All credible businesses in South Africa must deal with local labour issues, regulatory bodies and legislation – there is no way around these realities. However, while larger enterprises are generally equipped to deal with critical considerations like wage negotiations and employee working conditions, the same cannot always be said for the small-to-medium (SME).

However, approach is everything and a change in approach to compliance management is what SMEs can count on to ensure sustainable, effective employment regulation.

It is important for decision makers in SMEs to face the challenge head on – irrespective of what approach is decided upon. Essentially, it doesn’t matter whether to outsource or acquire the necessary knowledge, it just matters that the challenge is taken on.

Find the most effective way to manage your Labour Relations Act checklist by putting processes and systems in place – this will help the business comply with the myriad of laws and regulations which will give you control and insight over any type of employment negotiation.

My advice to any small employer is to be honest about the financial status of the business when entering into any form of negotiation. The golden rule is to understand the LRA regulations and be fair!

The fact is that South Africa’s labour relations and legislation is complex and places significant pressure on SMEs and SMMEs.

To deal with complex laws round employees takes a great deal of time and efforts, and can also result in additional expenses, fines and penalties. It is always best to seek the input and assistance of experts.