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Thread: Business Labour Broker/ Agent

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    Business Labour Broker/ Agent

    The company I worked for was closed on 7 Feb 2020. (Pre-lockdown) No notice was given and no retrenchment settlement, leave pay etc. was made.
    The reason given is that the company had been put into liquidation. This would have ordinarily been accepted, although difficult. There were 2 companies involved, a property company and an operating company. All staff were employed and paid by the property company. UIF, COID, PAYE, Skills Development was all paid by the property company. The total staff cost was invoiced to the operating company, monthly. The operating company is the company that has been liquidated. Therefore, we are all technically still employed, right? The owner now claims that the property company was merely an agent for the operating company and that we actually worked for the operating company. This is clearly a move to avoid retrenchments.

    Am I (and 30 odd other employees) correct in saying we have a case for unfair dismissal at the CCMA? UI 19s were issued by the property company with reason for termination as company liquidated, the property company has not been liquidated. Suspension letters were issued by the operating company. The liquidator is still waiting for opinion on who our actual employer was. This is a mess!!

    To make matters worse, there are issues at UIF so staff have not been able to claim UIF since 7 Feb. Staff living on the property have been told to move out. This was not an overnight decision to liquidate, before this was done, the owner's wife was removed from the company as director and income streams from the operating company were transferred to the property company. The owner has other companies which are debtors to the liquidated company to the tune of a few million rand, why then is the company being liquidated?

    Any opinions and advice would be appreciated.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMerchantOfVenice View Post
    The owner now claims that the property company was merely an agent for the operating company and that we actually worked for the operating company.
    Based on what you have said, it seems the owner is going to have some difficulty navigating sections 198 to 200B of the Labour Relations Act.

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    Thanks very much. I am sure I will come right when this comes to a head. Have got a labour lawyer involved.

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