Employers in South Africa – whether small or large – are more likely to be taken to the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) than they are to have a car accident. That’s according to Mitch Marescia, MD of underwriting insurance company, Camargue.
The CCMA was born out of the Labour Relations Act to serve as the first port of call for disgruntled and unfairly treated employees. According to the most recent figures, it now handles over500 cases each day – that’s more than one every minute. “When employers appear at the CCMA officesto exonerate themselves, almost 50% of cases are unsuccessfully defended,”cautions Marescia. He advises employers to mitigate the risk of losing bytaking out insurance.
How it works
Employment Practice Liability (EPL)protects against various claims that could be laid against a company by its employees, ranging from unfair dismissals to sexual harassment. It covers several types of claims, including criminal proceedings, formal administrative or regulatory proceedings, arbitration and written demands for monetary damages.
As part of the insurance package, Camargue provides employers with a range of additional risk management services including a 24-hour labour advice helpline, online access to industrial relations software, an employment procedures handbook, a labour audit,membership of an employer forum, qualified representation at the CCMA, and dispute settlement services from Tokiso, the largest private dispute resolution provider in the country. These services ensure that employers have a team ofexperts around them helping to prevent against loss. If a judgement is made against the employer, Camargue pays the required amount to the employer within one month.
The employer must then settle with the employee.
EPL is a safety net that cannot be provided by a labour lawyer as the outcome of any dispute can never be guaranteed. The policy provides protection for businesses that may be expected to fork out great amounts of cash in settlement of a dispute – a factor that can severely hamper cash flow.
- Camargue insures companies of all sizes,from 35 000-employee multinationals to SMBs that employ fewer than five people.
- A company with up to ten employees can buyR500 000 worth of cover per annum for
a monthly premium of R399.
Limitations and exclusions.
No industry or type of business is excluded. The insured employer must consult with the labour counsellors before taking any action that may give rise to a dispute. Exclusions include any willful breach of the procedural and other material aspects of current labour law, collective disputes or industrial action, fraudulent acts, bodily injury or property damage, prior and pending litigation, and cost to adapt premises.
For more information, call +27 11 356 4842,firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.camargueum.co.za