoft teams, for virtual interactions. Staff were imposed with the tasks and responsibilities of providing proof of productivity in the form of progress reporting via email to their line managers. These actions illustrated a monitoring mechanism by management to measure productivity of employees. The employees were pressurised to resume to a new normality, despite the abnormal conditions that surrounded them. The aim of this paper is to postulate the labour law protection of employees against the impact of COVID-19 in the virtual workplace and the way forward for employers during this novel period in South Africa.

Get the App