We are now well into the second half of the year and activity and the year seems to have developed a momentum all of its own with the days and weeks flying past. Before we go into the last quarter there are a few things we should plan for if we are to comply with legislation and maximize our benefits from the skills levy.
Companies who have more than 250 employees need to submit their employment equity reports to the Department of Labour by 1 October 2003. This is an annual process and we have noted that the Department of Labour is starting to check its database to ensure that these Company’s are complying not only with the Act, but also with the Code of Conduct, i.e. have committees been elected and are they contributing to the formulation of the plan.
Companies who have less that 250 employees do not need to submit their report this year, however we have noted that many companies who did not need to comply are now reaching the levels where they need to comply and it may be worth noting what the requirements are:
Companies who have more than 50 employees or whose turnover
is more than that disclosed in schedule 4 or the act are required to
comply with the act. Schedule 4 is as follows
TURNOVER THRESHOLD APPLICABLE TO DESIGNATED EMPLOYERS
|SECTOR OR SUBSECTIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION||TOTAL ANNUAL TURNOVER|
|Mining and Quarrying||R7.5 million|
|Electricity Gas and Water||R10 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|
Failure to comply with the Act could result in a fine of R500 000-00. If you require further information in this regard please contact Debbie in the office.
The recent publishing of a bill for the establishment of a committee to steer the country’s Black Economic Empowerment has caused a great deal of comment in the business press. We are however, finding that more and more tender processes are including a questionnaire asking what the Company’s ratio of PDI’s (previously disadvantaged individuals) to total staff, whether the company has an employment equity plan, how much the company spends on training, if they have an affirmative procurement policy etc. These tender processes are also asking whether the Company ensures that their suppliers have a BEE or EE policy in place.
It is therefore important that companies take note of the factors that are driving the BEE process within companies (given that there are no laws as such) and that they keep their employment equity statistics up to date and are aware of the Employment Equity practices of their suppliers.
Most companies have now submitted their Workplace Skills Plans for year 4, i.e. April 2003 to March 2004 and we have been impressed by the ambitious training plans that have been put into place. However, as a word of warning, in order to qualify for the Skills grant, the Company needs to demonstrate that they have achieved at least 65% of the training that they have planned, particularly training that has been planned for employees at lower job levels.
It is already August, which means that these training plans must be achieved in the next 7 months. The SETA’s are becoming increasingly stricter in terms of the measurements applied and several SETA’s are intending to carry out site inspections to ensure that the Training Plan is being adequately executed.
We are giving particular emphasis to our Customer Service and Life Skills Training courses as well as our Industrial Relations Training, which are proving popular with clients. More information in this regard is available from Debbie.
Most SETA’s now have several learnerships registered, but are finding that the process of employing and registering learners is slow. In order to encourage companies to employ learners there are several grant, reimbursement and study bonuses available to companies who are prepared to train learners. Each SETA is dealing with it in terms of their own industry requirements. In addition the Receiver of Revenue is allowing companies to reduce their taxable income by R50 000-00 for each learner registered.
For a list of registered learnerships in your industry please contact Jane 082 977 5610.