Employment Equity 2017 submissions

Employment Equity 2017 submissions

According to the Employment Equity Amendment Act 2013, a designated employer must submit a report to the Department of Labour once every year.

Please remember that a designated employer is defined as:

  1. an employer who employs 50 or more employees
  2. an employer who employs fewer than 50 employees, but has a total annual turnover that is equal to or above the applicable annual turnover of a small.

business as defined in the table below:

Sector Or Subsections In Accordance With The Standard Industrial Classification
Total Annual Turnover
Agriculture R 6 million
Mining and Quarrying R 22.50 million
Manufacturing R 30 million
Electricity Gas and Water  R 30 million
Construction  R 15 million
Retail and Motor Trade and Repair  R 45 million
Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents Services and Allied Services  R 75 Million
Catering Accommodation and other Trade  R 15 million
Transport, Storage and Communications  R 30 million
Finance and Business Services  R 30 million
Community, Social and Personal Services  R 15 million

Failure to comply could result in a fine of between R 1 500 000.00 and R 2 700 000.00 or between 2% and 10% of turnover – whichever is greater.

In the event that you would require our assistance in the submission of the required reports and in order for Connold and Associates to accurately determine whether your company is classified as a designated employer, please can we request that you provide Tessa at our offices with:

  • The current number of employees on your payroll as at 1 August 2017
  • The company’s current annual Turnover
  • Confirmation of Sector company is registered under

Please contact Tessa Lourens at our office if you would like us to assist with the relevant submission of your EE report to the Department of Labour.

Lifeskills Training Course

Lifeskills Training Course

Beqfin recently held a one-day workshop (Accredited by the SABPP), for their staff.  The purpose of the workshop was to educate employees with regard to their rights as employees and to demonstrate through a series of exercises, the importance of productivity and customer service.  Below are photographs of the staff planning and executing the building of a lego tower.

2017 TRAINING SCHEDULE

2017 TRAINING SCHEDULE

This is a reminder that Connold and Associates have the following training programmes scheduled:

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Programme

Johannesburg 22 JUNE 2017
Cape Town 6 JULY 2017

This programme as aimed at Middle Management level employees who preferably have a Matric plus a further qualification. This programme is run over a 10-month period with delegates attending training one day per month.

The Cost of the course is R 1 787.00 per delegate per day – excluding VAT and includes training material, the venue, refreshments and a light lunch.

EME EMPLOYMENT EQUITY Programme

Johannesburg 12 JULY 2017

This programme is aimed at Training and Employment Equity Committee members and empowers them with current knowledge and information relating to Employment Equity and Skills legislation.

The Cost of attending the public training programme is R 985.00 per day per delegate – excl VAT for the 5-hour programme (excl VAT) and includes the venue, training material, refreshments and a light lunch.

The above training programmes may also be structured that they are presented as in-house spec company specific programmes. Please contact Tessa on (011) 452 1707 or tessa@connold.co.za if you require any additional information regarding the above courses and in order to book your de delegates on any of the above training programmes.

WHAT TO DO?

What To Do?

Many of our clients are asking advice as to what to do on Friday as staff are either wanting the day off or saying that they feel that they will have difficulty getting to work.

Some companies have made the decision to support the strike and are closing for the day, but for the rest our advice is:

  • Where possible allow the staff to take a day’s annual leave on condition that they apply in advance and that it is approved before Friday.
  • Ensure that essential services are covered and that those staff who are critical to the continuation of the business are made aware that they are not eligible for leave.
  • Those that do not apply for leave and then do not come to work must have an acceptable reason, alternatively, it should be treated as an unpaid day.

All strike action, whether for a protected strike or an illegal strike is on the basis of no work, no pay.

Our advice is that anyone who does stay away loses a day’s pay, but that this should not be treated as a disciplinary offence.  Much as we did in the stay aways in 1980.

If anyone would like wording for a notice for staff, please contact Debbie or Tessa at the office.

2017 Training Schedule

2017 Training Schedule

 DAYSJANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC
Employment Equity Committee½232312
Employee/Employer Rights Rights2 hrs
Industrial Relations222, 23, 2417,18,1919,20,2119,20,21
Leadership Development10206
Life Skills (above threshold)161113
Life Skills (below threshold)17137
Performance Management
(Appraisers - on line)
13081517
Performance Management
(Appraisees - on line)
½3191719
Performance Management (Manual)19202318
Update on Legislative Changes11691611

The above training programmes may also be structured that they are presented as in-house company specific programmes. Please contact Tessa on (011) 452 1707 or tessa@connold.co.za if you require any additional information regarding the above courses and in order to book your delegates on any of the above training programmes.

 

What You need to know about UIF

On the 19th January 2017 the President assented to an amendment to the Unemployment Insurance Act that significantly improves the benefits that can be received from UIF and even better takes away some of the obstacles that existed in claiming these benefits. The improvement in benefits has been motivated by the surplus of R111 Billion that the Fund has in reserve at the moment. In 2015 the fund collected R16 Billion rand and paid R7 Billion in benefits.

There are essentially five benefits that can be claimed from UIF and over the next few weeks, we will explain these benefits and the changes that this amendment to the act introduces.

It is to be noted that although the act has been assented to, it has not yet been promulgated and there is no indication as to when the Minister of Labour will promulgate the act, but we anticipate that it will be within the next few weeks.

So, as a contributor to UIF employees can claim benefits in the event of:

  1. Becoming unemployed as a result of your dismissal. Dismissal may be for misconduct, incapacity, operational reasons (retrenchment) or retirement.
  2. Becoming too ill to work, either permanently or temporarily
  3. Having a baby (maternity leave)
  4. Adopting a baby
  5. And in addition their beneficiaries can claim a dependents benefit in the event of their death.

Legal Requirement

In the new amendment, all employees are required to contribute towards an Unemployment Insurance Fund administered through the Department of Labour. This includes everyone, from Executive Directors to Domestic Workers. It includes foreign nationals, even if they are working on work permits (or even illegal employees) and part-time employees. The only employees who do not contribute to Unemployment Insurance are those that work for less than 24 hours and independent contractors.

What this means is that if you employ a person for more than three days you have to deduct UIF from their pensionable earnings.

If you don’t’ (and please when you consider this put on your hat as the employee of a domestic worker even if she only works for you one day a week), you face a potential fine or a maximum of 12 months in prison. You also become liable to pay the benefits that the employee would have received if they had been contributing.

At the moment the maximum contribution level is capped at R148-72 per month which caps an employees benefit to a salary level of R14 872-00. This means that whatever their salary is their maximum benefit from UIF is 38% of R14 872-00, i.e. R5 617-16 per month. They can claim this for 34 weeks which works out to 7,85 months or until they start contributing to UIF again.

The good news is that when the amendment is promulgated, maternity leave will increase to a flat 66% of salary which means that during maternity leave if the employee’s salary is over the capped limit, they would be entitled to R9 815.52 per month for the four months that they are on maternity leave. Below that they would receive 66% of their actual salary.

In our next blog, we will discuss how to claim for unemployment benefits and the changes in applying that the new act has brought in.

If you are an employer of a domestic worker, please made sure that you register for UIF and pay the contribution across. This can be done by Ufiling and EFT and it can be done annually.

December 2015

What an interesting year it has been. The Economy has had some interesting ups and downs and the political environment remains interesting. For most of us it has been a year of interesting opportunities with many many challenges. We hope that 2016 will be a year that provides more stability.

EMPLOYMENT EQUITY

We are in the process of finalising the last of the Employment Equity Reports and submitting them to the Department of Labour. It is important that those designated employers who have to comply with the Employment Equity Act schedule the quarterly meetings that are a minimum requirement of the Act. We suggest that you get these meeting dates set up for the year and the timing of the meetings should coincide with the reporting that is required. We suggest the following:

MEETING MONTH PURPOSE
Meeting 1 February To review the training report and plan training for 2016
Meeting 2 April To finalise the training submission to SETA
Meeting 3 July To review the employment equity plan
Meeting 4 September To finalise the Employment Equity Reports

To meet the requirements of the Department of Labour we have developed a standardised agenda for the meetings. Please keep in touch with Tessa at the office for information on the Agenda’s

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

A court judgement in August means that we may be entitled to refunds from the SETA’s that we submit reports to. In a judgment in favour of Business Unity SA (Busa) ‚ the Labour Court has set aside certain aspects of the 2012 Seta Grant Regulations‚ declaring them invalid. The case relates to a dispute regarding the new regulations that reduce a mandatory skills grant payable to employers from 50% to 20%.

In the court submission Busa claimed that its attempts to appeal to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and prevent the implementation of these measures were unsuccessful‚ and that Busa had no option but to resort to the courts to review and set aside these regulations.
The Labour Court’s judgment on Friday declared both regulations which were effected in April 2012 to be invalid. The court found that Mr. Nzimande had failed to consult the National Skills Authority as required by law.
The court also ruled that the minister had acted irrationally by reducing the mandatory grant to employers as set out in the Skills Development Act. The minister had exceeded his powers by prescribing that surplus Seta funds be moved to the National Skills Fund.
The court recommended that this ruling with regard to the regulations be suspended until March 31 2016 to allow the Minister to correct the impugned regulations. The minister was ordered to pay all costs of the application.
The Minister has in the meantime published a white paper seeking to review the entire skills development landscape. This was Gazetted on 10 November 2015 and will require significant consultation. The current Skills Legislation requires that SETA’s be relicensed every 5 years. Their current terms expires in 2016 as does the current National Skills Strategy. The proposals put forward in the White Paper would take significant public consultations and it therefore proposes to extend the current SETA licenses for another two years to 2018. There after the SETA’s would become permanent Administrative Boards or SETAB’s responsible to Cluster Management within the Department of Higher Education. It is also proposed to have a representative from Government on the Board (Accounting Authority) of each SETAB
The proposed revision of the Skills Environment is to centralize control of the larger portion of the Skills Levy in the National Skills fund and to use this to fund PIVOTAL or Vocational Training and to encourage an environment where Companies are encouraged to provide work opportunities to graduates. The following funding model has been suggested:

SKILLS LEVY, 1% OF PAYROLL CURRENT LEVY / GRANT SYSTEM PROPOSED LEVY /GRANT SYSTEM
20% Goes to National Skills Fund Goes to National Skills Fund
10% Goes to SETA Administration To go to SETAB administration plus cluster management and shared services (% to be reviewed given changed functions)
20% Goes to Mandatory Grant paid to Employers who submit Training Reports and Plans SETAB Workplace Skills Plan Grant
0,5% SETA Allocation to QCTO National Skills Fund for QCTO
20% of 49,5% (9,9% of total levy paid) SETA Sector Discretionary Grant SETAB Sector Specific Grant
80% of 49,5% (39,6% of the Total levy paid) SETA PIVOTAL grants National Skills Fund (ring-fenced) – utilized for PIVOTAL programmes.
THE FOLLOWING NOTES ARE MADE IN THE PROPOSAL:

Note 1: the levy contribution to the QCTO (0.5%) allocation will henceforward be managed from the National Skills Fund and not from individual SETABS.

Note 2: At this stage it is envisaged that the primary applicants for the ring-fenced PIVOTAL grants will be the SETABs, however the final decision on ‘who gets how much’ will be taken after due consideration is taken of national priorities, informed by the National Development Plan. Under this new arrangement neither sectors nor individual employers will be restricted to claiming grants linked to their levy contribution. If they contribute to national targets they will be entitled to claim more than they contributed.

Note 3: The implications of these changes for government departments will be separately elaborated, however, and in broad terms, the full l percent of departmental training budgets should be subject to rules set nationally i.e. be committed to quality assured training. Note 4: These changes will require legislative changes.

Note 5: The percentages used signal the current and proposed subdivision of the sectoral levy. These may change after consultation and consideration of the advice received.

The interpretation of this prescription will need to be interrogated on a sector-by-sector basis, but no fewer than one senior government official (at the level of Chief Director or above) must be represented on each SETAB Board, drawn from sectorally relevant departments. Where such representation is already in place, the status quo can be confirmed.

