New Labour Bill may please working parents

New Labour Bill may please working parents

By Claire Gaul, Partner; Ganeefah Dawood, Senior Associate; Webber Wentzel The Labour Laws Amendment Bill was passed by the National Assembly in Parliament on 28 November 2017. The Bill seeks to amend the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 75 of 1997 (BCEA) and the Unemployment Insurance Act 63 of 2001 (UIA) to provide for minimum periods of leave entitlement to employees who are parents but not the mother of a child, employees who adopt a child as well as employees who become parents through a surrogacy arrangement. The BCEA currently only caters for four months maternity leave and for three days’ paid family responsibility leave in certain circumstances, including the birth of a child. If the Bill is passed into law, employers will need to ensure that their existing leave policies and procedures are in line with the proposed amendments. Employers who offer enhanced maternity leave benefits (such as paid maternity leave), will also need to consider the extent to which such enhancements can and should be extended to adoptive parents or commissioning parents. The material proposed amendments to the BCEA are set out below: Parental leave: an employee, who is a parent of a child, is entitled to 10 consecutive days’ parental leave. Parental leave can be taken from the day on which the child is born or on the date on which an adoption order is granted or on such day that the child is placed with the prospective adoptive parents, pending the finalisation of the adoption order. Adoption leave: an employee who is an adoptive parent of a child who is below the age of two years is entitled...
Impact of unfair dismissal on SA workforce

Impact of unfair dismissal on SA workforce

During this time of economic uncertainty, businesses are leaning heavily on their workforce to ‘ride the storm’ and emerge stronger. This is a highly pressurised situation and not all parties play fair, which is why terms like substantially fair, procedurally unfair and automatically unfair have emerged and where the law, thankfully, offers much needed clarity. This is according to Nicol Myburgh, Head of Human Resources at CRS Technologies, integrated HR and HCM solutions and services provider. From an HR and labour force perspective the Labour Relations Act (LRA) clearly outlines specific conditions when dismissal of employees is automatically unfair, says Myburgh. “When talking about unfair dismissals it can be categorised between procedurally and substantively unfair, procedurally fair means that all relevant and required procedures were followed throughout, from initiation to sanction irrespective of the merits of the case, a case can be substantively fair and still be procedurally unfair,” he says. “Substantively fair means that a case was decided on its merits and according to a fair reason without any underhanded sanctions being made,” Myburgh continues. CRS Technologies outlines what the LRA says about the conditions that govern automatically unfair dismissal. Essentially dismissal based on one or more of the following circumstances constitute automatically unfair action: Participation in or supporting, or indicating an intention to participate or support a lawful strike or protest action; Refusal to do work normally done by an employee on a lawful strike; Refusing to accept a demand in respect of a matter of mutual interest between them and their employer; An employee exercised a right conferred by the LRA or participated in any proceedings...
Do you need up-to-date data protection?

Do you need up-to-date data protection?

Data is an organisation’s most critical, strategic and competitive asset. In order for businesses to remain successful, in it imperative that they protect their data.  However, thanks to the proliferation of data-generating devices and technologies such as virtualisation, the cloud and BYOD, that are found in today’s digital environment, data is growing at an exponential rate, writes Mike Rees, territory account manager for South Africa at Commvault. In addition, legacy backup methods are simply not able to keep up with the demands of the modern data centre. Creating even more complexity are existing and pending compliancy and regulatory requirements, which dictate parameters for the storage and sharing of specific types of data sets. Organisations are required to cater for the management of this data and need to factor compliancy in to their backup solutions as well. Yet, how can you tell if your organisation’s data requirements have surpassed the capabilities of your data protection solution? Here are some red flags to watch out for: * Shrinking backup window: If it is taking the organisation longer and longer, each time, to backup and restore data, then the business may need to rethink your data protection approach. Not being able to backup or restore data within the set timeframe may produce negative or damaging effects on those business systems and applications which use and rely on that data to function optimally. * Too much data redundancy: Not all data is created equal, and not all data requires backing up. Multiple copies of the same data also cost valuable resources to maintain. Implementing software-based global source-side deduplication eliminates up to 90% of...
How to raise plant floor productivity

