News

South African Engineers’ and Founders’ Association

25 April 2018

Are You Having to Consider Short-Time, Lay-Offs or Retrenchments in 2018?

2017 was an exceptionally difficult year for employers.  The commodities slump of a few years ago, felt particularly hard in the metal sector, has led to slower economic growth and many companies have had to sprint just to stand still.  The forecast for 2018 is unfortunately no better and for many companies, this means that short-time, lay-offs and even retrenchments may need to be considered as means of survival. 

Legislation regulating these processes requires that specific procedures be adhered to.  These legal requirements can often prove daunting to employers, particularly those who have never implemented short-time, lay-offs or retrenchments before or who have not had to for some time.

The South African Engineers’ and Founders’ Association, in association with Gordon Angus and Associates is running a half day workshop to guide employers through the legislative requirements of the Labour Relations Act and other applicable laws.

19 March 2018

You may today have received a misleading email from SEIFSA entitled “Main Agreement One Step Closer to Gazettal”.   This email seeks to suggest that their settlement agreement which excludes the majority of employers in the industry, is on the verge of being gazetted and extended to all non-party employers.  Despite the claims made in their letter, SAEFA remains firmly of the view that their agreement will not be legally extended.  SAEFA made it clear in the Management Committee meeting today that their settlement agreement cannot possibly be an “industry agreement” as it excludes all other employer parties to the bargaining council. 

SAEFA will continue to oppose all attempts made to extend this economically disastrous agreement to our members. 

In the meantime, members are strongly urged to disregard any further communications from SEIFSA.

 

 

19 April 2018

Argus Metal Prices provides global coverage of the metals industry featuring a comprehensive array of daily price assessments, as well as detailed analysis. They are interested in entering into a partnership with us to provide metal price indices and analysis of the metal industry to the membership.
 
There are two subscription models that we are reviewing: either the Association is licenced and this market information will be available on the members’ portal or each company takes out a subscription with Argus Metals at a subsidised fee. The more feedback received from the membership will enable an informed decision to be made, so that the appropriate solution can be tailored to the needs of the membership.
 
Three services have been detailed below and if your business is interested in receiving the particular information contained in any of the links, please let Charlene know by 30th April 2018.
 
The sample reports should give you a good idea as to the content provided.

13 March 2018

 

Don't Risk Harsh Penalties for Non-Compliance with the Employment Equity Act.

The 17th Commission for Employment Equity Report has led to the Department of Labour adopting a harsher stance on non-compliance with the Employment Equity Act for companies who do not meet the obligations of the Act. Recent proposed amendments to the Act envisage even more draconian sanctions for non-compliance.

The South African Engineers and Founders Association, in partnership with Gordon Angus and Associates, is presenting a one-day workshop on how to deal with your obligations under the Employment Equity Act.

17 April 2018

As you may be aware, notice of proposed protest action by SAFTU affiliates (ICTU, NUPSAW & SALIPSWU) has been issued for 25 April 2018.  Please take note that NUMSA is a SAFTU affiliate and therefore NUMSA members may wish to participate in the protest action.

The protest action is protected and lawful.  According to information received from Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), three unions, the Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU), the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) and the South African Liberated Public Service Workers Union (SALIPSWU), referred a s77(1)(b) of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) application to NEDLAC.  ICTU, NUPSAW and SALIPSWU have launched the action against the proposed National Minimum Wage, Economic Policy and the inability of Government to provide free, effective and appropriate education at all levels.

12 March 2018

President Donald Trump has announced an ad valorem tariff of 25% on all imports of “steel articles” from all countries, excluding Canada and Mexico, to take effect on 23 March 2018. “Steel articles” are defined in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) 6-digit level as: 7206.10 – 7216.50, 7216.99 – 7301.10, 7302.10, 7302.40 – 7302.90 and 7304.10 – 7306.90.

Broadly, without going into too much detail, this affects iron and non-alloy steel ingots, rounds, semi-finished rolled steel, coils, flat steel, angles, stainless steel, railway lines, tubes and pipes and pipe fittings. The 7304-10 tariff, which includes tubes, pipes and fittings, specifically excludes castings. Castings start at 7307.1 and fasteners (7318) are also not on the list.

5 April 2018

The Chairman would like to encourage members to attend this breakfast session. The timing of such a debate is most appropriate as these are the very topics that we are currently grappling with as an asociation.

SA Engineers and Founders Exco member, Kevin Gough, who has played a pivotal role in shaping our strategy over the past 5 years, has been invited to participate in the 2nd Panel Discussion.

Attending this session would not only show Kevin support but also gain valuable insight into the current labour landscape.

6 March 2018

Employees are entitled to various forms of leave.  However, in today’s economy, it is crucial to pursue increased productivity and higher quality standards in order to remain competitive.  Whilst employees are entitled to take authorized time off from work for a variety of reasons ranging from sick leave to annual leave to family responsibility leave, ineffective management of leave can harm your business.  Bad management of leave entitlements can also lead to resentment and unhappiness in your workforce, as can mistakes in the payment of these entitlements. 
 
SAEFA is running a half-day workshop to guide employers in the effective management of all facets of leave, including when to grant leave and when not to, how payment must be made and when, and more.