Commencement of the new NMW Act and amended LRA

Government Gazette 42104 No. R 1378 has been published to announce 01 January 2019 as the date on which the National Minimum Wage Act, 2018 will come into operation.

At the same time, Government Gazette 42104 No. R 1377 has been published to announce 01 January 2019 as the date on which the Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2018 will come into operation.

The date of commencement for the Labour Laws Amendment Act, 2018 remains to be determined by the president by proclamation in the Gazette.

 

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

© 2018 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The CRS vision in 2018 was simple. To be the best HR and Payroll specialist in SA and the region. As such, I came into 2018 knowing that successful delivery first meant an assessment of our 2017 consolidation strategy and to ensure that our foundations were still geared to support new, longer-term development plans. In short, we put our heads down and we cracked on. I’ve never known the CRS team to be more focused than in the last year and, with every offering and area of CRS having been under detailed review, we enter 2019 as a stronger, more organised team of consultants and tech gurus who recognise consolidation as growth itself and are able to develop and deliver on sharp SLAs that are aligned to the client’s business, not ours.

Team aside, looking at the sector, I have also never known a time when HR has been so dynamic and, well, so downright interesting. The tech backbone of HR and the wider application of AR and VR is going to leave us speechless in the not too distant future. Social media is still impacting HR. Millennials will continue to re-design our sector whether we like it or not, keeping us veterans on our toes as we onboard them and their fresh thinking around employee and user experience and far more fluid work environments. Skills development remains a must in South Africa and I urge you to invest wisely and not overlook its impact on your business. From a local sector standpoint, HR and Payroll in South Africa has also had a great year. There is so much dedication and passion out there for the standardisation of HR in South Africa. At the recent SABPP HR Standards Summit, Jonathan Hall presented CRS Technologies and was amazing. His presentation, “The Impact of NeuroScience, Social Media & employees, employee engagement & systems in the workplace” was so well received that it is being converted by CRS as training and media material, so look out for more news on this in January.

Without giving too much away about all the HR, Payroll and tech-related global trends that CRS is aligned to, nor our new offerings that are right now getting their final tweaks ahead of their Q1/Q2 2019 rollouts, all I can say is next year is going to be a big one. You have shared your HR and Payroll problems and pain points, and we have listened.

To our clients, our immense thanks for being part of our valued collective and the cornerstone of much of what we did in 2018. We wish you a blessed holiday season and look forward to engaging with you in January.  Please note that we close on 14 December and re-open on 7 January but for urgent matters, we will have consultants/support if needed.

To the national CRS team — you are such an asset to our clients and you all inspire me in your own unique way. And I am sure our clients will agree that it is never dull when CRS is in the room. Have a safe and restful holiday period too, because we’re hitting the ground running in 2019…. ho ho ho!

Ian McAlister

(ianm@crs.co.za)

 

Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act: ROE Maximum Earning amount increase

Department of Labour published Government Gazette notice no. 42092 on 7 December 2018 in respect of the increase of the maximum amount of earnings on which the assessment of an employer will be calculated. The effective date is 1 March 2019.

The prescribed amount under Section 83(8) of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act No 130 of 1993 (COIDA) has been increased to R458 520 per annum.

Currently, the maximum amount of earnings is R430 944 per annum.

 

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

© 2018 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act, 2018; Labour Laws Amendment Act, 2018; and Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2018

As mentioned in our previous news flash with regard to the National Minimum Wage Bill assented by the President on 23 November 2018, three other bills were also signed into law on the same day, namely the Labour Laws Amendment Bill, amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill.

On Tuesday, 27 November 2018, the respective Amended Acts, together with the National Minimum Wage Act, have been published in the following Government Gazettes:

  • GG 42059: Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act, Act 7 of 2018
  • GG 42060: National Minimum Wage Act, Act 9 of 2018
  • GG 42061: Labour Relations Amendment Act, Act 8 of 2018
  • GG 42062: Labour Laws Amendment Act, Act 10 of 2018

The Labour Laws Amendment Act is notable as it was not introduced by Government but was instead introduced as a private member’s bill by African Christian Democratic Party in November 2015.

The most important aspect of this amendment is that it allows for all parents, including fathers, same-sex couples, adoptive and surrogate parents, to access leave as follows:

  • An employee, who is a parent of a child, is entitled to ten consecutive days of parental leave;
  • An employee, who is an adoptive parent of a child below the age of two, is entitled to:
    • Adoption leave of at least ten consecutive weeks; or
    • At least ten consecutive days of parental leave.
  • An employee, who is a commissioning parent in a surrogacy agreement, is entitled to:
    • Commissioning parental leave of ten consecutive weeks; or
    • At least ten consecutive days of parental leave.

