September 2005

The year is rapidly coming to a close and it seems as if we are already booking our Christmas and New Year Functions. We are very pleased that September is behind us as both the Employment Equity and Skills Development processes had 30 September as their closing date and we have had to do a great deal of nagging to ensure that the deadlines were met. The update is intended to remind you of the focus for this quarter and to introduce you to areas of HR interest

The update is intended to remind you of the focus for this quarter and to introduce you to areas of HR interest.

 

1. New Legislation

The Unemployment Insurance Fund has increased the salary level at which the benefits from the fund are capped. Previously employees who earned less than R8 836-00 per month had to contribute 1% of their salary to the UIF fund and their employers had to contribute an equal amount. Those employees who earned more than R8 836-00 were required to contribute R88-36 per month and the employer an equal amount.

With effect from 1 October 2005, employees who earn less than R10 966-00 will be required to contribute 1% of their earnings and employees who earn above this amount will contribute a maximum of R109-66 per month. Their employees will need to contribute an equal amount. This amounts to a 24.1% increase. Please advise all affected employees of this change in their packages.

There seems to be an impression that employees who earn above the maximum amount are required to contribute to the fund, but cannot claim. This would not be fair. They can claim, as can any other employee, however the amount of their claim is limited to a percentage of the determined salary, i.e. if an employee who earns above R10 966-00 claims maternity benefits, their maximum benefit would be approximately 42% of R10 966-00, about R4 600-00 per month. The formula to determine benefits payable by the UIF fund is complex and is based on a sliding scale. Benefits can be claimed for:

  • Maternity
  • In the case of a miscarriage in the third trimester
  • Adoption of a child under the age of two
  • Unemployment where an employee has been dismissed for misconduct, incapacity or operational reasons
  • Ill health
  • Death

 

2. Recruitment

PROF!LER

Using the Internet to source candidates for available positions has proven to be highly successful. But success always comes at a cost – as more and more Career Seekers apply for jobs via the Internet, Recruiters find it increasingly difficult to deal with the number of applicants. All of a sudden the question everyone is raising is how to convert quantity into quality. Enter the next era in eRecruitment: Prof!ler.

What Will I Get With Prof!ler?

Prof!ler is a software solution that not only assists in putting together a proper Job Profile, but automatically filters the applicants, and then Screens them.
Prof!ler consists of three discreet processes wrapped into one integrated solution. They are:

Job Profile

Firstly, you may choose to link the Job Profile to the Job Ad. This will add additional information (the minimum requirements) at the bottom of your Job Ad, which will help Career Seekers to assess themselves before applying for the job.

Candidate Filter

If you choose to include the Candidate Filter, Career Seekers will have to answer a set of multiple-choice questions after completing the standard cover note. The answers to these questions are then filtered by Prof!ler, and the results displayed under your Job Ad Responses, where you can review them.

Candidate Screen

Lastly, you may request a Candidate Screen on selected Candidates. The candidate screen contains a list of questions, based on the job profile, you may wish to ask selected Candidates. These Candidates will receive an email message with a link to the questions, where they have to answer them within a specific period (this is almost like an online interview). Once answered, the results of the screening are displayed under your Job Ad Responses as “Screen Answered”. You can then review the answers to the questions against the requirements, and pursue the process with the most suitable Candidates.

Each of these processes requires the previous to have been completed. In other words, a candidate filter cannot be set up if the job profile is not complete, and the candidate screen cannot be created if the candidate filter is not done. The reason for this is that the Prof!ler software is managing the entire process through methodical procedures. These procedures provide the user with fair and consistent methods while maintaining legal compliance.

Working Example :

A client has recently “bought” into the Prof!ler system. We sat together and compiled a profile, filter and screen for a highly technical position, which was proving difficult to fill. It was linked to a job advertisement, and the advertisement went “live” immediately. In one week 72 Career Seekers viewed the advertisement, 2 Career Seekers answered the filter and only one candidate passed this filter. The screen was sent to both candidates, who answered the screen on-line. Once the screen was viewed, the candidate who initially passed the filter also passed the screen. The second candidate did not pass the screen. The candidate who passed all the requirements was interviewed, and successfully placed into this highly technical and specialized position.

 

3. Adding the double BB to BEE

Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment remains a key area of focus in the large Corporates, as well as the small businesses, even to the micro level.

Confusion still reigns around key issues, including how the scorecard will be scored and who is accredited to give ratings that will have official recognition. No Charters have been gazetted as yet to indicate their official acceptance.

