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FOREIGN EMPLOYEE

Question from Lawrence Thipe

I'm in the ICT sector and need to hire a Foreign Employee from Mozambique. Do you have an idea on what I should do?

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Short-term contracts

Question from Christopher Chauke:

What are the proper guidelines for short term fixed contracts?

Answer:


This question is incredibly broad, but to summarise, in brief, a short term contract must be for a fixed duration and will come to an end once the end date is reached or, if the contract is for a specific task, when the task is complete. It is important to ensure that the employee is made aware that there is no expectation of a renewal of the fixed term and if the contract is renewed for operational reasons, that the employee has no expectation of any further renewal.

Fixed term employees acquire all the rights provided for in the Labour Relations Act and cannot be dismissed without a fair reason and in accordance with a fair procedure. The short term contract must contain a clause that the contract may be terminated within the fixed term for any reason sound in law, including the employee/s misconduct and the employer’s operational reasons. A failure to record this may result in an employer having to pay the employee for the full contract when wishing to terminate earlier for operational reasons.

It is also important to note that fixed term contracts for employees earning below the threshold must comply with section 198B of the Labour Relations Act i.e.: that the fixed term must be for specific reasons set out in the section, failing which the employment may be deemed to be of indefinite duration.

Sick Leave

Question from Annemie

I work in the mining industry with about 6000 permanent employees. We have a huge concern regarding sick leave on month end. What is best practise to try and decrease people taking sick leave - and mostly misusing sick leave on month end? As you know, sick leave is a very sensitive issue. Any advice would be highly appreciated.

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Dealing with racism

Question from Sumarie:

A hot topic these days - racism, and we recently had our first incident. I realised that we do not have any policy in place which makes it difficult when it comes to the disciplinary hearing. Is there somewhere a standard policy that I can modify to suit our business perhaps? 

Answer:

I’m always reluctant to have too many policies and procedures that force customer-facing staff to say and do certain specific things. Nevertheless, you do need some internal guidelines in your business so that you are able to deal with these incidents when they occur – especially when it comes to disciplinary action and possible CCMA challenges.

My immediate reaction is to suggest that your business should deal with it in the same way as when customers – and colleagues for that matter – are hurt or offended by what other people say, such as when a male says something sexist or offensive or degrading to a woman. However, I realise that it’s also not so simple when it comes to racism. We used to be a nation that could laugh at ourselves, and not be offended by simple comments. Perhaps that has changed. Perhaps you and I haven’t really come to grips with how hurtful the past has been for citizens in this country. I know that with my name and Greek ancestry, even though I consider myself a pure South African, I find it tiresome when people crack jokes about Greeks – as if I was actually involved in whatever they are mocking. I also feel hurt when black people in our country use the derogatory term “Mlungu” to describe me, and when they laugh at my insistence on punctuality or speaking a language that I too can participate in.

So my suggestion would be that while you start putting together some policy or guidelines for your business, (you can probably also talk to HR people in large organisations who may be able to share their thoughts,) you probably also need to create sensitivity amongst all employees about the words and actions that be misunderstood or used to offend. One essential element, for example, would be to talk about consistency: I was in some doctors rooms recently when a junior (black) receptionist was admonished by the senior (white) receptionist for spending too much time talking on the phone. The irony was that the senior person had just spent 10 minutes talking to some family member in an outgoing call! Another point to emphasise is that there are people out there with their own agendas who wait to pounce on anyone well-known who says anything vaguely racist. I believe that is what happened with the senior economist, who I know is a really nice fellow.

Good luck – you are going to need it! (At least until we can all learn to laugh at life again.


Training

Question from Tammy
I have recently been appointed as the HR Manager in a multi national company. I am trying to implement proper Employment equity and BEE processes. I am looking to source training providers that can assist with BEE as well as employment equity training. 

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Monitoring and evaluation

Question from Matlotlo

May you kindly assist and guide me on the monitoring and evaluation of a Balanced Scorecard Performance Management System?

Answer:

There are many ways to evaluate performance management, whether it be through the classic Balanced Scorecard Approach or whether it be through other well known techniques. The latest trend is not only measuring performance through a Balanced Scorecard Approach, using a 360 assessment, but by proactively focusing on real time goal tracking of each employee, so that at any time (one suitable for the manager I.e. Weekly, monthly or quarterly) the manager is able to see where an employee requires development versus where an employee is performing.

This not only allows for the identification of poor performance and the facilitation of Personal Improvement Plans (PIPs), but it also allows you to track your talent, and reward them appropriately, as to retain them. TotalTalentSolved has a 360 assessment and a real time, performance management and goal tracking system. Feel free to contact us.

Employment Equity (EEA2)

Question from Samantha

In regards to the Employment Equity (EEA2) please kindly elaborate, can we say that the training that has been conducted in the organisation was EE specific and if so, can it be captured same on the online system. The training that has been been implemented is; Forklift Fire Fighting First Aid Evacuation Training This year l attended the graduation of some employees but it was not managerial courses but logistical and these individuals have not been promoted there are still on the same level irrespective of the Kindly assist me with this regard, thank you kindly will await your response. 

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Downsizing and retrenchments

Question from Bonita

We have 3 employees who are employed as follows:
a tea-lady (3 years service) at R17.36 per hour (domestic worker rate)
a sweeper (1+ years\' service) at R17.36 per hour (domestic worker rate)
a general worker, cleaning offices (6+ years service) at R27.19 per hour general worker rate (incorrectly appointed as such, because general workers are usually working on site doing hard labour.

In terms of restructuring: Can we terminate their existing contracts and employ them into into new contracts on the rate of R17.36 for all three? With regard to equal work for equal pay, all three employees are performing the same cleaning duties and the working hours will be from 8 am to 4pm. What will the impact be on the employee with the highest wage rate and what can the company do to ensure that the process is substantively and procedurally fair?

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Restructuring

Question from Ignis

Our company is undergoing restructuring. Another company is buying majority share in our business. This means we will get a new levy number and a new trading name.
• Do we need to submit a WSP now under the new number rather than April to guarantee our MG?
• What SIC code do we use? Our company will best fit into this description = “Retail trade in sporting goods and entertainment requisites”

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Leadership

Question from Symeeria

We have a manager and staff member who do not get along, there has been 2 consultations held between the 2 and they have evident personal issues between them, we have said to them they either pull themselves together or either must leave. What can we do to make them wok amicably and be productive.

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Employee motivation

Question from Teresa

Because of the type of business, our company does not pay people for overtime however we do allow people to take off time in lieu of overtime. Because the business is growing quite dramatically, some of the employees are accumulating a lot of overtime and although they try and take their overtime, they end up with a lot of leave due to them plus the overtime. We want to implement an overtime policy whereby staff cannot accumulate their overtime and that they cannot claim for overtime if the overtime is older than 12 months. Basically we want to let them know that overtime will expire after 12 months. Is this allowed? What would be the best solution?

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