Dear Members

On Friday, 17th July, Minister Zweli Mkhize announced an amendment to the regulations surrounding quarantine and isolation for South Africans who have tested positive for COVID-19.  Effectively, the number of days that a patient with mild symptoms of COVID-19 is now required to self-isolate has been adjusted from 14 days to 10 days.  This came about as a result of new evidence that has shown that patients with mild cases of COVID-19 continue to shed the virus from their upper respiratory tract for between 7 and 12 days.

In addition, people who are self-isolating at home need to adhere to the following criteria:
  • A separate well-ventilated bedroom with a bathroom and toilet, or a residence that is not shared with persons who are not subject to quarantine;
  • Meals should be served in the room in disposable utensils or utensils that are separate and are washed properly if there are persons who are not subject to quarantine;
  • Support from friends or family that can facilitate the drop off of food and medicine at the gate if they are not able to make use of online shopping facilities and contactless deliveries;
  • A thermometer that will allow him or her to measure his or her temperature daily;
  • Access to the internet and a phone that allows the daily reporting of symptoms;
  • Access to a private physician that he or she can contact should he or she require medical advice or care; and
  • A contact number where he or she can be reached during the period of self - quarantine or self -isolation.
To read the revised regulations - click on the link below:

Keep safe and keep warm!

Kind regards,

Allen Bodill
Executive Director

by Deon Bester, OHS Manager 

A question which has been asked with more frequency of late relates to who funds sick leave arising from the need to either self-isolate or through confirmed infection with COVID-19 which occurs at the workplace.

In asking this question of the BIBC, an email received from Pearl Pugin of the BIBC stated the following:

"We make the distinction as follows:
  1. Where the employee produces a sick certificate from a medical facility/practitioner advising either that individual be tested or that he self-isolates, the BIBC will process the application if the individual qualifies for the number of days requested and we have followed our standard verification process to determine the legitimacy of the documentation;
  2. Where it is clear that a COVID-positive employee was exposed to the virus during the course of his work, the COIDA route is appropriate;
  3. Where the employee needs to self-isolate as a result of contact with a COVID-positive person and does not present with symptoms, an application to the UIF is appropriate.  This route may also be followed if the employee does not qualify for sick fund benefits."
In section 23 of the OHS Directive issued by the DEL, on 29 April 2020 it states, amongst others, the following:
23. If a worker presents with COVID-19 related symptoms, or advises the employer of these symptoms, the employer must:
23.1 ......
23.4 place its employee on paid sick leave in terms of section 22 of the BCEA or if the employee's sick leave entitlement under the section is exhausted, make application for an illness benefit in terms of clause 4 of the Directive issued on 25 March 2020 on the COVID-19 Temporary Employer Relief Scheme under regulation 10(8) of the Regulations promulgated in terms of section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act; 
23.5 ensure that the employee is not discriminated against on grounds of having tested positive for COVID-19 in terms of section 6 of the Employment Equity Act, 1998 (Act No. 55 of 1998);
23.6 if there is evidence that the worker contracted COVID-19 as a result of occupational exposure, lodge a claim for compensation in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act No. 130 of 1993) in accordance with Notice 193 published on 3 March 2020.

The documents referred to above also include: