2002 seems to have disappeared in a flash and we are now at the beginning of 2003. Over the past two years we have noticed that the Christmas season definitely starts later and that it takes time for business to begin again in January, but by this week South Africa should be back in the saddle and ready for the new year.
All the indications are that this is going to be a difficult year internationally, but a good one for South Africa and we wish all our clients a successful and prosperous New Year.
In our opinion the focus for this year will be on training and development and we are going to be exploring the opportunities to make full use of the SETA learnership programmes for the training of new entrants into the job market. Attention will be given to mentorship programmes to ensure that learners who are employed are able to meet the criteria of the learnership programme they are registered for through the careful mentoring of their progress. Attractive incentives have been given by the Receiver of Revenue for each learner employed.
There is increasing pressure on all Companies to ensure that they comply with the act and that sufficient attention is being given to affirmative action. The role of the Employment Equity Committee or Forum is becoming more important, particularly in view of the SETA requirements that a training committee be formed. The Code of Good Practice recommends monthly meetings of these committees, however, we believe that quarterly meetings are sufficient. During the months of January and February the Employment Equity / Training Committee should be reviewing the progress of the Company’s training against the training plan submitted to the SETA and ensuring that at least 65% of the training planned has in fact taken place. This is the measure the SETA has put in place before the second training grant will be awarded.
It is a legal requirement that employers display the following acts in their workplaces:
Basic Conditions of Employment Act
Labour Relations Act
Employment Equity Act
Should you require laminated copies of these acts please contact Lynette to make arrangements for them to be ordered.
We recommend a review of all Policy and Procedure manuals to ensure that they accommodate the legal changes that have occurred during 2002.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUND
We understand that there has been some uncertainty with regard to the application of the new unemployment act and that many applications for unemployment insurance are being refused because documentation is being required that the employee or the employer do not have readily available.
Unemployment Insurance will only be paid to employees who have been dismissed or retrenched. In order to apply they must have their last 6 pay slips. The pay slip must show the basis on which UIF has been deducted. Should an employee be given accommodation or food, the UIF amount must be increased to accommodate this.
It is illegal for an employer to contribute the employee’s portion of the UIF payment. The employee’s pay slip must show that he pays 1% of his salary towards UIF. UIF is based on the gross salary of an employee, excluding any commission payable. It cannot be based on the cost to company package.
Guidelines are being awaited with regard to the maximum that an employer can pay an employee who is on maternity leave. Up until now it has been determined at 33% of salary, however, because of the new sliding scale and the maximum amount payable being based on a salary of R8099-00 per month, for women earning in excess of R8099-00 it appears that employees may be able to contribute the difference between their normal nett salary and the amount that UIF pays. We are awaiting confirmation of this from UIF.
We normally review our rates in January of each year. Attached is a schedule of the fees applicable to the services we offer. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We would like to welcome Jenny de Villiers who has joined Connold & Associates as an associate. Jenny has had experience in the retail industry and has generalist experience. We are sure she will be a strong addition to our team.