The government representatives will have a veto right in relation to the adoption of the sectoral brief to be submitted to the DHET to ensure that the strategic priorities are addressed therein, provided that their respective Directors-General formally mandate such a veto. Where departments fail to execute this function, the plans will be deemed, after a specified period, to be approved and may be submitted without such approval but with an account of steps taken to achieve such approval and reasons for their failure.

It is clear that going forward the DHET wants a much more centralized control of the SETA structures and the money that is being paid over for the Skills Levy (about R12 Billion per year) by Companies and that application for grants will become more onerous. The White paper states:

The broad architecture of the new SETAB Boards will remain unchanged, with one important exception. The role of government departments will be strengthened on SETAB boards for three reasons:

  • Firstly, because government is the largest employer in the country and departments have a key role to play in providing workplace based learning opportunities;
  • Secondly, because the role of government, from the perspective of the National Development Plan (i.e. the role of government as the mouthpiece of the ‘developmental state’), is particularly important when sectoral briefs are developed. It is critical that the sectoral strategic plans of the different sectoral departments inform the sectoral briefs and priorities set; and
  • Thirdly, because the spending of government’s training funds should be steered to support national and sectoral priorities.

The strengthened role of government departments in SETABs comes with changes in the roles to be played by these departments – in particular it is proposed that they prepare training plans in line with methodologies and templates determined centrally (so that the NSF can ‘recognize’ their applications in terms of its standard funding categories) and secondly that their committed one percent of personnel budget dedicated to training should focus primarily (approximately 80 percent) on quality assured training. All time-based exposure programmes that are not quality assured, should be funded from other funding sources, or, in the case of the private sector, should be incentivized through tax incentives and broad-based black economic empowerment {BBBEE) points.
The paper is very comprehensive and requires much analysis, but it will most probably increase the bureaucracy and make it difficult for private businesses to access the PIVOTAL skills grants.
We await the consultations with interest.

 

DOMESTIC WORKERS

It is the time of the year when the Minister of Labour gazettes the new minimum salaries for Domestic Workers. According to the Department of Statistics CPI was set at 5,5%, and the determination is CPI +2,5%. This is was the determination that was gazetted last year.:

R 11,44 per hour – an increase of 8,02% over last year
R 514,82 per week – an increase of 8% over last year
R2 230,70 per month – an increase of 8% over last year.

The Gazette states that wages in Area A (Urban Areas) will be subjected to a CPI plus 2.5% increase for the period 1 December 2015 to 30 November 2016. The CPI***(for the lowest quintile) six weeks prior to 1 December 2015 is 5.5%. This means that wages for this period was calculated as follows: CPI plus 2.5% for Area A = 5.5% + 2.5% =8%.

We therefore have to give all domestic workers an increase of 8% this year.

We wish you a happy holiday and safe travelling if you are going away. We hope that 2016 will be a prosperous and happy year for everyone.

September 2015

The year is speeding past as usual, although this year does seem to be going past faster than usual.  The news seems to be relentlessly bad and it is almost better to live in ignorance rather than keep up to date with what is happening.  However, there have been more laws passed and it is important for us to be up to date with what is required of us in law, so time for another update.

 

EMPLOYMENT EQUITY

A general reminder to all Companies that it is time to report on Employment Equity again. We are seeing increased inspections from the Department of Labour so it is important to ensure that you are complying with the Act.

Remember, you can be fined R1 500 000 if:
  • You have not consulted with a representative committee
  • You do not have a designated Employment Equity manager
  • You have not displayed a copy of the Employment Equity Act on the wall of all workplaces
  • You have not conducted a qualitative analysis in the workplace
  • You have not kept records of Employment Equity activities over the last three years.
  • You have not displayed your Employment Equity report (public companies only)
  • You have not co-operated with the Department of Labour during a Director-General’s review
You can be fined R1 500 000 or 10% of turnover (whichever is the greater) if:
  • You have not submitted an Employment Equity report
  • You do not have an Employment Equity plan in the required format
  • You do not have successive Employment Equity plans
  • You have not complied with the recommendations of a Director-General’s review
Remember you have to comply with this legislation if you have 50 employees or more or if your Company turnover exceeds the following:
  • Agriculture – R6m
  • Construction, Catering, Social, Personal & Community services – R15m
  • Mining & quarrying – R22.5m
  • Manufacturing, Finance, Business Services – R30m
  • Storage, Communications, Transport &nsash; R30m
  • Retail, Motor Trade, Repair Services – R45m
  • Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents &nsash; R75m

IF YOU ARE NOT SURE WHETHER YOU SHOULD BE COMPLYING PLEASE CONTACT TESSA AT OUR OFFICES. REMEMBER, Employment Equity is an Act belonging to the Department of Labour, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment is another Act belonging to the Department of Trade and Industry. They are not the same thing.

