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Thread: Can the company do this?

  1. #1
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    Can the company do this?

    I am working at a small company as the bookkeeper at the moment and after only here for 8 weeks I received a much better offer. I have last week put in my resignation giving my 7 days notice period as per the Companies act because no notice period is stipulated in my contract.

    Now yesterday I got called in by the 2 owners and HR and apparently some of the work I have done is now not according to their liking. Basically the owner wants me to pay for the time it will take the other owner (which fills the role as financial manager) to rectify these so called errors. Can they do that?

    i have also now yesterday done a whole recon of everything and apart of 5 human errors everything is fine.
    Also the financial manager complains now that I have not entered the petty cash into pastel the way she wants it. I captured each slip and she only wanted totals.

    So my question is, can they claim any money from me? Personally I feel this is sour grapes because I'm leaving the company on such short notice (but still in my rights)
    I have not signed any documents and will not sign such a document to authorize them to take any money from my salary which they still needs to pay.

  2. #2
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    5 human errors
    In 8 weeks ? Thats quite a lot - and was there a cost implication to the company ?
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    I wouldn't even bother with 7 days notice, I'd just leave. Cut contact and MOVE ON, don't respond to their emails. Focus your energy on making money elsewhere. Block their messages online and on your phone, don't answer the phone when they call. Cut your losses. Let them waist time and resources fumbling through the small claims court for peanuts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HR Solutions View Post
    In 8 weeks ? Thats quite a lot - and was there a cost implication to the company ?
    Nope, they just paid my salary. I am still in my probation period which only ends in January.

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    Something which everyone is forgetting here which is part of the the labour equity act, which states that you must have regular meetings, to measure the performance of your new employee who is on probation, and to correct any errors that may have arisen, to ensure that the employe on probation has a good chance of becoming permanent.

    The fact that they never raised the issue of the manner in which they wanted the information to be entered, means that they were in agreement with your work conduct. To come afterwards and say that your proceeded incorrectly, and need to compensate them for it, is incorrect.
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    I wish I could charge my staff for fixing their mistakes. I'd be a millionaire. Its part and parcel of being an employer, you have to manage the mistakes. If anyone should have a salary deduction, it should be the HR manager for hiring someone that wasn't perfect for the job. The financial manager should also have their pay deducted for not clearly explaining to their staff, in writing, how they wanted the job done.

    If you were an independent supplier, they could well have withheld payment, but our labour laws are generally skewed towards the employee at the moment, so I seriously doubt that they are entitled to do anything of the sort with you.

    If they deduct off your last payslip, I would take it straight to the CCMA. If you have already been paid I would pretty much do nothing, as I find it highly unlikely that they will take expensive legal action to try and get some money back.

    I'm normally on the side of the employer, but when they seem to be complaining that you did too much work by entering too much detail in the cash book, then that really looks like they are talking stories. I don't think you have much to worry about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BusFact View Post
    I wish I could charge my staff for fixing their mistakes. I'd be a millionaire. Its part and parcel of being an employer, you have to manage the mistakes. If anyone should have a salary deduction, it should be the HR manager for hiring someone that wasn't perfect for the job. The financial manager should also have their pay deducted for not clearly explaining to their staff, in writing, how they wanted the job done.

    If you were an independent supplier, they could well have withheld payment, but our labour laws are generally skewed towards the employee at the moment, so I seriously doubt that they are entitled to do anything of the sort with you.

    If they deduct off your last payslip, I would take it straight to the CCMA. If you have already been paid I would pretty much do nothing, as I find it highly unlikely that they will take expensive legal action to try and get some money back.

    I'm normally on the side of the employer, but when they seem to be complaining that you did too much work by entering too much detail in the cash book, then that really looks like they are talking stories. I don't think you have much to worry about.
    Thanks @BusFact, I just got called in for a meeting because I invoiced them for my 2 leave days which is owing to me. It's more of a sour grape thing because I'm leaving. I'm contemplating going to CCMA just to teach them they cannot do whatever they want but I also don't know if it is worth it to go through the trouble for only R1800 less PAYE.
    I am still waiting for them to pay me...