The Labour Laws Amendment Act, 2018 also amend the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 to insert new definitions and make provision for parental, adoption and commissioning parental leave to employees. A collective agreement may not reduce an employee’s entitlement to parental, adoption or commissioning parental leave. In addition to this, the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001, is also amended to make provision for the right to claim parental and commissioning parental benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund and to provide for the application for, and the payment of, parental and commissioning parental benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

The amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act, Act 7 of 2018, provide for the following:

  • The inclusion of the National Minimum Wage;
  • The insertion of a new section to provide for daily wage payments applicable to employees or workers who earn less than the earnings threshold – an employee who works for less than four hours on any day must be paid for four hours work on that day;
  • Where a sectoral determination prescribes wages that are higher than the NMW, the wages in that sectoral determination and the remuneration and associated benefits based on those wages must be increased proportionally to any adjustment of the NMW in terms of the National Minimum Wage Act;
  • To include enforcement of the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2018, the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 and the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002.

The Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2018 has been amended to:

  • Increase the period the Minister has to extend a collective agreement to non-parties from 60 to 90 days and the agreement shall only be extended if parties are sufficiently represented within the scope of the council;
  • Provide criteria for the Minister before the Minister is compelled to extend the collective agreement;
  • Provide for the renewal and extension of funding agreements;
  • Provide for picketing by collective agreement or by determination by the Commission in terms of picketing regulations;
  • Provide for the classification of a ratified or determined minimum service, where minimum service refers to the minimum number of employees in a specific essential service who may not strike;
  • Extend the meaning of ballot to include any voting by members that is recorded in secret with regard to registered trade unions and employer’s organisations;
  • Make way for the establishment of an advisory arbitration panel to deal with long and violent strike action in the interest of labour stability.

The effective date of the Labour Laws Amended Act 2018 and the amended LRA will be published in the Government Gazette.

The amended BCEA takes effect on a date immediately after the National Minimum Wage Act, 2018, has taken effect, which is expected to be 1 January 2019. However, this remains to be determined by the president by proclamation in the Gazette.

To view the respective Acts, please follow the links below:

National Minimum Wage Act, 2018

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/42060_gon1303_Act9of2018.pdf

Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act, 2018

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/42059_gon1302_Act7of2018.pdf

Labour Laws Amendment Act, 2018

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/42062_gon1305_Act10of2018.pdf

Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2018

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/42061_gon1304_Act8of2018.pdf

 

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

© 2018 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Ghana 2018/2019 Budget Speech & Income tax Changes

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2019 Financial Year to the parliament on 15 November 2018.

Highlights of the Budget Speech Summarized

  • Real GDP grew by 5.4% in the first half of 2018 compared to the annual target of 5.6%. Non-oil real GDP grew by 4.6% compared to the 2018 target of 5.8%
  • The fiscal deficit was 3.0% of rebased GDP at the end of September 2018 compared to a target of 2.7%
  • Total revenue and grants expected for the 2019 fiscal year is GHS58.9 billion, representing 17.1% of the rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • The 2019 fiscal operation will have a budget deficit of GHS14.5 billion based on the total expenditure and total revenue and grants. To reduce the deficit, the government will have to borrow from both foreign and domestic sources
  • Inflation dropped to 9.8% in September 2018, down from 12.2% recorded in September 2017
  • Interest rates eased downward in line with the reduction in the Monetary Policy Rate
  • To help the government track its financial performance, the Ghana budget will integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) framework. This will be the first budget in Africa and second in the world, after Mexico to fully integrate the SDG’s framework

Revenue Policy Measures

  • Tax Identification Number (TIN) enforcement: The Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915) lists a number of transactions and services that cannot be accessed without a TIN. In 2019 sanctions will be applied against institutions and individuals who breach these provisions.
  • Government has completed a draft policy on exemptions which will be presented to Parliament in 2019 to be passed into law.

Important to note:

  • An additional Personal Income Tax band of 35% for monthly income in excess of GHS10,000 was introduced during the Mid-year Budget Statement and has meanwhile been assented by the President. This new tax band came into effect 01 August 2018.
  • Together with this change, the flat income tax rate for non-resident individuals has also been increased from 20% to 25%. This is applicable to Full Time, Part Time and Temporary non-resident employees.
  • The old and new graduated income tax bands effective from 1 August 2018 are as follows:

