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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What are the principles that underpin employee performance within your Organisation?
The illustration below provides you with a top line view of the 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.
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.