Cape Town-based African Debt Advisors call centre may face criminal charges for withholding TERS payments to staff
Cape Town – The Labour Department will decide whether to lodge a criminal complaint against Cape Town call centre African Debt Advisors (ADA) if an audit finds the company withheld payments from its employees.
This relates to the Covid Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) the company had claimed.
A process is under way to follow up on allegations of defrauding the Covid-19 Ters system and the exploitation of workers.
Labour Department spokesperson Candice van Reenen said ADA appeared before the inspector on August 31.
“The company was issued a subpoena to provide the payslips and attendance registers of all employees as the employees have indicated to the department that they have not received their Ters money although it was paid out by the fund. Additionally, they were employed without receiving a salary,” said Van Reenen.
An audit of payments is being conducted after the company issued the department with documentation.
“The company was able to supply information with the exception of the payslips. We are now busy with calculations and follow-ups to determine the outstanding amount of payments to be made by the employer – this depends on the money received by the employees,” said Van Reenen.
Previously, ADA was asked to provide information of employees listed on the payroll, an approved and rejected list of employees under the Covid-19 Ters benefit for applications made for April, May and June. “Depending on the outcome of the audit of the payments the department will either lay criminal charges for withholding Ters payments or issue a compliance order for outstanding money to be paid for work performed.”
ADA did not respond to numerous requests for comment.