Since February 2019, more than 200 Community Health Care Workers (CHWs) in Westonaria, Lebanon Medical Station, were not paid for work done for 11 (eleven months, February to December 2019).
On Tuesday, the 14th January 2020, the CHWs consulted with Khanya College’s Mass Advise Department (MAD) for assistance. They were assisted to write a letter to the manager of the Medical Station for unpaid work done. The CHWs said they were not given reasons why they are not paid, and they continued working and submitted their statistics reports every month during that time. Out of the 200 CHWs, they said, only 9 were paid and given a contract to sign.
Affected areas are Westonaria, Randfontein, Mohlakeng, Simunye, Zuurbekom, and Borwa. These Carers were placed all over these areas by WRAP which is located in Lebanon Medical Station, in Westonaria.
Specifically, unpaid wages/salaries for work done from February until December 2019, without pay. The CHWs said they were submitting stats reports every month to the Station as their employer. “And we continued working. Please be advised that this is a claim for unpaid wages/salaries for work done for 11 months since February to December 2019, plus non-compliance with National Minimum Wage”, they said.
The money owed to the Care workers is calculated as follows: Monthly payment R1 200.00 for 200 employees equals R 240 000,00 and each CHW must be awarded R13 200.00 for the period mentioned above. The National Minimum Wage Non-Compliance fee of R 3500.00 money owed to the CHWs is R2 300.00 each worker and there are 200 CHWs involved. The amount comes to a large some of R460 000.00 unpaid and R25 300.00 owed to each Carer.
And total wage due to the carers is R700 000.00 for 200 CHWs sharing. “Persistent failure to comply with this obligation we will indeed entitle us to resign and claim constructive dismissal”, said they CHWs.
It is illegal that an employer withholds the wages/salaries of employees. The employer is in violation of the labour laws of the Republic of South Africa.
They continued, “If we do not receive payment of these wages/salaries within 10 days; 30 January 2020, of your receipt of this letter. We intend to take legal action against the employer.”
These are the steps that need to be followed, 1) If the manager fails to respond, the matter will be taken to the Department of Labour for non-compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and or, 2) the CHWs can “File a dispute of Constructive Dismissal with Bargaining Council”.