Johannesburg – Employees at Clicks stores have accused management of making them work during the lockdown and now not wanting to pay them.
Clicks stores countrywide are open as one of the few businesses that offer essential services.
Beauty advisers at the Clicks franchise have accused the company of making them work during the lockdown and then forcing them to take unpaid leave – when President Cyril Ramaphosa extended the lockdown deadline to the end of April.
Beauty advisers work at the cosmetics counters and help customers with what products are suitable for them. They earn between R7000 and R9000 per month.
One beauty adviser, who works at a Clicks store in Kempton Park, said they were given essential worker letters at the beginning of the lockdown, but these were revoked after the lockdown extension.
The worker said: “At the beginning of the lockdown, we went to work and helped around the store. We also manned the doors and offered customers hand sanitiser.
“Now they are telling us we are not essential workers and our permits are null and void.”
When the lockdown was extended, the workers claim they were informed they weren’t essential service workers and to take leave – and if they did not have leave days available, it would be registered as unpaid leave.
“I have been working since the lockdown, and to now be told that I will not be paid doesn’t make sense,” another employee said.
Clicks chief store operations officer Sedick Arendse said that as a responsible employer everyone who worked during the lockdown would be paid.
“Clicks has further committed to taking the steps necessary to mitigate the negative impact that the lockdown may have on employees’ pay.
“A customer care incentive has been implemented and the option of extended leave, in advance, for up to 10 days, has been offered to affected employees.
“Additionally, all employees have access to medical cover or private primary health care through this time, funded by Clicks.
“These are some of the ways we are looking to mitigate the effect of Covid-19 on our employees,” Arendse said.
By Tebogo Monama