Be prepared for anti-Zuma marches
With employees requesting to be released from work for anti-Zuma march action planned for Friday, April 7, Rod Harper and Jayson Kent, of Cowan-Harper Attorneys, have issued some guidelines for companies on how best to handle the situation.
Under the current circumstances, the attourneys advise the following:
- Employers can permit employees to participate by requiring them to apply for annual leave, permitting them to take unpaid leave, or by simply granting leave of absence for the period of the march, or for the day, where appropriate.
- Such permission must be subject to operational requirements, which may differ from employer to employer.
- A meeting should be arranged with employees in order to discuss the requests and proposed arrangements.
- Where employees do not wish to report for work for safety reasons, they should apply for annual leave. It should be noted that the march must take place in a specified area. It must be of limited duration and safety should be assessed in that context.
“Be aware that the circumstances may change before any action takes place on Friday, which may warrant a different approach. In particular, permission to march must be granted in terms of the Gatherings Act. If permission is not granted, the march would be unlawful and employers may wish to reconsider their approach on the issue,” the attorneys warn.
“Some employees have advised that for safety reasons they do not wish to report for work this Friday, but will not necessarily participate in the march.”
Cowan-Harper Attorneys specialises in employment law, benefits and industrial relations, commercial litigation and commercial corporate law.