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What the law says about ‘quiet quitting’ in South Africa

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

3 min read | 9:40 am CAT

Companies are experiencing a resurgence of quiet quitting. This is not a new phenomenon and can be described as an employee doing the bare minimum in respect of their duties without necessarily acting in breach of their employment contract. Reasons for this could be burnout from being overworked, perceiving saying “no” as having healthy workplace boundaries, or it could be pure laziness.

In a discussion with Radio Islam International, an employment law expert at law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, Nadeem Mahomed, explains that quiet quitting does not necessarily entail an actual resignation or quitting. Instead, it refers to an employee doing the bare minimum regarding their work responsibility, which may have potentially adverse consequences in the workplace.

Mohammed said the impact of quiet quitting could be that the aspirations and expectations of the employee and employer are not aligned.

“Work output and productivity suffers and also impacts the staff morale,” he says.

From a legal perspective, he added, “If there is no misconduct, than the employer does not necessarily have any force against the employee. However, employees are required to act in the best interest of the employer and consistent poor performance in the part of the employee could result in poor performance enquiry been initiated.”

Meanwhile, the signs of bad management may result in an employee shutting down and disconnecting from work.

Bad management includes creating a challenging environment for an employee to flourish and not respecting personal boundaries concerning work and personal life.

Mental health and employee wellness are exceedingly important in the workplace.

Mohammed suggests that employers would need to remedy bad management and could also create incentives for greater productivity and investment in the job.

He says, “employers could also engage more frequently with their employees to understand their challenges and ensure they are in a healthy space.”

Listen below to the interview with Moulana Habib Bobat and Nadeem Mohamed on Radio Islam’s podcast.

 

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