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BACK PAY ON SALARIES / MEDICAL ASSISTANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION OF HOUSING ALLOWANCE, LEAVE IMPROVEMENTS AND 13th CHEQUE

BACK PAY
In a meeting of the PSCBC on 15 July 2015 the employer indicated that, due to internal processes that need to be finalised, the back pay of the 0,6% (as part of the cost of living adjustment - with effect from 1 April 2015) and the back pay of the improved medical subsidy (with effect from 1 January 2015), will NOT be effected in July 2015. Optimistically it can be expected to be paid out to employees at the earliest in August 2015. This also applies to the adjustment of the housing allowance that was to come into effect on 1 July 2015. The employer will keep unions informed.

As far as the back pay on the medical subsidy for GEMS members is concerned, it will be paid to employees directly, subject to the normal tax provisions. In the case of former employees, where the subsidy is paid by the GEPF, the back pay on the subsidy will be paid to the relevant medical scheme (GEMS and open schemes) that will then obviously have to decide how to deal with it.

LEAVE PROVISIONS
According to the employer, the implementation of the 5 working days per calendar year family responsibility leave for employees with children with severe special needs will require a 2-stage process. As a first step, the employee will be required to submit to the HR section of his/her department a certificate from a medical practitioner certifying that the child has a mental, emotional or physical disability that requires health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally. Thereafter the employee will have to submit proof/ evidence (e.g. an affidavit) to justify why the leave is/was taken. “Child” is defined as an employee’s son or daughter of any age.

Applications for the 3 working days’ paternity leave will require reasonable proof (e.g. provisional birth certificate, doctor’s note, affidavit). Members must also ensure that where a life partner is involved, such life partner has been registered with the member’s department as per the Minister’s determination of the definition of “spouse”.

13th CHEQUE/ SERVICE BONUS
In terms of PSCBC Resolution 2 of 2015 employees will be allowed to exercise a once-off choice of the month in which they would wish their 13th cheque/ service bonus to be paid out to them. Choices must be made by 31 December 2015, because the new dispensation will take effect on 1 March 2016.
Members are encouraged to exercise their choices timeously, because after 31 December 2015 no changes will be accommodated. The employer will provide employees with a pro-forma election form. If an employee fails to exercise a choice his/her 13th cheque/ service bonus will continue to be paid out in the month of their birthday (not to be changed).

Depending on the month in which an employee currently receives his/her bonus and the month that he/she elects, it could mean that the employee could receive a full bonus and a pro rata bonus in the same financial year – e.g. if the employee’s normal bonus month is April and he/ she chooses December as the new month, he/she will, after 1 March 2016, receive his/her full bonus in April 2016 and a pro rata bonus in December 2016. The next full bonus will then only be paid in December 2017.