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Question
Posted by: ANGRY EMPLOYEE | 2011/01/18

LEAVE

I have been working for this company for ten years. Recently they started retrenching staff and we are now waiting with bated breath to see who will be next! We did receive letters of appointment when we commenced employment. During December last year we were advised by management that there are staff members who owe the company leave going as far back as 2002!!! Now they have told us that they are going to deduct money from our salaries each month until our leave has been paid back! My question is : How can they, so many years down the line, want to correct their leave records and expect the staff to pay back what is owed to the company. Every time we apply for leave, they grant the leave without checking first whether there is leave available to us. The way I see it, they should''''ve kept their records up to date and declined leave if there was none available to take! I feel that we (employees) are being severely prejudiced now by their actions. None of us can afford to have one days'' pay taken off every month! Are they allowed to do this? We did not sign employment contracts or receive letters of appointment! We have furthermore not received increases or bonuses for the past three years as they claim that there is no money, yet they spend money on functions, golf days and gifts for their customers. How unfair is that? Your advice would be appreciated. I have posted this question for LABOUR LAWYER, but have yet to receive a response thereto! I do not believe that it is up to the employee to ensure that the employer keeps their records up to date!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I suspect this is actually rather a complex issue, depending on the contents of the letters of employment, or the company's failure to provide such standard documentation, whatever agreements were made when people apparently took more leave than they were due, the possible degree of negligence of the company, and so on. I don't know how the labour lawyer here works, but you'd do well to contact the CCMA AND the dept of Labour, and maybe a practising labour lawyer.

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Our users say:
Posted by: SueMe | 2011/01/18

" Sorry, we DID NOT receive letters of appointment or sign employment contracts with them!!!" 

Did you sign any other form of contract during the decade you have been working for them? If not then there is no legal binding contract.

No offense hey but this whole thread seems contrived doesnt make sense and is pretty stupid, you guys all in Africa hey?

Reply to SueMe
Posted by: What? | 2011/01/18

You state you cannot afford to pay back one days leave a month but that retrenchment would be a blessing in disguise. Weird logic.

Reply to What?
Posted by: Peace Maker | 2011/01/18

Hi Angry Employee
You were also a little curt with Maria,she was only trying to help. Perhaps an olive branch in that direction is also appropriate?
You discribe yourself as angry maybe you have anger issues and need anger management advice which is right up Cybershrinks street.
Losing it with Humbert is not nice.

Reply to Peace Maker
Posted by: BOSS | 2011/01/18

Good advice from BTW that is the sort of employee who gets bonuses in my company and those like Honest Humbert..

Reply to BOSS
Posted by: Please! | 2011/01/18

Can I have your job- I am desperate and would never take leave just to have a job.
Say sorry 2 Humbert.

Reply to Please!
Posted by: BTW | 2011/01/18

Why not channel your anger by offering to keep the leave records for your section/dept.
It would probably take less time than complaining on the internet.
Also think u should apologise to Herbert.

Reply to BTW
Posted by: ? | 2011/01/18

On the labour lawyer site you stated that the company wants to deduct 30 days overdrawn leave from you,surely you realised that you were overdrawn on leave - i could understand if we were talking 3 or 4 days.
I think you need to take personal resposibility here and give back that which was not yours.
I assume you are logged on at home and not using your companies time and internet resources to post here.If you are at work why do you need leave- you are not exactly working your fingers to the bone.
You are not coming across as a very pleasant person and I think you should apologise - but not in company time - to Humbert for your uncharitable rant.When posting on any forum you invite peple to comment and you cannot expect with honesty to value all opinions.
Do the right thing and grow as a person- pay back the leave and apologise to Humbert.Try to value your job there are so many people who would love to complain about their boss if only they had one!

Reply to ?
Posted by: CEO | 2011/01/18

I agree with Humburt, you obviously knew you had used the leave up and noticed their mistake of not deducting it, and took full advantage of the situation. Now you wanna cry when you are being caught out. Careful, Humbert might be your boss watching over you...

Reply to CEO
Posted by: Humbert | 2011/01/18

Well it is still a dishonest employee that takes leave when they know it is not due - whether the management did or did not keep records properly. And if you are such a goody two shoes and never took leave when it was not due to you why did you not do something about it when it first came to your attention? And are you wasting all this time and bandwidth on your home computer or at the office?

