SA HR news roundup: Executive survey places D&I and ESG firmly in the spotlight, Numsa prepares to strike

Companies continue to struggle with diversity and inclusion at the executive level, according to a PwC report.

While Gold Fields makes strong strides in vaccinating its workforce, Numsa prepares its members for strike action as wage negotiations flounder, and the UASA case against Denel has been postponed. Meanwhile, PwC’s Executive Directors Report 2021 shows the need for companies to expedite gender and racial diversity within senior leadership.

Diversity and inclusion still a challenge at executive level
Although boards are making progress in areas such as company strategy, executive remuneration and corporate culture, others are struggling to determine the next step. One of the most critical areas is that of diversity and inclusion.

This is according to the PwC Executive Directors Report 2021, which shows that female representation in senior management and executive roles continues to remain stagnant and although companies have introduced initiatives, many companies are struggling to identify and take the necessary actions to expedite progress and promote gender and racial diversity within their senior leadership.

There has been an increased awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, with organisations beginning to link purpose to their strategy and begin the process of integrating ESG metrics into their incentive structures.

Numsa calls on members to prepare for a strike
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has called on its more than 360,000 members, across the automotive industry, component supplies, tyre sector, mining, aviation and ports, to prepare for a strike.

Numsa, which initially demanded a one-year, 15 percent pay increase across the board, has revised its wage demand to eight percent, after turning down a proposal for a 4.4 percent increase in 2021, a CPI plus 0.5 percent increase in 2022 and CPI plus one percent in 2023, by the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa).

UASA case against Denel postponed
The Labour Court has postponed the case brought by the United Association South Africa (UASA) trade union against financially-embattled, state-owned defence industrial group Denel, to 2 December.

The union had originally taken the group to the Labour Court because it had failed to fulfil its contractual obligations towards its employees regarding PAYE, UIF and pension/provident fund payments during May, June and July last year.

Gold Fields vaccinates 73 percent of workforce
Gold Fields has vaccinated 73 percent of its workforce based at the South Deep mine, following a week-long Covid-19 vaccination programme, which resulted in 3,122 employees and contractors being voluntarily vaccinated.

The remaining willing South Deep employees will be vaccinated in coming weeks.