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    So my question is, can they claim any money from me?
    The Basic Conditions Of Employment Act:

    Deductions and other acts concerning remuneration
    34. (1) An employer may not make any deduction from an employee’s remuneration
    unless—
    (a) subject to subsection (2), the employee in writing agrees to the deduction in
    respect of a debt specified in the agreement; or
    (b) the deduction is required or permitted in terms of a law, collective agreement,
    court order or arbitration award.
    (2) A deduction in terms of subsection (1)(a) may be made to reimburse an employer
    for loss or damage only if—
    (a) the loss or damage occurred in the course of employment and was due to the
    fault of the employee;
    (b) the employer has followed a fair procedure and has given the employee a
    reasonable opportunity to show why the deductions should not be made;
    (c) the total amount of the debt does not exceed the actual amount of the loss or
    damage; and
    (d) the total deductions from the employee’s remuneration in terms of this
    subsection do not exceed one-quarter of the employee’s remuneration in
    money.
    (3)A deduction in terms of subsection (1)(a) in respect of any goods purchased by the
    employee must specify the nature and quantity of the goods.
    (4) An employer who deducts an amount from an employee’s remuneration in terms
    of subsection (1) for payment to another person must pay the amount to the person in
    accordance with the time period and other requirements specified in the agreement, law,
    court order or arbitration award.
    (5) An employer may not require or permit an employee to—
    (a) repay any remuneration except for overpayments previously made by the
    employer resulting from an error in calculating the employee’s remuneration;
    or
    (b) acknowledge receipt of an amount greater than the remuneration actually
    received.

    Regarding your notice period:
    Notice of termination of employment
    37. (1) Subject to section 38, a contract of employment terminable at the instance of
    a party to the contract may be terminated only on notice of not less than—
    (a) one week, if the employee has been employed for four weeks or less;
    (b) two weeks, if the employee has been employed for more than four weeks but
    not more than one year;
    (c) four weeks, if the employee—
    (i) has been employed for one year or more; or
    (ii) is a farm worker or domestic worker who has been employed for more
    than four weeks.
    (2) A collective agreement may permit a notice period shorter than that required by
    subsection (1).
    (3) No agreement may require or permit an employee to give a period of notice longer
    than that required of the employer.
    (4) (a) Notice of termination of a contract of employment must be given in writing,
    except when it is given by an illiterate employee.
    (b) If an employee who receives notice of termination is not able to understand it, the
    notice must be explained orally by, or on behalf of, the employer to the employee in an
    official language the employee reasonably understands.
    (5) Notice of termination of a contract of employment given by an employer must—
    (a) not be given during any period of leave to which the employee is entitled in
    terms of Chapter Three; and
    (b) not run concurrently with any period of leave to which the employee is
    entitled in terms of Chapter Three, except sick leave.
    (6) Nothing in this section affects the right—
    (a) of a dismissed employee to dispute the lawfulness or fairness of the dismissal
    in terms of Chapter VIII of the Labour Relations Act, 1995, or any other law;
    and
    (b) of an employer or an employee to terminate a contract of employment without
    notice for any cause recognised by law.

    So they could probably apply any leave due to you against the 1 week short notice.

    I'm with Basement Dweller, just go and get on with your life.

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    To forum members. Will Cappy be within his/her legal rights if the following steps were taken??

    1)Don't report to work tomorrow

    2)Go to the CCMA offices

    3)Claim constructive dismissal.

    Comments?

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLIVE-TRIANGLE View Post
    Regarding your notice period:
    Notice of termination of employment
    37. (1) Subject to section 38, a contract of employment terminable at the instance of
    a party to the contract may be terminated only on notice of not less than—
    (a) one week, if the employee has been employed for four weeks or less;
    (b) two weeks, if the employee has been employed for more than four weeks but
    not more than one year;
    So they could probably apply any leave due to you against the 1 week short notice.
    I'm with Basement Dweller, just go and get on with your life.
    Hi Clive, the above is actually wrong.

    Taken from http://www.labour.gov.za/DOL/legisla...to-termination

    Worker employed for…
    Notice Period
    6 months or less: 1 week
    More than 6 months, but less than 1 year - 2 weeks
    1 year or more - 4 weeks


    So I was well in my rights to give 7 days notice. I have reported for work this morning because they still need to pay me for the 3 weeks work and I rather keep my side clean as possible should it progress to the CCMA etc.
    Last edited by Cappy; 21-Nov-14 at 06:19 AM. Reason: extra info added

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