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CV-19: What Does Level 4 Mean?

R2W - Level 4 Return to Work

Dear BPESA Members, Partners and Stakeholders

As you heard on Saturday the 25th of April, the Minister of Trade Industry and Competition (dtic) announced a proposal for which sectors would be able to return to work at Level 4. The Minister also communicated that the details of this would be worked on during the week and communicated on Thursday the 30th April.

The PPGI with whom we interface, subsequently called for comments from multiple sectors of the economy, including the GBS Sector that includes call centres. BPESA facilitated the submission for the GBS Sector and submitted a consolidated response to the PPGI on Sunday the 26th. This, in turn, was consolidated by the PPGI with other sector responses into one document and submitted to Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (see attached) on Monday the 27th.




What We Know

- The PPGI response was submitted to government on time

- The PPGI response includes most of the proposals received from the GBS sector stakeholders on the 25th and 26th April

- The PPGI has subsequently requested sectors to prepare and submit their Return to work (R2W) plans asap, which we are busy with;

-- We will issue a survey today (via the regions) to obtain your input - company level information required for the plan while the BPESA team will complete the more generic, sector wide sections that are standard for all call / contact centres e.g. The existing H&S protocols

-- We are still in discussion regarding the scope of the “Sector R2W” with the ICT Sector and ADRA whose members operating call centres may report to BPESA and be included in this plan – to be finalised before the survey is issued

- These return to work plans will play some role in the sector being able to make a successful return to work at Level 4, subject to the regulations or directions or other formal communication which we are yet to see

- Return to work planning (as shared by the PPGI) includes some form of sector readiness assessment and some form of business readiness assessment before Level 4 work can commence

- The PPGI is working around the clock to design processes and tools to help businesses prepare themselves for Level 4 – these will be proposed to Government as part of the self-regulation obligations businesses and sectors have

We are still operating under Level 5 conditions and must continue to comply with those in full until 1st May or advised otherwise by government




What We Don't Know

- Which proposals in the PPGI submission for Level 4 work government will accept and which it will reject or defer to later risk stages

- What capacity of workforce can be deployed and under what conditions, in Level 4

- When Level 4 can actually start – what are all the preconditions - how a sector and a company will receive the “green light” to proceed with Level 4 work on the 1st May – this includes when a company can start preparing its workplaces and when it can start operations

- What the final R2W protocols and requirements will look like including site inspections, reporting, incident management and others - what current requirements will fall away, if any, what requirements will change (perhaps the Permit to deliver essential services), and what new requirements will be implemented in Level 4 (new H&S protocols, new monitoring and reporting requirements)




What To Do

My suggestion is that:

1. Level 5 companies continue as they have been doing thus far under lock down

2. Level 4 companies prepare for the possibility that the PPGI proposals are accepted by government; with a contingency plan for, clients, staff and other factors such as facilities should government not accept some of the proposed changes for Level 4

3. BPESA proactively prepares and submits its sector R2W plan with input from the sector, and readies itself to respond quickly to the PPGI with any new processes and requirements that must be put in place before Friday

4. Remain flexible enough to respond to new information and be ready for a very late communication from Government – this suggests that you should allow some time after the 1st May to complete any preparations and declarations before formally commencing with Level 4 work

5. We share our planning with the key regional role players including the ProvJOCs via the channels that are being used in each region – so that we are all on the same page wrt the interpretation of the regulations and conditions of Level 4 work




We will keep you updated with any new info as soon as it is received.


Andy Searle



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