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Thread: Are annual increases required?

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    Email problem stephanfx's Avatar
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    Are annual increases required?

    I have a friend who has worked for 5 years at a company and he has not received an increase once. I talked to a couple of people and most say that an annual increase is required by law. I was wondering how much truth there was to this statement?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I can't recall seeing anything in legislation prescribing annual increases, but I'd think it is common practice to have at least a cost-of-living increase.

    Personally I don't know for sure what the legal position on this would be, but it sounds like something the CCMA could help with. The CCMA is not just all about dismissals.
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    Email problem stephanfx's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave, I think I will give them a buzz...

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Just one more thought from my side: If the current employer won't look at it, and CCMA action seems "stressful" or otherwise a poor option, the other option is to look for another employer.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Not sure about the legalities of this, but has your friend tried to talk to the employer about it? I would suggest you find out about the legalities, leave it at that for the time being, then go talk to the employer and ask him what the deal is. If the employee is a good one, the employer would probably give him a raise and all is well. Should it be illegal not to increase wages annually, leave that out for a while, don't mention it the first time he's talks to his employer. Rather try get the employer to increase his wages by negotiation than by force. At least that way both parties stay fairly happy and the employer doesn't get angry.

    Try put yourself in the employers shoes. The employer might see it as your friend going behind his back and reporting him etc. This won't make him very happy and as human beings we all have tendencies to make life harder for others, I'm sure you get where this is going. I know it's business and business is tough, but sometimes you have to understand someone and how they think before you take action. That way you can take action in the best way, that suites the employee and employer!
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    Email problem stephanfx's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, bullfrog. I told my friend the same thing, to first find out the facts, and using it only as a last resort. Hardball tactics from the get go don't always work according to plan IMO.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    This is from Labour Guide,

    Salary increases are not regulated by labour legislation, except in as far as may be provided for in any Main agreement or collective agreement, where provision is usually made for annual wage or salary negotiations.

    In the absence of any such agreement, salary increases remains a matter of mutual interest between employer and employee.

    There is no obligation on the employer to grant annual increases.
    There are no laws to regulate increases, except for certain sectors (e.g. domestic workers) and by collective agreement (i.e. bargaining councils). If your friend doesn't fall under one of these, then increases are governed purely by the employment contract.

    Anyone know if there is any case for unfair discrimination in this regard? e.g. everyone else got an increase, but your friend didn't and there was no apparent reason. Does it matter if this is the case?
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    Email problem stephanfx's Avatar
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    thanks for the definitive answer Duncan, I will give this through to my friend, who I think will go for the option that Dave has suggested, an other employer...

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