SA HR news roundup: BLSA calls for easing of workplace Covid-19 rules

Rio Tinto report into workplace cultures shows South Africa experienced the highest rates of racism.

Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso says the country is becoming an outlier in workplace regulations as companies still have to maintain costly Covid-19 workplace protocols. PwC’s non-executive directors’ report shows that purpose, risk and retention are three themes being linked to remuneration. SBPM reaches a five-year wage agreement with unions, while the Department of Labour says Rio Tinto employees should report instances of discrimination.

Remuneration and non-executive directors
An analysis of JSE non-executive fees for the period 1 September 2020 to 31 October 2021 has found the median pay stands at R905,000 per annum. This is according to the latest PwC non-executive directors report, which looked at 1,955 active non-executive directors.

The report found that purpose, risk and retention were the three themes linking remuneration discussions and decisions, and how they interlink with boardroom topics like the need for a rapid but just transition to a net-zero economy, and if and how this links to remuneration structures.

The 15th edition of the report also looked at fair pay considerations and noted that female non-executive director representation stood at 32 percent for the period under review.

SBPM reaches wage deal with unions
The Siyanda Bakgatla Platinum Mine (SBPM) has negotiated a five-year wage agreement with trade unions the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union and the National Union of Mineworkers, which covers the period 1 March 2022 to 28 February 2027.

SBPM sustainable development executive Hope Tyira said that the company enjoys sound relations with its employees, based in part on SBPM’s share participation scheme – which ensures that employees own 7.3 percent of the mine, while the host communities own 27 percent through a trust.

This new collective agreement covers specific wage increases for the next five years and a number of allowances, including home owners’ allowances, living out allowances, rock drill operators’ and sewerage plant allowances, medical aid and provident fund contributions, long service awards and family responsibility/parental leave.

The agreement precludes industrial action on matters covered in the contract.

South African Rio Tinto employees experiences highest rates of racism
The Department of Labour has urged Rio Tinto workers to report discrimination after the Anglo-Australian miner released an internal report detailing sexual assault, racism, and bullying across its mines.

The report found that male and female Rio Tinto employees in South Africa experienced the highest rates of racism, at 34.5 percent and 33.8 percent respectively, compared to workers in other countries.

They were also the most likely to experience bullying with 54.1 percent of men and 61.6 percent of women reporting having been bullied at work.

Call to ease workplace restrictions
South Africa is becoming an outlier in workplace regulations, with businesses still being required to maintain an array of costly Covid-19 workplace regulations like registers of employees or visitors entering the workplace, routine deep cleaning, along with screening, despite the clear evidence of a dissipated threat. This is according to Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso.

She says the UK and Denmark have dropped all regulations in workplaces, with Italy, Switzerland and Finland soon to follow.