One must be blind to not realise that most of us are turning our money over and over again to stay safe and financially secure, especially with the effect Covid-19 has had on the economy and the continuous increasing costs of living.
Many of you may find yourselves in a tough spot from time to time. Whether you need money to pay bills or need extra money to put in fuel. Some of you hit rock bottom and as a result the only solution is to apply for a loan and in many cases you approach a colleague to borrow money or a colleague approaches you for money.
To give or not to give
Ultimately, you have to decide whether to give a loan or not, but be careful before deciding to do so. Money itself is not complicated, what is complicated is human relationships, as these activities have the tendency to affect the smooth running of the operations in the organisation and workplace harmony, especially when the loan is not repaid. Before deciding to borrow a colleague money, enquire on the Company Rules and/or Internal Policies and Procedures. These Policies regulates employee’s conduct, highlight risks and set out the consequences if one does not follow the internal policies. These policies would more importantly ensure that no vulnerable employee is placed in an unjustifiable position within the workplace context.
There may be unfortunate consequences if you don’t familiarise yourself with these rules, including the worst-case scenario of losing your job. These rules apply to everyone within the organisation, from the cleaning staff right up to the company’s chief executive officer (CEO).
Money lending activities relate to transactions between employees and applies to any employee of the company who engages in money lending activities with any one or more persons within the workplace. The Labour Appeal Court, NTM obo Tunyiswa v CCMA and Others (JR810/15)  ZALCJHB 374 (10 October 2017), confirmed that it is illegal to conduct money lending activities within the workplace and upheld the dismissal of the employee in this case.
It is the accepted norm that any employee who unduly places his/her interest above the interests of his/her job function or that of the company could be faced with conflict of interest charges and Employees who engage in prohibited money lending activities as stipulated in the employer’s Rules or Internal Policies and Procedures, will face disciplinary action which, depending on the circumstances of the matter, may result in the sanction of dismissal being issued on the perpetrator.
It is advisable that, should you already be engaged or engage in any money lending activities, you disclose such arrangements to your immediate supervisor/managers. It is also safe to say that failure to report money lending activities in the workplace, will be regarded as a disciplinary offence. Depending on the circumstances of the matter, failure to disclose or to report may also result in severe disciplinary sanctions such as dismissal.
If you are faced with the situation where your colleague approaches you for a loan offer, rather suggest an alternative solution. For example, if your company has an in-house employee wellness program, suggest this to your colleague. In this way, you’re showing kindness without losing anything financially.
To help you make the right decision, it is advisable for you to consult the employer’s rules and regulations or internal policies and procedures to ensure that money lending activities are permissible however, where possible one ought to avoid doing so.
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