EOHCB POSITION ON COVID-19 LOCKDOWN AND RESPONSE TO FACEBOOK AND SOCIAL MEDIA ALLEGATIONS
15 May 2020
The purpose of this communication is to advise on EOHCB`s position in these challenging times and to respond to the allegations made in social media and on Facebook, in relation to EOHCB’s approach to the urgent High Court application that has been launched in the High Court, in Cape Town.
From the outset, it should be stated that it is not the EOHCB’s intention to become involved in any mudslinging.
The EOHCB is obliged to act in the best interest of the Hairdressing, Cosmetology, Beauty and Skincare Industry (“the Industry”). To fulfil this obligation, the EOHCB must act in sensible and rational manner.
The EOHCB`s conduct, as Employer Organisation, is governed by provisions of the Labour Relations Act. It is the only Employers Organisation party to the National Bargaining Council for the Industry and as such must also take into account the needs of employees in the Industry, as represented by UASA – the Union, being the Trade Union party to the National Bargaining Council, prior to embarking on a process that may affect the Industry.
The EOHCB, through Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), engaged with Government and furnished Government with a substantive written submission as to why personal care services, rendered in the Industry, should form part of the so-called permitted services allowed for during alert level 4.
Notwithstanding the submission, Government did not include personal services and the EOHCB is in the process of calling for reasons why personal care services were not included to enable the EOHCB to address any concerns that Government may have had, causing the exclusion.
Advocate Carlo Viljoen (“Viljoen”) approached the EOHCB with a request to join in the urgent application.
Upon having had the opportunity to read Viljoen’s draft application, the EOHCB resolved not to support the application for, amongst others, the following reasons:
• the application is limited to hairdressers only. Neither supporting staff in salons such as operators, cleaners, front desk co-ordinators etc. nor any employers and employees rendering beauty and skincare services are included;
• the EOHCB is of the opinion that more ground may be gained through meaningful negotiations directly with Government, as opposed to become embroiled in a legal battle. All other remedies should be exhausted prior to an application being launched. An application should be a last resort;
• the application contains certain statements which, according to the EOHCB, are not factually correct.
For the reasons aforesaid, the EOHCB advised Viljoen that it cannot support the application and, should it be necessary, the EOHCB will make a submission to Court as a so-called friend of the Court, thereby not opposing the application, but simply furnishing the Court with the correct information. The EOHCB requested Viljoen not to incorporate any information in the application that may be interpreted as if the application is supported by the EOHCB as this may adversely affect the EOHCB’s endeavours in achieving common ground with Government, going forward.
In fact, the EOHCB is in the process of preparing further submissions to Government to the benefit of the entire Industry, incorporating the full sphere of personal care services, which will be to the benefit of all employers and with support of UASA – The Union, for and on behalf of employees in the Industry.
Employers in the Industry are more than welcome to communicate directly with the EOHCB in order to familiarise themselves with the processes executed by the EOHCB to date in order to expedite personal care services being included in permitted services to be rendered and the manner in which members contributions are utilised for this purposes.
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