What should I do about exploitative employers?

Friday November 22 2019

Caroline Mboijana

Caroline Mboijana 

By Caroline Mboijana

How do you handle exploitative employers? I work for long hours, get paid little, have no benefits, not even healthcare benefits. When I fall sick, which usually is as a result of work stress, I have to foot the full cost of treatment. The same applies to when I get injured in the line of duty. Sheila.

Dear Sheila, it is unfortunate that you are working with an employer who treats you in this manner. Employers are not mandated to provide some of the benefits that you have mentioned above. The Employment Act stipulates that all employees are entitled to sick leave.
However, it does not require employers to pay for employee’s treatment. Best practice and in the spirit of the relationship between employer and employee, many organisations provide this benefit. You may want to raise the matter with the HR office or the office that oversees and handles people issues.

In presenting your case, you could point out the advantages of having a medical scheme, even if it is for employees only. The advantages include; increased staff morale and commitment because employees feel their employer is actually concerned and cares about their wellbeing; if an employee is supported while ill, this psychologically contributes to their recovery and return to work where they can fully execute their duties and contribute to the success of the organisation.

On the matter of being injured while on duty, your employer is mandated under the Workman’s Compensation Act, to pay for any treatment associated with the said injury.
The Workman Compensation Act also covers you for injuries sustained during your journey to and from work. If you are not being afforded this support, then your employer is breaking the law and needs to be aware of the risks and consequences of violating the law.

Caroline Mboijana
Managing Director
The Leadership Team (U)