News

South African Engineers’ and Founders’ Association

29 March 2019

We had previously updated members that the Labour Court had found that the attempt to extend the Admin Agreement was unlawful and had been set aside.  We further informed members that SEIFSA and the trade unions had attempted to extend the Main Agreement in the same way.  The Court’s reasoning is clear and unequivocal, and this resulted in the trade unions finally accepting that they had to return to the negotiating table – something which we had been telling them to do since August 2017.  Unfortunately, the trade unions responded by rejecting SAEFA’s proposals for a new entrant wage rate and for increases to be given on minimums (amongst other proposals) and so SAEFA declared a dispute against the trade unions.

In terms of the MEIBC Constitution, the dispute necessitated a convening of a Special Management Committee (Manco) meeting within 14 days.  The Manco met on Tuesday, 26 March in order to decide how the dispute must be resolved, by choosing one of four options:

14 February 2019

Main Agreement negotiations:

In previous correspondence to members, we advised that in October last year, the Director of Collective Bargaining at the Department of Labour refused to process the request for the extension of the 2017 – 2020 Settlement Agreement on the basis that it was riddled with “shortcomings”.  In response, on the 15th of January, NUMSA submitted the attached demands to the MEIBC.  As is evident from their letter, NUMSA now wish to initiate negotiations to amend their employer-unfriendly settlement agreement so that they can foist it on the 90% of employers in the industry who want no part of it.  This is all despite the SA Engineers and Founders Association continuously requesting NUMSA and the other trade unions to do what is right and return to the negotiating table, since August 2017.

This latest development provides further opportunity for us to remind the trade unions that our demands have yet to be addressed, specifically (but not limited to):

25 March 2019

On 28 November 2018 the request to extend the Registration and Administration Expenses Collective Agreement  was set aside by the Labour Court. The judge stated that the reasons given for his decision would be given at a later date.

On 15th March 2019, the reasons for the order were received and have been attached for your reference.

In summary, the judge held that the vote to request the Minister of Labour to extend the agreement to non-parties was taken at a meeting convened outside of the constitution of the MEIBC and is therefore invalid.  The SEIFSA-affiliated associations who do not have representation on the various MEIBC structures are not permitted to take part in decision-making processes of the council and therefore should not have been allowed to vote in the meeting held on 4th September 2018.

7 February 2019

Are You Having to Consider Short-Time, Lay-Offs or Retrenchments in 2019?

The metal and engineering industry is now under more pressure than ever before, following the commodities slump of a few years ago, felt particularly hard in this sector.  Coupled with collective bargaining arrangements that have led to unsustainably high labour costs, 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 one-day workshop to guide employers through the legislative requirements of the Labour Relations Act and other applicable laws.

23 January 2019

In previous correspondence to members, we advised that in October last year, the Director of Collective Bargaining at the Department of Labour refused to process the request for the extension of the 2017 – 2020 Settlement Agreement on the basis that it was riddled with “shortcomings”.  In response, on the 15th of January, NUMSA submitted the demands below to the MEIBC.  As is evident from their letter, NUMSA now wish to initiate negotiations to amend their employer-unfriendly settlement agreement so that they can foist it on the 90% of employers in the industry who want no part of it.  This is all despite the SA Engineers and Founders Association continuously requesting NUMSA and the other trade unions to do what is right and return to the negotiating table, since August 2017.

15 JAN 2019 ANNEXURE E AMENDMENTS TO MAC

5 March 2019

Effective Workplace Discipline: Getting It Right, From Counselling to Dismissals

Avoid the mistakes which could potentially cost your business

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.  As an employer, there is nothing more frustrating than having to compensate or reinstate an employee who has broken your rules.  The key to successful workplace discipline starts with understanding the principles of progressive discipline and ensuring you know the procedural requirements to ensure fairness. 

All too often, employers are ill prepared when taking disciplinary action against troublesome employees, particularly when it comes to conducting disciplinary enquiries.  Even if you have experienced expert consultants available to chair such enquiries, things will not go your way unless you prepare thoroughly and present a well prepared, structured case to maximize your chances of success.

SAEFA, in association with Gordon Angus and Associates, is running a one-day workshop to guide employers through the discipline provisions of the Labour Relations Act.

17 January 2019

The Turbulent Labour Law Landscape:

Considering the recent amendments made to South African Labour Legislation and offering guidance on the applicability of the Main Agreement and/or Basic Conditions of Employment Act to your employees.

The National Council of Province’s Select Committee on Economic and Business Development deliberated and finalised four labour bills, namely, the National Minimum Wage Bill; the Labour Relations Amendment Bill; the Labour Laws Amendment Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill.  These bills were adopted without any amendments by the NCOP and, thereafter, assented to by President Cyril Ramaphosa and most of them came into effect on 01 January 2019.