July 2012

This is our first update for the year. We are more than halfway through the year and it has been a very busy year for everyone but it has also been a very frustrating year as there are many proposed amendments to legislation which we expected to have finalised by the end of the first Parliamentary session. We are continually advising our clients of these amendments, however, they seem to take a very long time to be passed into law. The powers that be appear to be distracted by more important matters!

 

RECRUITMENT

With current labour legislation, finding the correct person who not only has the necessary skills, but also fits into the Company’s ethos and value system, is crucial. We at Connold and Associates realise this, and are pleased to be able to offer a comprehensive Recruiting solution to our clients. In addition to our Personality Profile Analysis, and ITC, Fraud and ID verification checks which are standard for all our placements, we also offer an extensive list of skills testing for your potential candidate. As the employer, you are able to select from the list which skills you would like tested and your selection is setup through an email link to the candidate, who accesses the test questionnaire online and the results are available immediately upon completion.

Should you be interested in either obtaining a sample of the reports available on a Personality Profile Analysis, or would like to try out a complimentary Online Skills Test, kindly contact Andrea at our offices. She will be able to provide you with a list of the skills testing which is available.

Any further enquiries regarding our Recruitment processes or should you have any vacancies that we can assist you with, please contact either Kevin or Andrea on 011-452 1707.

 

NEW LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

DETERMINATION: The Minister of Labour increased the determination from R172 000 per annum to R183 000 per annum with effect from 1st July 2012. This equates to R15 250-00 per month. This is a figure determined by the Minister of Labour which has significance for a number of aspects in the Basic Conditions of Employment. The Department of Labour will not assist anyone who earns more than this and would like to refer a complaint. This is because they have determined that a person who earns above this level is able to fight his own battles and does not require their assistance.

In the Basic Conditions of Employment: Chapter 2 states that “The minister must, on the advice of the Commission, make a determination that excludes the application of this Chapter, or any provision of it to any category of employees earning in excess of an amount stated in that determination.

Chapter 2 deals with the regulation of working time. This means that any employee who earns in excess of the determination is not entitled to:

  1. Ordinary hours of work
  2. Overtime
  3. Fixed meal intervals
  4. Daily and weekly rest periods
  5. Night work compensation
  6. Pay for work on Sundays or Public holidays

The employee is therefore required to do whatever needs to be done to meet the required targets.

The determination is also used in Section 83A of the Act which deals with the “presumption of who is employee”. The act says that subsection 1 does not apply to any person who earns in excess of the determination. Subsection 1 defines who is regarded as an employee.

BBBEE: A government notice was published on 25th June 2012 correcting a notice which was published in January 2012. The notice says “with effect from 9 February 2012, the 6 – 10 years compliance targets will come into operation”. This means that all Companies who are being accredited for BBBEE now need to meet the higher compliance targets for Employment Equity and Procurement as specified in the original codes.

Sector Charters, which are binding on all stakeholders in their industry, have been gazetted for the Information and Communication Technology Sector, on 6 June 2012 and the Property Charter, on 1 June 2012. Companies in these industries need to be measured against the unique targets specified in these charters. This brings to 7 the number of industries who have a Sector Charter. Other industries are Tourism, Construction, Forest, Inter-grated Transport and Chartered Accountancy.

The amendment to the BBBEE Act which was published in December 2011 is currently in Parliament.

CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE HIV / AIDS: The Minister of Labour has gazetted a revised code for dealing with HIV /Aids in the workplace, replacing the code that has been in place from 2000. The objective is to align the code to the International Labour Organisation and now includes employees suffering from TB and STI’s. The new code also covers those who are affected by HIV / AIDS, not necessarily those who are directly infected by the virus. It is also more gender sensitive than the code it replaces.

The objective of the code is to assist employers to develop workplace policies and programmes that will assist them to:

  1. eliminate unfair discrimination and stigma in the workplace based on real or perceived HIV status including dealing with HIV testing, confidentiality and disclosure
  2. promote access to education, equitable employee benefits and employment protection
  3. manage grievance procedures in relation to HIV and AIDS;
  4. create a safe and healthy working environment
  5. promote appropriate and effective ways to managing HIV and AIDS and TB in the workplace; and
  6. give effect to the international and regional obligations of the Republic of South Africa on HIV, AIDS and TB in the world of work.

For those clients who have our Policy Manual, please contact Tessa for a revised “HIV Aids” Policy document to replace this document.

 

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

Well done to all those who provided information timeously so that we were able to submit on time for our clients and meet the 30 June deadline. Now we need to make the training happen!

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT ACT: An Amendment to the Skills Development Act was passed on 28th March 2012. This has been long awaited and moves the responsibility for Skills Development to the Department of Higher Education and Training. There has been very little information with regard to the passing of this Act in the Media or from the SETA’s (who do not have an updated copy on their websites) although it has a major impact on their operations. The passing of this Act also promulgates an amendment which was passed in December 2008. We will provide explanations of the new Act in our August Employment Equity Meetings.

