Workers at Groote Schuur allege illegal pay deductions

| Tariro Washinyira
Employees say Pronto Kleen employer Joyline Cedras has deducted money from their salaries to cover unauthorised deductions by one of her managers. Photo provided by Pronto Kleen employee.

A manager at cleaning company Pronto Kleen has been charged with fraud after allegedly inflating employees’ working hours and claiming the extra money for herself.

Two employees who spoke to GroundUp on condition of anonymity say the manager used to add extra hours to the timesheets of about 50 employees of Pronto Kleen stationed at Groote Schuur hospital. When employees were paid she would send them messages on their mobile phones ordering them to withdraw the money for the extra hours and pay it to her.

This had been going on since 2013. The employees were not aware that this was happening to almost all of their fellow workers; all thought it was only to them. They say they were scared of losing their jobs if they spoke up.

Last November, they said, company owner Joyline Cedras had been tipped off about the manager’s activities.

But employees say Cedras asked them — and not the manager — to sign affidavits and to pay the money over to her.

Cedras did not respond to GroundUp’s email and text message and put down her phone when GroundUp tried to telephone her.

One employee said she had given the manager R1,900 for the extra hours in September 2014, and R900 in October. “In November, when the manager was caught, I was supposed to give her R900 again which Cedras asked me to give to her after she caught the manager.”

The employee said she had been told that according to the extra hours added to her timesheet she owed the company R11,000, and R1,500 a month had been deducted from her pay since December.

She said in December she had been paid only R1,000 and in February R350. Another employee said she had been told she owed R6,000 and she had not received any money for work in November and December.

Both women reported the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

Captain Van Wyk of SAPS Western Cape Media Centre confirmed that a case of fraud had been opened on 4 December 2014 by Cedras. The manager concerned had been arrested in January and had appeared in the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court. The matter was postponed to 23 April.

TOPICS:  Labour

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