How to raise plant floor productivity

In manufacturing, accurate and comprehensive real-time information about plant floor operations is essential to making informed decisions that drive productivity. What could be more crucial than the equipment itself? Downtime, which is detrimental to any business, is especially damaging and costly for manufacturers. According to Mining Global, each hydraulic power and belt drive failure can result in up to $180,000 in lost production. Yet many organisations lack the insight and visibility they need to refine their operations in a cost effective and proactive way. In Africa in particular, asset managers are under severe pressure to keep their equipment performing, despite constrained budgets and aging infrastructure. Advanced enterprise asset management (EAM) solutions give companies deep visibility into their assets and allow them to plan and prioritise maintenance activities more effectively. This, in turn, curbs the tendency to overspend or underspend on maintenance practices. According to Barry Diedericks, EAM Subject Matter Expert at Softworx, Infor’s Master Partner in Africa, there are five distinct ways in which effective EAM improves plant floor productivity. “Firstly, the right EAM solution will reduce movement to optimise task efficiency. It will also improve supply chain scheduling to reduce bottlenecks and increase equipment reliability. By optimising inventory levels, shortages are reduced. Lastly, automated data collection automates processes, which speeds up plant floor operations.” “Movement” is considered one of the seven wastes of lean manufacturing. According to Paul A Myerson, Professor of Practice in Supply Chain Management at Lehigh University, waste of movement “occurs when temporarily locating, filing, stocking, stacking, or moving materials, people, tools, or information.” Effective EAM decreases the time and labour needed to complete tasks...
Hunt for qualified IT security talent is on

Hunt for qualified IT security talent is on

The lack of qualified IT security talent remains a prevalent issue for businesses around the world, with 33% of companies last year admitting that improving their in house security expertise is among the top three priorities of their IT security investment, and 48% saying they experience talent shortage.  Kaspersky Lab has teamed up with partners such as Dassault Systems, PwC and Schlumberger to create a talent discovery programme, Cybersecurity for the Next Generation. The companies are targeting students and young specialists, with and without a security background, and have put up a $10 000 grant for the winner. The programme invites participants to tackle real tasks, provided by all involved partners, and which, if successful, may actually be implemented in business. PwC, for example, is looking for a solution to automatically aggregate and analyse security relevant news on social media. Schlumberger is looking for a concept to secure data storage in the Schlumberger private cloud. Some of the scenarios are not very technical. Kaspersky Lab is, for example, looking for two gamified approaches to explaining and teaching security in healthcare, banks and retail. “IT security has become a central element of our digital lives. But it is not necessarily a topic that attracts a huge amount of talent — although people working in the industry can expect secure, highly-paid and challenging jobs. With this program we want to demonstrate how interesting and diverse the field is and uncover talent that has so far been hidden,” says Riaan Badenhorst, GM Kaspersky Lab Africa. “Experts are needed across all industries and we are proud of the pool of experts we have....
Cybersecurity: Advanced threat detection key

Cybersecurity: Advanced threat detection key

Even though cyber security has been put under the microscope, and in spite of years of experience and cyber security investments, organisations continue to struggle with security analytics and operations. This is the word from Arbor Network’s territory manager for sub-Saharan Africa, Bryan Hamman, referring to the ESG Survey, titled ‘Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations in Transition’ (April 2017). The study showed IT and information security professionals are facing challenges such as: * “The cybersecurity team at my organisation spends most of its time addressing high priority/ emergency issues and not enough time on strategy and process improvement”; * “It takes too long for my organisation to remediate a security incident”; and * “We don’t have the appropriate skills or staff size to keep up with all of the tasks associated with security analytics and operations”. “Chief information security officers are desperate and need to find efficient tools that can help them improve the efficiency and effectiveness of security analytics and operations. This is especially in light of the fact that the survey showed that almost three quarters of cyber security professionals surveyed believe security analytics and operations is more difficult than it was two years ago, for several reasons,” notes Hamman. The reasons given by cyber security professionals include that the threat landscape is evolving and changing so rapidly, making it difficult to keep up with trends that they are required to understand for security analytics and operations. In addition, there are gaps in security professionals’ security monitoring tools and processes, so it is difficult to get a true understanding of security across the entire internal and external IT...