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Thread: Is labour legislation harming employment?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Personally I'm a bit of a cynic on our labour legislation - regard it as a stumbling block to employment creation that ultimately is hurting the state of employment in our country here rather than improving it. Any views on that?
    Last edited by Dave A; 22-Oct-09 at 05:31 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Many employers bemoan the legislation, however it is the employers that exploit and blatantly disobey the laws that leads to much legislating. Unfortunately the employers organizations, which is the employers form of union, are not as proactive as unions in campaigning, which is a big part why we do not see changes or at least proposals being submitted. Thabo Mbeki was attempting to simplify, so to speak, with the view, quite correctly, that a productive workforce is essential to a thriving economy. This being said, the number of matters before the CCMA with reference to poor work performance, is very low and in light of the fact that EVERY employer moans about the poor work standards this is amazing. I think this is due to fear/ignorance of how the law operates with regards to this and also just as much, is employers and managers thinking "how wwill I be able to operate with 1 person short?" I always tell my clients, if you have a cabbage that is off - do you keep it or throw it away? They all answer taht they throw it away...need I complete the rest of the analogy.

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Interestingly, due to the poor economy, far more employers are taking action against under performing employees, a further indicator that we dont want to upset the status quo.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sterne.law@gmail.com View Post
    we dont want to upset the status quo.
    That's the natural tendency, isn't it. The truth, though, is that business might not "contest" the legislation - they simply adapt. And that adaptation right now is casualisation, lower pay to compensate for the lack of performance and lost direct foreign investment.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Absolutely. I also run a restaurant consultancy, having come from a restaurant background. Almost every client I consulted to, I reduced staff, mainly to save wages but more importantly to increase productivity and performance by having people under a bit more pressure. Contrary to popular opinion, staff do not always enjoy standing around, they find it boring and cannot wait to get home, so keeping them active is a very worthwhile tool. Naturally I was often met with the comment, but we need all these staff. When the Sectoral agreement for Hospitality was introduced 3 years ago, it had a number of repurcussions for owners. The minimum wage was way above what most people were paying, waiters were no longer on commisiona nd SUnday pay became a reality for the indutry. The agreement threatened to increase wage bills by between 30-50% Suddenly management became capable, with guidance, to restructure their operations to limit these costs. It meant a bit more man management and instead of 2 shifts maybe 4 different shifts, but they did it and quickly. It was a perfect indication of how managers get into a comfort zone and just keep going through the motions. Going back to my previous post, re failure to action poor work performers, it is this same comfort zone that prevents us from shaking the tree.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    So in the end the sectoral determination in the hospitality industry ended up with less employment overall, although the staff that was left got better pay?

    Good for the people with jobs, I suppose. But not much good for reducing unemployment. Do you think this is the result government wanted?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    The big affect was waiters who traditionally earned commision. They probably became the biggest losers, as tips far exceed any wage agreement. But they now had less working time and therefore less customers to gain income from. I honestly do not know 1 waiter that was or is in favour of the agreement, from the wage point of view. The new agreement is busy being done, and with the current economy and our dear Eskoms plundering increases, restaurants are taking strain. if that agreement makes any steps similiar to the first, I would not be surprised to see 10-15% job losses.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Right, in all probability there is a lot of people working for little money, will be cheated once again because now the “big boss” don’t want to be seen with his pants down and breaking people with low cost back breaking labour thus, they will lose their jobs because the legislation will clamp down on the “big boss” and the “big boss” don’t like to lose so...

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tec0 View Post
    ...and the “big boss” don’t like to lose so...
    Can't afford to, actually. Contrary to belief in some quarters, businesses do not print their own money. It has to come from somewhere - generally by operating the business in a manner where income exceeds expenses

    There is no bottomless money pit.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  10. Thank given for this post:

    BBBEE_CompSpec (27-Oct-09), tec0 (25-Oct-09)

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    As always there are two sides to every coin Dave. Yes you are right not every business owner is a millionaire and sometimes you do what is best. I totally agree with you. However, I can point at two wealthy companies and state “to date” and say that not 1 of their employees has a contract with the company but they are responsible for 80% of all mining vehicles to-date. The company income on the other hand is healthy and sustainable... So two sides to every coin yes...

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