Because of the uncertainties that exist in companies in terms of determining their own BEE strategies, enormous pressure is being placed on suppliers to conform to BB BEE requirements, in order to gain them as many points as possible under procurement policies.

As with so many other issues related to BEE strategies, the rights and wrongs of this approach can be strongly debated. Whatever the outcome of the debate, indications are that all businesses operating in South Africa need to have a very clear strategy in place to respond to BEE, as it will have a significant impact on business outcomes.

The earlier we start and the more progress we make within timeframes that we set for ourselves, the better integrated our BEE strategies are likely to be with our overall business strategies. We need to ask ourselves questions such as what will our markets and customer profiles look like in 3 to 5 years time? How could BEE plans assist us in achieving our future goals? Which areas could we concentrate on to improve our ratings and to gain a business advantage at the same time?

Of major importance right now is to have made a start, or continue the journey with a step-by-step approach towards achieving the highest ratings possible without any major disruption to your business. Satisfactory scores are not necessarily dependent on equity ownership.

It is quite possible for wholly black owned businesses to achieve poor overall BEE ratings. The starting point is to have an Employment Equity Plan and a Skills Development Plan in place. These two documents and the related exercises play a major role in aligning your organisation to the requirements of the future.

Connold & Associates can assist you and your team in this process. We can help you to ensure that the proactive actions impact on the rating you will achieve when all the procedures and rules are finally in place.

 

4. Take me to your Leader

If you are the only recognised leader in your business or department the chances are that you are limiting the growth and opportunities available to your own and your organisation’s growth.

Leadership needs to be grown in the organisation at all levels. Leadership and management development of staff encourages them to achieve higher levels of motivation, competence, personal responsibility, and ultimately successful outcomes in their work.

Effective leaders create leadership depth in their organisations. As a leader, you have the responsibility to develop the strengths of the staff that you employ, in the areas of the business for which they are responsible. Whether it is getting results through managing or supervising others or whether it is through better management of the resources over which they have control.

Management and supervisory leadership development need formal input, which needs to take place over a period of time. A one-week or one month programme is unlikely to achieve as much success as training done in smaller bites over a period of time.

Connold & Associates runs a 10 day Supervisory Leadership Development Programme over a period of 10 months. Participants attend one session per month. Application exercises are completed after each session and the results are discussed at the following session. Candidates from our first “public course” have just successfully completed their internal assessment and we are awaiting external moderation by Services Seta before issuing their certificates. The successful candidates were:

  • Pleia Alberts Connold & Associates cc
  • Anthony Berry Beqfin (Pty) Ltd
  • Denise Weichbrodt Wynne-Jones & Company (Pty) Ltd
  • Neil Chalmers Wynne-Jones & Company (Pty) Ltd
  • Tanya Du Toit Set Point Instruments (Pty) Ltd
  • Claudine Geyer MKB Group (Pty) Ltd
  • Alison Hansen Wynne-Jones & Company (Pty) Ltd
  • Jones Phiri MKB Group (Pty) Ltd
  • Jaco Redelinghuis S & N Labels cc
  • Roelien Roets HCV Underwriting Managers (Pty) Ltd
  • Heather Stevens Synergy Computing (Pty) Ltd
  • Tholokela Shezi Synergy Computing (Pty) Ltd

We have seen enormous development and growth in the candidates that have completed the full certificate programme. We have also received very encouraging feed- back from the companies that have sent staff on the programme.

The five modules that are covered are: Understanding Business, Introduction to Management, Performance Management, Leadership and Industrial Relations.

The open courses are run primarily for middle management. Four courses are currently running in Johannesburg and one in Durban. Future courses are planned to begin early next year in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Course options are available at Senior Management and Supervisory levels. For more details, please contact Debbie at our offices.

 

5. Computerised HR Systems

Over the years many large corporates have installed elaborate HR software packages in order to collect information on their employees with regard to training, disciplinary procedures, career planning, skills profiles etc. These packages are easier to keep updated if they are linked to the payroll, which tends to be the most up to date electronic system.

We have noted that many of our clients have difficulty keeping up to date information, particularly with regard to the information required by the Skills Development Act and the Employment Equity Act. We have also found that very often key documentation required for CCMA cases has been lost or has not got into the employees file. It would appear that a centralised database would be useful. We have therefore investigated some web based HR systems, which may address these issues and which may be available to our clients on a rental basis, either annually or monthly.

We would therefore like to establish your interest in a system that would capture the relevant data from your payroll in order to make this information more readily available to you as and when required. Should you be interested, please contact Lynette at our offices.

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