June 2006

The year is rushing past once more and we are already in the second half of the year, incredibly planning our Christmas parties. There has been much talk in the media about changing the labour laws so that business will be easier for small businesses. We hope that something will come of this, but the newest changes to legislation are not indicating this, if anything it is becoming more complex.

 

CHANGES TO TAX

Regional Service Council Levies are to fall away from 30 June 2006, so this is the last month that we will pay them. Please note that any arrear levies will still be collected and penalties will result from the failure to pay them. There appears to be no intention to introduce a replacement tax at this point.

Unemployment Insurance Tax has been increased with effect from 1 July 2006. Earlier this month, Minister of Labour, Membathisi Mdladlana announced an increase in the remuneration ceiling for UIF to a level of R11 662.00 per month or R139 944.00 per annum. This is an increase of 6,34% on the previous ceiling of R10 966-00. With effect from 1 July all employees who earn more than R11 662-00 per month must contribute R116-62 to UIF and employers must contribute an equivalent amount.

The Department of Labour will continue to increase the remuneration ceiling in order to make the fund more attractive for higher earning employees. If an employee earning more that the ceiling claims benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, his benefits will be limited to 38% of R11 662-00, i.e. R4 431-56 per month. The employee would be entitled to this benefit for 34 weeks in the case of being dismissed, retrenched or ill.

 

BROAD BASED BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (BB BEE)

The draft codes have been examined and it is understood that comment on the codes has been received by the Department of Trade and Industry. The closing date for comment was 31 March 2006 and currently the Department, together with stakeholders are in the process of amending the codes. We anticipate that they will be published in their final form sometime between now and October 2006.

Some of the initial changes we are anticipating is that the definition of a Small Qualifying Enterprise (QSE) will be a turnover of less that R20 million per annum. It is not anticipated that the number of employees will be used to define company size. The Department is sensitive to measures which may prevent job creation and it was thought that a company may not employ more staff if it moved them from a QSE to a medium business as the Generic Scorecard is very much more onerous.

In the meantime, our clients are being asked to report their BEE status. In the absence of accredited rating agencies, this is very difficult. We do have the criteria which Empowerdex is using to rate QSE’s so anyone who would like to do a self-rating should contact Jane or Jeff.

 

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

After a very hectic second quarter most of our clients have submitted their Training Reports for the year 2005/2006, thereby enabling them to receive their mandatory grant of 50% of the Skill Development Levies paid. Most clients have also submitted their Training plans for the current training year 2006/2007, so they can both receive their 50% mandatory grant as well as apply for additional funding through the Discretionary Fund. Those who missed the deadline will only be able to apply in April 2007, when the new training year starts.

Connold & Associates are currently guiding clients with regard to discretionary funding which will be made available by the Seta’s during the course of the year. If you have any queries in this regard please contact Jane.

 

EMPLOYMENT EQUITY

2006 is a reporting year for all companies and EE plans must be submitted to the Department of Labour by the 1st October 2006. The Employment Equity Act was amended on 26th May 2006. Unfortunately the criteria for companies to comply with the act have not changed since the act was published in 1998 and the turnover tables remain the same. Because of BEE there is more pressure on companies to voluntarily comply with the act.

The main purpose of the amendment to the act was to change the format to be used for reporting. It is now a 23 page report and the main changes in the act appear to be:

  • Defining the role of the Manager responsible for Employment Equity
  • Much more company information including names and addresses of contact employees
  • Reporting on Foreign Nationals employed in a Company
  • Separate numerical goals for Disabled employees
  • Separating job functions into those that are core or operational and those that are support functions
  • Much more detailed reporting on income disparity.

The amendment refers to a new form for employers with less that 150 employees, but this form has not been made available as yet.

Over the next few months, Connold and Associates will be guiding you through the completion of the new formats in order to ensure that the deadline date of 1 October 2006 is met.

 

TESTING FOR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Thomas International (who markets the PPA) is working together with ACT to provide a test to assess emotional intelligence. This test will assist in recruiting management as well as diagnosing developmental areas for current management. The test is the BarOn EMOTIONAL QUOTIENT INVENTORY (BarOn EQ-i®)

BarOn EQ-i measures one’s ability to deal with daily environmental demands and pressures. A growing body of research suggests that emotional intelligence is a key determinant of success in life.

BarOn EQ-i consists of 133 items and includes four validity indices and a sophisticated correction factor rendering scores for the following components:

  • Intrapersonal (Self-Regard, Emotional Self-Awareness, Assertiveness, Independence, and Self-Actualisation).
  • Interpersonal (Empathy, Social Responsibility, and Interpersonal Relationship).
  • Stress Management (Stress Tolerance and Impulse Control).
  • Adaptability (Reality Testing, Flexibility, and Problem solving).
  • General Mood Scale (Optimism and Happiness).

 

Areas of Application

The BarOn EQ-i can be used in corporate, educational, forensic, medical, clinical, human resource, and research settings. It can assess a client’s general degree of emotional intelligence, potential for emotional health, and present psychological well-being.

It can be applied to map out areas that need further exploration in the assessment process and to evaluate the successfulness of psychological intervention. The BarOn EQ-i can be administered to individual’s 16 yeas and older. An educational level of at least 7th grade is required. The assessment will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

For more information please contact Pleia

 

EMPLOYEE WELLNESS

Over the last few years we have noticed distressing trends in our client base. There seems to be an increasing abuse of sick leave (many duvet days and family responsibility days are being taken), but equally many people in South Africa are subjected to stress and as a result have serious physical and psychological illnesses. These can often be very difficult to deal with in the workplace. In order to assist our clients, we have established a relationship with Elixir Corporate Health Consulting (Pty) Ltd.

The Elixir partners have more than seven years experience in delivering an all encompassing health and wellness service to multinational companies who have a strong presence in all corners of the country. They believe that through their network of Health and Wellness experts, they are ideally positioned to assist employers to manage health risks amongst employees. Their multi-disciplinary team integrates with the employer’s appointed ‘Wellness Manager’ to ensure implementation and delivery of all aspects pertaining to a comprehensive Health & Wellness Programme.

Their service offering comprises three main components:

Elixir provides customised, efficient, integrated solutions to manage health and wellness related risks in the workplace through:

  1. Strategic Health & Wellness Consulting:
    Elixir Corporate Health Consulting assists the client to define a health and wellness strategy in line with the client’s current Business Strategy
  2. Implementation of Health & Welfare Service delivery through individualised solutions.
    Project management
    Integrated health risk profiling
  3. Guidance and assistance to implement H&W solutions
    Network
    Together with Health Gap Network, Elixir CHC offers a network of H&W consultants and service providers throughout South Africa and Africa.

For more information contact Dr Adriaan Combrinck on 083-651-5133 or email to acombrinck@elixirhealth.co.za.

 

WE HAVE MOVED

We are enjoying our new offices, but find that many of our clients are still telephoning the old numbers. Please note that our numbers are:

Telephone: 454 5485
Fax: 454 5523

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