Question posted in the General Law category relating to Mpumalanga
I am a boilermaker who has completed a apprenticeship under a company.
At the time when i qualified (2 years ago) there was an open position for a boilermaker. The manager hired his son inlaw in that position who is not qualied for the position and 6 months later promoted him to workshop foreman.
At least 4 other people have been hired as permanent boilermakers at the company in the last 2 years.
I have been constantly told that there is no available position for a boilermaker all the while have been working there.
My apprentice contract was for 4 years. I completed my trade test in 2 and for the last two years have been working there finnishing that contract as they told me. Now 3 months have passed since the end of the apprentice contract and they put on my payslip "asasitant".
When i asked them whats going on they said again that there is no vacancy for a boilermaker.
They pay me R59.49 an hour currently.
There have been multiple instances of abuse and screaming and swearing at me to the point where i have contemplated suicide during the last two years.
My work performance has never waivered during the time and i keep to myself and have not opend a case against any of them internally or externally.
I am indian and the company has only one other indian employee.
If you have any questions about my situation please ask as i cannot think of any further details right now.
Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated as i cannot afford to loose my job.
Answer to the Question
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow-up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
Unfortunately, this is quite a common thing that happens in companies now.
The first thing that you must realise is that the company doesn't HAVE to appoint you as a boiler maker. They can give the job to anyone else that they want to. You can't force them to give you the job just because you've completed your apprenticeship.
Clearly the company thinks that they can keep you on the books as an assistant, but actually have you performing boiler making work.
Even if the company is lying to you, there is not a lot that you can do.
The one thing that you can do is to quit, or at least tell the company that you feel that you are being treated unfairly and that you want to quit. See if that will then push them into giving you the increased position and raise.
Otherwise, if the verbal abuse etc is bad enough, you could go to the CCMA and claim that you had to quit because of constructive dismissal - which is where your working environment is so toxic that you don't have a choice but to quit.
Those are really your options, but if you say that you can't afford to lose your job, then you've maybe you are stuck between a rock and a hard place!
If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.
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Answer to the Question
Nepotism is not a criminal offence, and it is unfortunately not something that you can actually complain about in order to secure the job for yourself. We say that people are "guilty of nepotism", but this doesn't actually mean much.
If you work for a company, and you are passed over for a promotion or a new job, there is not a lot that you can do about that.
Also, with a private company, the owner is not under any obligation to hire any specific person. He/she could hire any person they wanted, even a family member, and there is not a lot that you can do about it.