 

DIRECTOR GENERAL’S REVIEW

Every year the Department of Labour randomly selects 1000 companies from its Data Base for a review of their Employment Equity. They then make recommendations based on their findings. In doing the review, they request copies of documentation from the last three years. We have provided our clients with an Employment Equity Plan File which has a predetermined index and would contain all the information that the Department would require. If you would like us to audit your file to ensure that the documentation is correctly stored, please contact our office. Remember a failure to keep the required information is a finable offence.

 

NEW LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

The Earnings Threshold

The Minister of Labour had decided not to adjust the earnings threshold this year so it remains at R205 433.16 per annum or R17 119.43 per month. When looking at this figure, we are instructed by the minister that we must include gross salary i.e. salary before deductions, but exclude company contributions to Pension/Provident Funds, Medical Aid and Overtime. Subsistence and Transport Allowances must also be excluded.

The purpose of the earnings threshold has been enhanced as both the amendments to the Labour Relations Act and the Employment Equity Act refer to the earnings threshold. The Acts provide more protection for employees who earn below the threshold, e.g. in terms of the ability to contract terms and conditions of employees which contradict the benefits of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

We are frequently asked if a person can enter into a contract with a Company as an Independent Contractor and forgo the right to leave, sick leave, maternity leave etc. The answer is complex, however it cannot be done if the person’s earnings are going to be less than the earnings threshold. Such a contract would be invalid. The question is how do you treat employees who are part time, but whose payment, should you extend the hours to normal working hours, would take the person well outside of the earnings threshold?

For example, you contract a Marketing Professional to work with your Company four hours per day. You negotiate an independent contractor agreement because the person has other clients. Her hourly rate is R175-00 which makes her monthly earnings R15 225. However if she worked for you for the normal hours of 40 per week, her salary would be R30 450-00 per month, well above the threshold. We are instructed by the Department of Labour to consider only the actual salary and this is below the threshold, so you cannot enter into a contract unless it is fully compliant with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

The Employment Services Act
  1. To provide for Public Employment Services
    This requirement means that the Department of Labour has a requirement to provide an employment service and in doing this they are responsible for:

    1. Matching work seekers with available work opportunities;
    2. registering work seekers;
    3. registering job vacancies and other work opportunities;
    4. facilitating the placing of work seekers with employers or in other work opportunities;
    5. advising work seekers on access to education and training;
    6. advising workers on access to social security benefits;
    7. providing specialised services to assist vulnerable work seekers;
    8. facilitating the exchange of information among labour market participants, including employers, workers and work seekers, private employment agencies, Sector Education and Training Authorities and training providers;
    9. facilitating the employment of foreign nationals in a manner that is consistent with the object of this Act and the Immigration Act; and
    10. generally, performing any other function in terms of employment law or prescribed in terms of this Act.

    We are awaiting regulations to determine who at the Department of Labour will be aware of vacancies in the private sector as well as the full services provided. We are informed that one of the specialised services that will be offered will be free Aptitude Testing.

