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.
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 –
- Is replacing another employee who is temporarily absent from work;
- Is employed on account of a temporary increase in the volume of work which is not expected to endure beyond 12 months;
- 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;
- Is employed to work exclusively on a specific project that has a limited or defined duration;
- Is a non-citizen who has been granted a work permit for a defined period;
- Is employed to perform seasonal work;
- Is employed for the purpose of an official public works scheme or similar public job creation scheme;
- Is employed in a position which is funded by an external source for a limited period; or
- 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 office’s by phone at 011 452 1707 or email here.
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.
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.
- 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.
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 via email here 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.
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.
Desrae & staff