Resident Individuals

Annual Tax Rates effective 1 August 2018
Old Chargeable Income New Chargeable Income Rate of Tax (%)
First GHS 3,132 First GHS 3,132 Nil
Next GHS 840 Next GHS 840 5
Next GHS 1,200 Next GHS 1,200 10
Next GHS 33,720 Next GHS 33,720 17.5
Exceeding GHS 38,892 Next GHS 81,108 25
Exceeding GHS 120,000 35
Monthly Tax Rates effective 1 August 2018
Old Chargeable Income New Chargeable Income Rate of Tax (%)
First GHS 261 First GHS 261 Nil
Next GHS 70 Next GHS 70 5
Next GHS 100 Next GHS 100 10
Next GHS 2,810 Next GHS 2,810 17.5
Exceeding GHS 3,241 Next GHS 6,759 25
Exceeding GHS 10,000 35

 

  • However, following feedback from the public after the implementation of the new tax band, Government concluded that some relief from this tax measure is justified. Accordingly, Government proposes to review this band to impact monthly income above GHS20,000 at a rate of 30%. This should come into effect 01 January 2019.
  • The tax bands will be further adjusted to reflect the new minimum wage.
  • The new minimum daily wage is GHS10.65, 10% up from GHS9.68, effective 1 January 2019.

 

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

© 2018 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE BILL SIGNED INTO LAW

President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Bill into law on Friday, 23 November 2018.

The Bill comes into effect 1 January 2019.

The NMW was meant to come into effect in May but due to issues that arose when the legislation was drafted, it had to be postponed. The NMW is expected to benefit about 6 million workers that currently earn below R20 per hour.

There are a few exceptions to the national minimum wage of R20 per hour, which include:

  • The minimum wage for farm workers will be R18 per hour
  • The minimum wage for domestic workers will be R15 per hour
  • The minimum wage for workers on an expanded public works programme is R11 per hour

Together with the NMW Bill, three other bills were also signed into law on the same day. These are the Labour Laws Amendment Bill, amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill.

More details to follow soon.

 Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

© 2018 CRS Technologies (Pty)Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Businesses that embark on a journey to the cloud and open themselves up to this technology find that they have the capability to manage their infrastructure and resources in a more cost effective, efficient way, including people management. The cloud is a game-changer for many industries and it has also influenced the decision making when it comes to acquiring and implementing Human Capital Management (HCM) systems.

The fact is that the cloud has opened up the market in a massive way. The option to invest in SaaS-based HCM System says Ian McAlister, General Manager of CRS Technologies South Africa, offers the business landscape more options and there are many solutions being introduced by an array of service providers.

“It is true that HR managers and business owners are spoilt for choice. They are able to tap into the cloud and access systems that are designed to meet their demands, that reflect the evolution of the HR industry and are no longer mere systems of record, but are now what HR professionals call ‘systems of engagement’,” says McAlister.

So what should decision makers focus on when hunting for a cost-effective, robust and affordable HCM system?

“As a starting point, the most important primary consideration is the business requirements? What exactly is driving HCM in your business? The answer to this question is inevitably the need to comply with changing legislation, so a system that is on par with local developments and can be localised to address these challenges,” McAlister continues.

It is equally important to consider how the HCM system will be implemented and this is where business continuity comes in explains McAlister. Implementation must not cause any downtime and the old system should remain accessible during changeover and relevant employee training to ensure continuity, according to McAlister.

Here again the cloud offers the opportunity to scale with solutions at an affordable and efficient way.

Decision makers also have to keep in mind the scope of deployment – how exactly will the new HCM system be implemented, what will it affect, who will use it, when, why and where? These are important questions says McAlister, but he is quick to point out that new generation of HCM systems entering the market offer an end-to-end  employee lifecycle management and the visibility of a unified HR platform “to give businesses a bird’s eye view of their HR”.

“This is critical for the business to capitalise on the inherent benefits of the system, its core functionality,” McAlister adds.

The functionality or ‘nuts & bolts’ of the system is really where the technology sells itself, according to CRS Technologies.

The workings of the system and the end result of what it is designed to do is really one of the main considerations.

If a business attaches importance to effective recruitment and the benefits of productivity, to cost saving from lower employee turnover and enhanced HR processes and procedures, then the issue of functionality must be clearly understood well before implementation.

“An effective HCM system must keep track of employee profiles and should have the ability to develop descriptions of the company’s HR structure with the objective to match profiles to positions. The idea is to secure a well-orchestrated, highly effective people management system that links up training requirements, areas of HR management that needs more attention, performance evaluation and other key factors,” McAlister adds.

Other factors to consider ensuring effective and results-orientated implementation are the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the system, license fees, regulation/legislation compliance.

“Much depends on whether a new system is outsourced or built in-house, or purchased new… there are several options, thanks to the cloud… however, what is a given, irrespective of what option is chosen, is that a new system must address market requirements including on-boarding, data management,  security, costs etc.,’ says McAlister.