  2. To Regulate the activities of Private Employment Services
    This provision in the Act requires that any person who wishes to operate as a Private Employment Service (Recruitment Agent) or as a Temporary Employment Service (Labour Broker), must apply to the Department of Labour for Registration and must display in a prominent place, the certificate of registration. The Act says:
    “A person may not operate a private employment agency except in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the terms of its registration”
    This means that if you are registered as a Private Employment Service you may not provide temporary staff unless your registration specifically provides for it. The act also legislates on prohibited acts by employment services.
  3. To provide for the Activities of Productivity South Africa
    Again, this is not a new institution. It was first established in 1969 as the National Productivity Institute and rebranded as Productivity South Africa in 2007 when the funding of the institution was taken over by the Department of Labour.
    The functions of Productivity South Africa are-

    1. to promote a culture of productivity in the workplace;
    2. to develop relevant productivity competencies;
    3. to facilitate and evaluate productivity improvement and competitiveness in workplaces;
    4. to measure and evaluate productivity in the workplace;
    5. to maintain a data-base of productivity and competitiveness systems and to publicise these systems;
    6. to undertake productivity-related research;
    7. to support initiatives aimed at preventing job losses; and
    8. to perform any other prescribed function.
  4. To establish the Supported Employment Enterprise to Promote the Support of work for Disabled persons.
    The functions of Supported Employment Enterprises are to

    1. facilitate supported employment;
    2. provide work opportunities for persons with disabilities;
    3. develop and implement programmes that promote the employability of persons with disabilities, including persons with permanent disablement as defined in the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act No. 130 of 1993), in the light of their evolving needs in a changing economy; and
    4. perform any other function as may be prescribed by the Minister.

    Many of these functions are already up and running as the initial amendment to the Act was proposed in 2010 and the Act was passed last year. We await the regulations with interest.

 

TRAINING

Companies are required to comply with the Employment Equity and Skills Development Acts and the code of good Practice suggests that all Training and Employment Equity Committee members are empowered with the latest knowledge and information relating to Employment Equity and Skills Development.

The Employment Equity committee training programme offers a guideline to both the Employment Equity and Skills Development legislation.
This training programme is aimed at those Training and Employment Equity committee members that are newly appointed or those who have not yet received the required training.

We will be running a public Employment Equity committee training course towards the end of October from 08h30 to 13h30 at a cost of R 920.00 per delegates (excl VAT) which includes the venue, training material, refreshments and a light lunch.

Please contact Tessa at our office 011 452 1707 to book your place on this programme

Our training brochure of other courses offered by Connold and Associates is displayed on our Web page or is available from the office.

 

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

What are the principles that underpin employee performance within your Organisation?

  • Promotion of a high performance
  • Values based culture
  • Appropriate reward and recognition for high performance
  • Promotion of ownership and accountability
  • Definition of the individual’s role in the achievement of Company objectives
  • Pursuit of fair, valid and reliable measurement
  • Acknowledgement of the responsibility of the organisation to create an enabling environment

The illustration below provides you with a top line view of the Performance Management Process:
Performance Management Process

In alliance with Select Strategy Inc., the online evaluation system will provide you with a way to help manage this process.

If you are interested in seeing a demonstration of the system please contact Tammy Groenewald at our offices.

 

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

We hope this quarter sees a positive change in the exchange rate and improved prospects for employment growth. We really need it.

March 2015

Once again, the year is flying past. The end of the tax year was two weeks ago, we are nearing the end of the first quarter and yet we still have people wishing us a happy new year – time does march on! So far the year has got off to a hectic start with changes to legislature that will affect all of us.

 

LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

The Labour Relations Act was finally promulgated on the 1st of January 2015. The amendments to the Act are extensive and while many of them serve mainly to clarify areas that were not clear in the original Act or to close some loopholes, some of the changes are far reaching. The purpose of the legislation was to:

  • To amend the Labour Relations Act, 1995, so as to facilitate the granting of organisational rights to trade unions that are sufficiently representative;
  • to strengthen the status of picketing rules and agreements;
  • to amend the operation, functions and composition of the essential services committee and to provide for minimum service determinations;
  • to provide for the Labour Court to order that a suitable person be appointed to administer a trade union or employer’ organisation;
  • to enable judges of the Labour Court to serve as a judge on the Labour Appeal Court; to further regulate enquiries by arbitrators; to provide greater protection for workers placed in temporary employment services;
  • to regulate the employment of fixed term contracts and part-time employees earning below the earnings threshold determined by the Minister; to further specify the liability for employer’s obligations;

It is the greater protection for workers in temporary, fixed term or part time employment that the Act provides that requires our attention. The Act gives three months from promulgation, i.e. 1 April 2015 for letters of appointment and conditions of employment for these groups of employees to be brought in line with the legislation. As organisations, we need to consider those employees who are not permanent and ensure that their employment conditions and contracts are in line with the Act. Interestingly the provisions of the Act dealing with temporary, fixed term and part time employees do not cover employees who earn above the threshold. The threshold is currently R205 433-30 per annum (gross salary) or R17 119-44 per month.

