A South African firm has been criticised by staff for its monumentally hard line on returning to the office.
This week South Africa posted its highest daily number of coronavirus infections yet, and while it is gradually easing its lockdown, people have been asked to stay at home and work remotely for the sake of the wider community.
But one law firm, Werksmans, has allegedly insisted that all of its staff get back to work.
"The results have been chaotic and Covid-19 has spread like wildfire through the firm", claimed an insider.
Despite Werksmans being an apparent hotbed of COVID-19, the senior partner, David Hertz, has insisted that all staff remain at the office and working, said sources.
Those who test positive for the virus will be granted permission to return home, which is reassuring.
"54°C, you're fine to work."
But a source said that in a "train smash" of an online meeting with all staff last week, Hertz told employees that if anyone didn't like the prospect of coming into the office, they would have to use up their annual leave to stay at home. And when their annual leave ran out, they could take unpaid leave. He added that if they didn't like it, "they can leave" as the firm was "carrying" too many people anyway, according to sources.
Insiders said that Hertz also said there would be no "bitching or whining" in the corridors about his decision. "Staff are terrified", said a source. “The situation is beyond revolting at the moment and no-one is prepared to put him in his place”, said another insider.
Werksmans did not respond to multiple requests for comment.