Reply to Humbert
Posted by: Angry employee | 2011/01/18

O M G Humbert can u not read??? They HAVE NOT deducted money, they WANT TO deduct money .... you know keep your shitty comments to yourself ... u r probably one of those bosses who would delight in screwing your staff over for a few bucks!! Thank you Liza for your comments ... so pleased that someone with some common sense could give their input!! I have never taken leave without their consent ... they did not do what they were supposed to and are now screwing their staff ... .. this is THEIR MISTAKE ... they acknowledged this in a meeting a few weeks ago ... they accept responsibility for not keeping their records up to date and signing off leave forms as they were submitted .... why should the employees TEACH MANAGEMENT HOW TO DO THEIR JOBS correctly? The only leave I ever took was over the festive season due to the offices closing ... I did not even use my sick leave ... in fact in the ten years I have been employed here I have only been off work for 4 days ... so don''t tell me about being dishonest ... dishonest is the staff that take one days'' sick leave a month because they think they are entitled to it!!! Dishonest is the staff that clock in in the mornings and leave the office and return just in time to clock out again ... once again, they have never picked this up due to their shoddy record-keeping!!! At this stage Liza I don''t care where I feature on the retrenchment list ... the way things are going in this company it would be a blessing in disguise to be retrenched! BTW The management would not accept responsibility for their so-called mistake if it was not their mistake ... they apologised in the presence of the entire company for not keeping their records up to date! Furthermore we were never given the option to work skeleton staff over the festive period so as not to take leave unnecessarily! They just told us they are closing the offices for X amount of days and that was that!! Humbert keep your useless comments to yourself .. I am not one of the dishonest employees in this company ... I am merely upset that they have allowed this to go on for so many years without correcting it DESPITE THE OTHER DIRECTORS INSISTING THAT THE LEAVE RECORDS BE CORRECTED SOME 7 YEARS AGO ALREADY!!! So with who does the fault lie then?? The management who could not be bothered with keeping records up to date?? Yes I think they are to blame ... at the end of the day, they should never have granted leave when there was no leave due and if they did what they were supposed to do they would not be placing their staff (a majority of which are lower income earners) in a position that they have to do with so much less money every month because of management''s negligence! It is grossly unfair to these people (cleaners, messengers, gardeners etc.) who do not earn big salaries and who cannot afford to do without their full salary every month!

Reply to Angry employee
Posted by: Humbert | 2011/01/18

Well why are they deducting money from your pay then? If your payslip showed leave in credit and this was not the case due to your employers poor record keeping then you are still being dishonest - you have taken leave when it was not due to you. And now you are complaining as if is your right to take leave even if it is not owed to you because your employer made a mistake? What if it was a bug in the software system the company used for payroll and leave calculation? And besides you cannot tell us you did not know how much leave you had taken in a given year?

Reply to Humbert
Posted by: Liza | 2011/01/18

It''s shoddy record keeping on the part of your employer and as such is not your fault. You will need to see the CCMA or a labour lawyer, but in a court of law, the shoddy record keeping will ensure that you win the case. It is however a LONG process to go through but it should be worth it in the long run.

Also note (especially with retrenchments), that going the legal route COULD have a negative impact on your employer/employee relationship. It could even move your name to the top of the retrenchment list....

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Angry employee | 2011/01/18

All the leave we applied for was granted by the company, they did not keep their leave records up to date. Our payslips all showed leave in credit ... not our fault they did not do their jobs properly .... no one was dishonest in taking leave, a leave form is filled in, taken to the salaries department and they authorise the leave ... by the way Humbert you clearly don''t know what you are talking about ... read the original message carefully oh and by the way, the Labour Department just advised us that our employer cannot do this as they did not keep their records up to date ..... so thanks for nothing Humbert .... I have a good work ethic, but am not going to pay for their shoddy record-keeping ... their mistake, their loss !!!!

Reply to Angry employee
Posted by: Vrye Denker | 2011/01/18

I think a fair agreement would be for you employer to deduct the leave you were not entitled to from your current balance.

Reply to Vrye Denker
Posted by: Humbert | 2011/01/18

You should have not taken leave that was not due to you in the first place - so if they are deducting money off your pay for leave you should not have been entitled to thats your fault as well since you knew you were being dishonest in taking it. People like you don''t deserve a job as you have a bad work ethic. You were overpaid and you know it and were taking your employer for a ride and now you fell off sies shame on you...

Reply to Humbert
Posted by: Angry employee | 2011/01/18

Was hoping to get some feedback from anyone who was possibly in a similar situation & mdash - I know that it does not fall under a psychiatrist''s specialist knowledge .... as do most of the questions posted on this forum!!!

Reply to Angry employee
Posted by: Maria | 2011/01/18

This really falls far outside the scope of a psychiatrist''s specialist knowledge. Why don''t you contact the department of labour, or the CCMA?

Reply to Maria
Posted by: ANGRY EMPLOYEE | 2011/01/18

Sorry, we DID NOT receive letters of appointment or sign employment contracts with them!!!

Reply to ANGRY EMPLOYEE
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/01/18

I suspect this is actually rather a complex issue, depending on the contents of the letters of employment, or the company's failure to provide such standard documentation, whatever agreements were made when people apparently took more leave than they were due, the possible degree of negligence of the company, and so on. I don't know how the labour lawyer here works, but you'd do well to contact the CCMA AND the dept of Labour, and maybe a practising labour lawyer.

Reply to cybershrink

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