One of the provisions is that the letter of appointment for a fixed term contract should clearly state why the person is being offered a contract rather than permanent employment. The act states:

  • Without limiting the generality of subsection (3), the conclusion of a fixed term contract will be justified if the employee –
    1. Is replacing another employee who is temporarily absent from work;
    2. Is employed on account of a temporary increase in the volume of work which is not expected to endure beyond 12 months;
    3. Is a student or recent graduate who is employed for the purpose of being trained or gaining work experience in order to enter a job or profession;
    4. Is employed to work exclusively on a specific project that has a limited or defined duration;
    5. Is a non-citizen who has been granted a work permit for a defined period;
    6. Is employed to perform seasonal work;
    7. Is employed for the purpose of an official public works scheme or similar public job creation scheme;
    8. Is employed in a position which is funded by an external source for a limited period; or
    9. Has reached the normal or agreed retirement age applicable in the employer’s business.

If you are using a labour broker for any of your staff, please check if they are complying with legislation and most importantly if they are registered with the Department of Labour and SARS as a labour broker. The legislation gives any employee working through a temporary employment service the right to refer a dispute citing either the labour broker or the client or both. If they are not complying, it could become your problem.

Our next public Industrial Relations Training will take place on 5th, 6th, 7th May 2015 and will also cover the new legislation. Those interested in attending should please contact Tessa at the Connold offices Tel 011 452 1707 or email tessa@connold.co.za.

 

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

Remember that the Skills Development Submissions are due before the 30th April 2015 if you are to be eligible for any grants. The training year for most SETA’s now runs from 1 January to 31 December although a few, namely FP&M, HW and W&R Seta, still run from 1 April to 31 March.

MICT Seta this year is running from 1 March 2014 to 31 March 2015 for the training report (ATR) which is a period of 13 months.

The Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) will run from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 and is a period of 12 months.

For assistance in preparing the submission of your training report and training plan to Seta, please contact Tessa at the Connold offices Tel 011-452 1707 or email tessa@connold.co.za.

 

EMPLOYMENT EQUITY

The Department of Labour is very active with inspections currently. All Employment Equity Reports should have been submitted by 15 January 2015 and will become due again in October this year. However, the main concern should lie with whether or not your Employment Equity Plan is in the format required by the Employment Equity Regulations, Government Gazette No. 37873 which were promulgated on the 1st August 2015. Should you not have a current EE Plan or not have a plan in the correct format, you could be fined R1,5 Million or 2% of turnover, whichever is the highest.

For a copy of the regulations please contact our office and we will assist you in compiling your EE plan into the correct format.

 

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION VS. EMPLOYMENT EQUITY

Seeking practical guidance on how to apply the principle of equal remuneration for work of equal value in the workplace?

Through the implementation of Performance Evaluation systems, the Employment Equity Regulations make provision for differences in remuneration that are justifiable reasons but based on grounds that are fair and rational. In other words, any differences in pay must be tied to such business-related considerations as job responsibilities or performance.

This refers to an individual’s respective performance, based on quantity or quality of work which may be used to remunerate, reward or recognize the individual, provided that the employees are equally subject to the employer’s performance evaluation system and that the system is consistently applied.

For example:

  • Two employees who do the same job cannot be paid different salaries/wages because of gender, race, or age.
  • It would be illegal to pay these two employees differently because one is male and the other is female.
  • Only if there are differences in their experience, skills, seniority, or job performance are there legal reasons why their pay might be different.

Connold & Associates, in partnership with Select Strategy, provides for an online Performance Evaluation system that will assist organisations in managing the dynamics we face when it comes to the remuneration of individuals and retaining those exceptional performers without having been seen as unfair or discriminatory.

Employees may also begin to think of their pay relative to their inputs, outputs and efforts.

