South African Engineers’ and Founders’ Association

16 March 2020

The Ministerial Task Team dealing with the Corona Virus outbreak briefed the media this morning on Government’s plans to deal with the State of Disaster as announced by the President yesterday.  From an employment law perspective, what was announced was that Government, Community, Business and Labour are meeting this afternoon at 14h00 to discuss plans to deal with the effects of the Corona Virus outbreak on business.  The plan at this stage is that each industry will be tasked with formulating a plan which will be intended to enable companies and employees to cope going forward. 

Minister of Employment and Labour, Mr Thulas Nxesi, stated the following:

  • Employers and employees are “reminded” to take cognisance of the guidelines issues by the President
  • Employers will be required to safeguard their employees, but that the details of this “cannot be discussed” until such time as further meetings between Government, Business and Labour have taken place
  • Guidelines will be developed to deal with employees who travel across borders in the course of their employment
  • Discussions are ongoing with the Workman’s Compensation Fund around the possibility of employees claiming from the fund in the event of becoming infected in the course of employment

20 January 2020

The Minister of Employment and Labour, Mr Thulas Nxesi, has recently expressed grave concerns about the rate of transformation in South African workplaces.  This concern has motivated him to fast track the amendment of the Employment Equity Act, saying that the amendment bill was submitted for parliamentary consideration during the last administration and that the amendments are at an advanced stage. These amendments signal a more aggressive approach to transformation which focus on enforcement measures and a new EEA 4 Form has consequently been gazetted and made effective from 8 August 2019.

It is essential for employers to familiarise themselves with the amendments to the Employment Equity Act, as failure to comply upon their enactment may result in gruelling labour inspector audits or hefty fines imposed by the Labour Court. 

Your latest Employment Equity Act returns have now been submitted, however there will now be an increased focus on companies’ employment equity plans, committees and meetings. To learn more about the Employment Equity Act and its impact on your business, book your place (see booking form below) on our training workshop, Effective Implementation of the Employment Equity Act being held on 5 February 2020.

Flyer and Booking Form

11 March 2020

Section 185 of the Labour Relations Act gives all employees the right not to be unfairly dismissed yet many employers still make fundamental mistakes when taking corrective action against their employees.

The key to successful workplace discipline starts with understanding the principles of progressive discipline, thorough and effective preparation for disciplinary enquiries and ensuring you know the procedural requirements to ensure fairness. 

SAEFA, is presenting a full day workshop that will take you, step-by-step, through the disciplinary process and guide employers through the legislative requirements of the Labour Relations Act. 

See below for details:

Effective Discipline Workshop Flyer

7 November 2019

The Labour Laws Amendment Act 10 of 2018 (“LLA Act”) was signed into law by President Ramaphosa in November 2018. This Act introduces a number of amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997, most particularly relating to the provision of parental leave to new parents including fathers, same-sex couples, adoptive and commissioning parents. In addition thereto, the LLA Act introduces amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act 63 of 2001 to allow claims which are to fund these new parental benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

While these provisions were to come into effect on 01 March 2019, their effective date was delayed as the UIF neglected to inform the relevant government departments, including the Presidency, that they were not ready to accommodate the changes.

However, on 29 October 2019, in Government Gazette No. 42805, the President issued Proclamation No. 56 of 2019. In this proclamation it was provided that Section 8(a)(cA), 11, 15 and 16 of the LLA Act would come into force and effect on 01 November 2019. These sections of the LLA Act are those which entitle an employee who is a parent of a child to at least 10 consecutive days of parental leave in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and amend the Unemployment Insurance Act to allow for claims to be made for these new parental benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

In short, an employee who is a father, same-sex partner, adoptive parent or commissioning parent is now entitled to at least 10 consecutive days of parental leave from the day of the birth of the employee’s child. The payment of these parental benefits will be subject to the Unemployment Insurance Act and the employer is entitled to be given notice of the parental leave one month before the child is expected to be born.

9 March 2020

We have resolved to provide SAEFA members with a brief, easily-digestible summary of current developments in the sphere of skills development and are going to be sending out regular articles to keep members informed.  The aim of the articles is to cut through the noise, complexity and clouds of acronyms that often cause confusion. The focus will be on the key topics that will assist members to understand and access the skills development interventions that support their strategic objectives and enable them to benefit from merSETA funding available to facilitate their training activities.  Please see below the first article in the series, kindly written for us by skills development expert, Janet Lopes.

Skills Development Update No 1

6 November 2019

On the 28 October 2019, the Minister of Employment and Labour renewed the extension of the 2011 MEIBC Administration and Expenses agreement following a request submitted by NUMSA in terms of the recently amended Labour Relations Act.

In terms of this renewal, non-parties, including members of the Association are obligated from 28 October 2019, to deduct and pay over to the MEIBC both of the following levies, with the employer making an equal contribution:

  • Admin Levy: R1,72 per week or R7,45 per month in respect of scheduled employees; and
  • Dispute Levy: 62c per week or R2,68 per month in respect of all employees (Please note: Employers who are currently paying the dispute levy at a rate of 74c per week or R3,22 per month, must consequently reduce this amount to 62c per week or R2,68 per month in respect of all employees).

Government Notice

24 February 2020

As you are aware, SAEFA has successfully resisted numerous attempts by the trade unions and a minority of employer parties to extend the 2017 – 2020 Settlement Agreement on non-parties.  This has led to a situation where many of our members have been able to successfully arrest the haemorrhaging of jobs in their businesses, by implementing the SAEFA-led initiative of the introduction of a New Entrant Wage Structure.  Many of our members have done this with the full blessing of their existing staff, including shop stewards from various trade unions.

Following our Members meeting of 20 February 2020, we would like to remind you of the New Entrant Wage Structure, as proposed by us in the 2017 wage negotiations (attached).  Please share this information with any colleague that may need it in the industry – the more employers realise that they are no longer bound by unaffordable wage rates and terms and conditions of employment that are contrary to business growth (whilst still being fair on employees), the better.

SAEFA Wage Negotiation Advisory No 29

5 November 2019

The South African economy is in crisis.  Ratings agency Moody’s has recently held the nation’s foreign- and local-currency readings at Baa3, one step above junk. The nation is already rated below investment grade at S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, both of which shifted its status to junk in 2017.  If Moody’s cuts South Africa’s rating, the country would lose its place in the FTSE World Government Bond Index. Exiting it could spark an investor sell-off and outflows of as much as $15 billion.  Manufacturing, and the metal and engineering industry in particular, are not excluded from the crisis.  Unemployment in South Africa is arguably the single biggest threat facing the country.  Read the frightening truth of what’s going on in the metal industry in an opinion piece published in the latest edition of Metalworking News: