SA HR news roundup: Mandatory vaccines the new norm, Denel staff request business rescue

Companies in the financial services, education and mining sector look to mandatory vaccination policies.

Former and current Denel employees ask the High Court to place the state-owned enterprise under business rescue, while media reports indicate that Harmony Gold has tabled a 10 percent wage offer. Ford SA gets into job creation gear and more corporates follow in Discovery’s footsteps of implementing a mandatory vaccination policy.

Mandatory vaccination gains traction
Sanlam is formulating a policy for mandatory staff vaccinations against Covid-19, which will apply to all employees in its South African operations except in “exceptional cases”.

Sanlam cited workplace safety and prevention of loss of life as the main reasons behind the planned policy.

The decision from Africa’s largest insurer comes on the back of announcements by Discovery and Curro to vaccinations mandatory for all staff.

Sibanye-Stillwater is also reportedly "seriously considering" enforcing vaccination of staff.

Ford SA creates 1,200 jobs
Ford South Africa has created around 1,200 incremental jobs by reintroducing a third shift to its operations at the Silverton assembly plant.

The plant is in the process of wrapping up a seven-week shutdown which saw the extensive modernisation of the facility in preparation for the next-generation Ranger bakkie.

The implementation of a third shift sees the workforce grow from the current 4,200 employees to around 5,000 employees, with an additional 440 jobs created at the plant’s on-site service provider.

The employees that were brought on board and trained in 2019 were given the first option to take up the new positions.

Unpaid employees apply for Denel business rescue
The Denel Employees Association has applied to the Pretoria High Court to have the arms manufacturer placed under business rescue and controlled by independent administrators.

The association, comprising current and former employees, said Denel had not paid employees their full salaries since May 2020.

Harmony Gold makes final wage offer
Harmony Gold has made its final wage offer to unions, which would entail a 10 percent hike in the first year for the lowest category of workers.

Business Maverick has seen a copy of the presentation of the three-year offer. For entry-level/category four to eight workers, the offer is an additional R1,000 a month for the next three years. In the first year, that works out to a pay hike of about 10 percent at a time when inflation is running at 4.6 percent. For more skilled workers, the offer is six percent per year.