For assistance in implementing remuneration structures that are performance related, contact Tammy Groenewald at our offices on cell number 082 322 8138 or email tammy@connold.co.za

 

RECRUITMENT

At Connold and Associates we believe that companies need to focus on recruiting the right staff and the retention of these staff. We are well aware of the number of false CV’s, forged certificates and applicants with serious financial and personal issues. We are therefore gearing up to assist our clients in their recruitment process by offering the service of placing the advertisements for vacancies on the correct job site which will then ensure that the correct applicants apply. We are also able to assist further by carefully screening these applicants using different interviewing techniques and a wide range of skills measurement tests.

Please contact Kevin Pearson (kevin@connold.co.za) or Andrea Roberts (accounts@connold.co.za) at our offices on 011-452 1707 should you require further information on Personality Profile Analysis testing, Online Skills Testing and other skills measurement testing that we offer.

Once the initial screening has been concluded, we will present you with a shortlist of 2-3 candidates who will all be able to step into your environment comfortably. You will then be able to select the candidate who best fits your culture. Connold and Associates will also be able to assist you in advising a market related salary package in line with industry norm and comprehensive letters of appointment.

Our fees are calculated as follows:

Our full recruitment fee is 10% – 12% (depending on the position). The cost of all other individual services that form part of the recruitment process are available on request, or on our “Cost of Services” list; a copy of which can be obtained from our offices.

 

WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION

With effect from 1 March 2015 the Workmen’s Compensation Commissioner has extended the licence of Rand Mutual Association to manage the Workmen’s Compensation Claims for all Class 13 Employers. Class 13 includes the following:

  • Subclass 1300 – Iron and Steel production;
  • Subclass 1301 – Foundry products and stove manufacturing;
  • Subclass 1331 – Production of products containing iron and lead, venetian blinds, artificial limbs, number plates;
  • Subclass 1340 – Inter alia metal manufacturing and creation of products using metal (eg. Wire, cutlery etc.), repairs to ships, aluminium, welding, galvanizing;
  • Subclass 1350 – Electric cable manufacturing and manufacture of safety razor blades;
  • Subclass 1360 – Motor cars assembly as a business including all operations in connection therewith.
  • Subclass 1361 – Motor garages, automotive electricians, petrol and oil filling station; locksmithing; aircraft repairing and/or servicing as a separate business; employment of parking attendants; the business of a dealer in new/second hand motor vehicles; motor vehicle hiring if repairs are undertaken.
  • Subclass 1363 – Wagon, coach, carriage and/or motor body building as a separate business; panel beating and spraying as a separate business; motor car radiator manufacturing and repairing as a separate business.

You may therefore receive a letter from Rand Mutual Association advising you of the transfer and indicating that in future all payments must be made to them. This is not a hoax. According to their website:

“The Rand Mutual Assurance Company Limited (Rand Mutual) was founded in 1894 by three mining companies on the Witwatersrand as a non-profit mutual assurance company with the purpose of administering workers’ compensation for mining industry employees injured in the course and scope of their employment.”

They are operating under license to the Workmen’s Compensation Commissioner and hopefully the efficiency of claims for injuries on duty will improve under their management. They are not the only company who does operate under license; Federated Employers Association has been managing the Workmen’s compensation claims for the Building industry since 1936. The Government Gazette giving them the right to invoice, collect funds and process claims is no 37826 and can be found on RMA’s website at www.randmutual.co.za. They are a non-profit mutual association (remember those) and do have other insurance products. A list of affected companies can be found on their website.

Apparently this move will allow the Workmen’s Compensation Fund get their house in order and assist RMA who have additional capacity as a result of the shrinking number of employees in the mining industry.

As you are aware, we were very sad to have to inform you of the death of Jane Alevizos after a short illness. Jane was employed with us for 15 years and played a significant part in the growth and success of Connold and Associates. She will be missed.

The lesson we have learned is to live every day and listen to your body. Annual medicals by a specialist physician should be in all our calendars.

Hoping that your year is proving to be successful and happy, despite the constant doom and gloom that we seem to be surrounded by at the moment.

 

Regards,
Desrae & staff