June 2008

2008 is turning into a very interesting year, but although the newspapers are preaching doom and gloom and it certainly looks as if America and England are facing a recession and the so-called Xenophobia is alarming, we are not noticing a slow down in our clients’ business at this time. The skills shortage is biting however, and we all need to take responsibility for training for the future.

 

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

We are approaching the deadline for the submission of skills plans and reports. Please ensure that Jane and Penny are given the information that is required by the various SETA’s as soon as possible. Clients wishing to submit must provide the information no later than Friday 13th June 2008, otherwise we cannot guarantee that their submission will be completed to the Seta’s specifications and within the deadline period. Companies who fail to submit will then forfeit 2 years of levies (From 1/04/2007 – 31/03/2009).

There are changes taking place within Skills Development, both with the planned amendments to the Skills Development Act and with the launching of OFO’s (Organising Framework for Occupations), and the soon to be established ‘Quality Council for Trades and Occupations’ (QCTO).

Organising Framework for Occupations (OFO)

The OFO’s are a coded classification system that will capture all jobs in the form of occupations. These occupations are grouped based on the similarities of skills requirements and skills levels. These are then used for statistical and analysis purposes, rationalising jobs in an organizational structure, planning an individuals’ career path and matching job seekers to vacancies.

The Seta’s will be re-designing the templates for the Training Plans and Reports to ensure that companies submit their staffing information and reports using the OFO classification system. They will use this information to assist them when they compile their sector skills plans. They will collect data on scarce and critical skills, which will then be used in planning and providing career information. The sector skills plans will also be used in the development and registering of learnerships and skills programmes.

Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).

This new Council will be established to oversee occupationally focused training. It is anticipated to be in place by mid-2009.

The Ministers of Education and Labour announced that the QCTO will be responsible for standards generation (qualification design) and quality assurance for all work-based competency standards. This council will also work with the Council for Higher Education and Umalusi.

It is hoped that this will use existing structures that already exist and become operational as quickly as possible to address the current national skills shortages.

PSYCHOMETRIC ASSESSMENTS

We are licenced to process a range of Assessments through Thomas International, namely the PPA, HJA and TST.

Personal Profile Analysis (PPA)

The Thomas PPA system is a powerful work place inventory and can be used in virtually every aspect of human relations within the work environment. This is based on behaviour and personality and there are no “right” or “wrong” answers as each individual is inherently different. It is primarily used to assess the candidate/employee, identify frustrations and stresses and detail motivators and fears. The benefits of the system is that it is quick to administer, is objective, results are received almost immediately and the reports are easy to understand. Ideally the PPA is used to increase performance levels and reduces costs by identifying the best job fit to match organizational and team culture. Various reports can be generated i.e. Written Assessments, Audits, Strengths and Limitations, How to Manage and Team Analysis.

Human Job Analysis (HJA)

The Thomas HJA system is used to evaluate job needs, considers the culture and provides a description of the behavioural requirement of a job. 24 questions, ranging from very low to very high based on the relative importance of the job, are rated while thinking of the job being performed most successfully.

Test for Selection and Training (TST)

The Thomas TST tests are given to applicants to help employers choose those people who will do their job well and willingly. They are designed to give a candidate/employee the opportunity to show how quickly they will learn new skills and work habits, regardless of educational qualifications. The TST assesses the ability to learn, mental agility, concentration levels, speed and accuracy, number skills, deductive logic, mechanical/technical logic, verbal reasoning, the ability to retain information, literacy and mental visualization. The benefits of the system are that it reduces induction, training and development costs and enhances effective benchmarking of people/performance criteria thus emulating excellence. The reports are easy to understand, written in business language and are aimed at line management.

Remember we have a number of skills tests available as well.

For more information please contact Pleia, our Recruitment Consultant on 011-454-5485.

 

CHANGES IN LAW

There seems to have been some confusion with UIF and the deductions thereof. An instruction was receive from SARS in October 2007 informing employers that the maximum threshold on which UIF was calculated had been increased to R12 478-00 per month and that employees who earned above this amount should have their contribution increased to R124-78 per month. All payrolls did this. Now it appears that this instruction was not gazetted until December 2007. when the determination was gazetted in Government Notice GN100 which subsequently came into effect from 1 February 2008. SARS has now sent an instruction saying that employers can refund the excess contributions made during this period. The maximum amount of the contribution refund is R8-16 per employee per month for the four month period, and a similar amount for the employer. The adjustment must be done between April 2008 and September 2008. Refunds can be claimed by adjusting the amount of UIF paid over during this period. However, UIF has said that we do not need to adjust salaries as they will honour the salary in the event of a claim.

The Determination

The Determination: Earnings Threshold does much more than increase the maximum threshold in terms of the UIF Act. It also exempts staff who earn more than R12 478-00 from certain sections of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act which are as follows:

    • Section 9 — Ordinary Hours of Work
    • Section 10 — Overtime
    • Section 11 — Compressed Working Week
    • Section 12 — Averaging of Hours of Work
    • Section 15 — Daily and Weekly Rest Periods
    • Section 16 — Pay for Work on Sunday’s
    • Section 17 (2) — Night Work
    • Section 18 (3) — Public Holidays

These categories of staff are also exempted from Clause 83 (A), i.e. the presumption of who is an employee. What this means is that if a person earns less than the determination and signs a contract which takes away their rights in terms of the BCEA Act, the CCMA or any other court of law may determine the contract to be invalid. If they earn more than the determination, the Act assumes that they had the ability to understand the contract that they have signed.

 

TRAINING

We will be starting a new Leadership Development Training Course next month. Anyone who would be interested in attending should contact Debbie at our offices. The course runs for 1 day per month for 10 months and is aimed at line managers. Content of the course includes Performance Management, Strategic Planning, Team Building, Coaching and Industrial Relations.

We have had a request for public courses of our Industrial Relations Course, which runs over three days and our Life Skills Course which runs over one day. Information on these courses is available on our website at www.connold.co.za

 

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

We, at Connold and Associates are very concerned with the laws that govern Human Resources and we have built up some expertise in this area, however, there are many other laws which exist and which Company’s, including ourselves have to comply. Recent fines given to Tiger Brands by the Competition Commission have highlighted the dangers of our employees acting in contravention of these Acts. CGF Research Institute have offered to do a three hour presentation breakfast for our clients to briefly explain the laws affecting corporate governance of both listed and unlisted company’s. Should you be interested in attending such a breakfast, please contact Andrea at our office for more information.

 

CONNOLD EXPANSION

We are pleased to announce that we have opened a division in Klerksdorp with Marita Lennox and Annamé Visser assisting us in this area. We have also appointed an agent, Nadia Isaacs, to assist with our work in Cape Town. Should you require further information with regard to these new services, please contact Penny at our office.

 

Wishing you a very successful second half of the year.
Regards,
Desrae and the Team at Connold and Associates

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