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CRS Technologies is a leading provider of solutions and services to the growing human resources (HR) and human capital management (HCM) industries. Following its establishment in 1985, the Johannesburg-based company quickly found its niche in the HR, people management and...
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Dealing with office gossip

Jan 27th, 2020

Unless dealt with effectively, office gossip has the potential to significantly disrupt an organisation and negatively impact employee productivity.

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Smoking at work

Jan 22nd, 2020

While statistics vary, it is widely estimated that smokers take a total of approximately six days of smoke breaks annually.

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2020 ushers in new importance for HR and payroll data

Jan 17th, 2020

This year will see HR and payroll data play a pivotal role in business, becoming an increasingly valuable asset that provides a snapshot overview of the current status of the business.

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Top considerations before implementing an HCM system

Dec 10th, 2019

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.

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Managing staff leave

Nov 28th, 2019

Young woman at the airport in Barcelona checking for the flight schedule

Employees face a two-fold risk if they do not take the leave they are legally entitled to. Firstly, they could forfeit their leave after a pre-determined period, depending on their company policy.

Secondly, they could be diagnosed with burn out and be placed on extended sick leave. This places the organisation at significant financial risk, says Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies.

According to legislation, five-day week workers are entitled to 21 consecutive days annual leave on full pay in a leave cycle. This translates to 15 working days per annum if the employee works for five days a week, and 18 working days if they work a six-day week.

Leave pay should be paid before the leave starts or, if agreed, on the usual payday. If an employee resigns, they must be paid for any leave accrued but not taken, at a rate of one day’s pay for every 17 days worked, unless the policy allows for more leave.

The law also stipulates that an employer must grant annual leave not later than six months after the annual leave cycle. This usually refers to a period of 12 months, commencing from the first day of employment or from the end of the previous leave cycle.

According to Myburgh, many leave policies do not cater for staff not taking their annual leave. “This could result in a huge liability of accumulated annual leave. For example, if an employee has accumulated 100 days of leave and resigns, this must be paid out on termination. Translating to the equivalent of several months’ salary, it is an expense which very few organisations can afford.”

Policy changes

Myburgh recommends that the company leave policy must therefore be regularly reviewed to ensure it remains in line with operational requirements. “One of the reasons policies include a leave forfeiture clause is to motivate staff to go on leave,” he says.

A trend has emerged where employees are paid in lieu of taking holiday. This is not in accordance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, says Myburgh. “According to legislation, a company cannot pay out leave except on termination of employment.”

“Unpaid leave, however, is legal,” he points out. “This could see a company reduce an employee’s salary by the value of one day’s annual leave for every day’s unpaid leave. Essentially, the employee is purchasing a day’s annual leave.”

Encouragement

Companies should strive to create a culture of caring for their staff, and employee engagement, which includes encouraging them to take leave.

“Policies must be put in place to force staff to go on leave while being cognisant of workloads. An employee might have accumulated a considerable amount of leave but has so much work to complete that they would rather forfeit their leave than get behind in their work,” says Myburgh.

“Employers can, at the very least, be more accommodating regarding their employees’ expected work output and put measures in place that make it easier for employees to go on leave without having to stress about uncompleted work.

“Some businesses also implement an annual shutdown, which sees the company closing (typically between Christmas and New Year) completely so that no one is able to work. Consequently, staff are forced to take leave during this time.”

In such an instance, the employer is entitled to stipulate that annual leave must be taken to coincide with the shutdown period. Should an employee take their annual leave at another time during the year, then the shutdown period will be treated as unpaid leave.

“Irrespective of the strategy employed, companies must do everything in their power to encourage their employees to take their annual leave. Not only is it beneficial for the individual and limits the possibility of burnout, it also mitigates financial risk for the business,” Myburgh concludes.

As always, CRS Technologies is available to assist clients. For more information and advice, contact [email protected].

Employment equity needs more than lip service

Nov 12th, 2019

The evolving regulatory landscape in South Africa means companies must ensure they do everything possible to maintain an equal and fair working environment.

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Revised employment equity legislation could open up govt business

Nov 11th, 2019

It may be the last quarter of the year, but South African employers won’t have much opportunity to sit and reflect on business over the past ten months – the Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) has confirmed the Employment Equity Amendment Bill 2018 will be tabled before Parliament before the end of October 2019.

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Sexual harassment – A workplace problem not going away

Nov 6th, 2019

Sexual harassment in the South African workplace is more prevalent than many might care to admit, but false accusations are muddying the waters of those with legitimate claims, according to Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies.

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Zambia’s new National Health Insurance Fund now enforced

Nov 1st, 2019

Businesses in Zambia must take cognisance of the country’s new National Health Insurance Fund, effective 1 October 2019, which not only requires employers to register their employees, but also that both employers and employees contribute to the fund.

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Legislation and compliance a critical part of HR and payroll software

Oct 31st, 2019

No HR and payroll solution is complete without a comprehensive legislation and compliance advisory service, states CRS Technologies General Manager Ian McAlister.

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