As a result of the passing of this legislation, the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations became operational and the new CEO of the QCTO, Ms G. Joyce Mashabela, took up her position on 1st April 2012. She is currently establishing her office as well as her website. She was previously a Deputy Vice Chancellor at the Tshwane University of Technology and has been involved in Further Education in England and America.

In line with the New Act, the Department of Higher Education and Training has proposed new Learnership Regulations. These regulations introduce the role of the QCTO with regard to the registration of learnerships. It also proposes the formation of a new body, the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB). This body will be responsible for the accreditation of Trade Test Centres. These regulations are open for comment at present.

 

OTHER AMENDMENTS TO LABOUR LEGISLATION

Amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Labour Relations Act were passed in January 2012. These amendments were meant to be in their final form as the Department of Labour had sent amendments proposed in January 2011 to Nedlac for revision and had been passed by Cabinet early this year. The next process was to have them approved by Parliamentary bodies. However, the Department of Labour has been taking the Acts to the communities to explain them to interested stakeholders. The last meeting was held in May 2012. Both bills were tabled in Parliament in May 2012 and are being considered by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour. Parliamentary Public hearings will be held between 24 July 2012 and end of August 2012.

Nedlac has completed their comment on the amendments to the Employment Equity Act and the new Public Employment Services Bill this month and have referred them back to the Department of Labour. The Department of Labour is setting up an on-line Public Employment Service (PES) for the use of employers and work seekers. It is proposed that this will provide a free placement service to registered work seekers and employers who have a vacancy. The intention is ambitious as they propose to have buses with recruiters on board travelling through the rural areas and finding work seekers, capturing their CV’s electronically and then linking them with vacancies. Their staff has begun visiting companies to offer their services.

 

EMPLOYMENT EQUITY

This is a reporting year for all designated employers, both those with less than 150 employees and those with more than 150 employees. Remember a designated employer is any Company who has more than 50 employees or has a turnover of more than:

Sector Or Subsections In Accordance With The Standard Industrial Classification Total Annual Turnover
Agriculture R2 million
Mining and Quarrying R7.5 million
Manufacturing R10 million
Electricity Gas and Water R10 million
Construction R5 million
Retail and Motor Trade and Repair Services R15 million
Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents and Allied Services R25 Million
Catering Accommodation and other Trade R5 million
Transport, Storage and Communications R10 million
Finance and Business Services R10 million
Community, Social and Personal Services R5 million

Remember, failure to comply could result in a fine of between R500 000 and R900 000. The Department of Labour has increased their inspections of EE processes to ensure that compliance by Companies meets their own targets. They have a specialised EE task force who are conducting the inspections.

EMPLOYMENT EQUITY COMMITTEE TRAINING: We will be holding a public training course on 23rd August 2012 for new committee members. Please contact Tessa Lourens at our office for more information about the training.

 

SALARY INCREASES

The cost of living appears to be dropping, largely as a result of the petrol price having been reduced over the last few months. This places us in a dilemma when advising what salary increases should be. The Metal and Engineering Industry has granted increases this month ranging from 7% at the skilled level and 8% at the unskilled level. The Hospitality Industry has an increase in their minimum rate of 7.4%. The Wholesale and Retail Sector and Taxi Industry increased their wages by 6.4%. The Public Service Wage Negotiations have already exceeded this. At the beginning of the year the predictions were that salary increases would be in the region of 7.1%, but it would appear that as the CPIX comes down, the increases could stabilize at around 6.5%.

WILLS

In South Africa a person who is the beneficiary of a deceased person who:

  • Has a will
  • Has an estate with a value of more than R50 000-00.
  • Has an insolvent estate.
  • Has an estate where one or more of the beneficiaries are minors and is not assisted by a legal guardian and the cash assets in the estate is worth more than R20 000-00 will have to deal with the Master of the High Court in order to wind up the estate. This is a daunting task for most of us who do have wills and we normally rely on the expertise of a financial advisor or attorney to help us through this. However, consider your employees – if your Company has a Provident Fund with life and disability benefits, all your employees, even the most unskilled, will have an estate of more than R50 000-00 just because of the life insurance benefits that they are due. This will certainly be true if they have a house even if it is an RDP house. We have recently had experience of dealing with the Master of the High Court where an employee found that someone unknown to him had been there and appointed themselves as both a beneficiary of the estate and the executor of the estate. We believe that this scam is becoming very prevalent.

It is therefore in the interest of all employees that they have a will. The Law Society has declared the 17th to the 21st September 2012 National Wills Week and is offering that attorneys will prepare a new will for anyone who makes an appointment for free. The list of participating attorneys will be available on their website, lssa.org.za from the 13th August 2012 and those who are interested are encouraged to make appointments. If you are interested in assisting your employees in this regard, please contact Tessa in our office so that we can assess the need and find an ongoing solution to what is becoming a time consuming and complex problem for our employees.

Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous second half of 2012!
Desrae & staff

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