Labour Relations Amendment Act

Please be advised that the Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2014 has been signed into law by the President. The date on which the amendments will become effective is, however, yet to be announced, and will be fixed by proclamation in the Government Gazette.

Some of the changes in the Amendment Act relate to Organisational Rights, Strikes & Lock-outs (but excluding the controversial topic of pre-strike ballots), Dispute Resolution and Dismissals.

Importantly, the Amendment Act introduces significant changes to the regulation of a-typical forms of employment, namely temporary employment services, employees employed on fixed term employment contracts and part-time employees. The Amendment Act provides additional protection to employees in these categories who earn an amount equal to or less than the earnings threshold determined by the Minister of Labour from time to time (currently R205,433.30 per annum).

Will update ss soon as we receive a copy of the Act.

Foreign direct investment

Minister of home affairs announces financial or capital contribution for business

A foreign national who intends establishing a business or investing in a business that is established within the Republic of South Africa will need to obtain a certificate from an accredited chartered accountant which verifies that an amount prescribed by the Minister of Home Affairs (Minister) is available. On 15 July 2014, the Minister announced the financial or capital contribution to be a minimum of R5 million.

A foreign national who intends establishing or investing in such a business will be eligible to apply for a business visa or permanent residence permit, provided that the foreign national is able to demonstrate possession of at least R5 million. In addition, a foreign national who is successful in obtaining a business visa will need to ensure that they employ or prove that at least 60% of the business’ total staff compliment are South African citizens or permanent residents.

We also note that under the new regulations, no business visa will be issued or renewed to a foreigner who intends to establish or invest in a business that is listed as an ‘undesirable’ business undertaking. The Minister is yet to publish a list of such business undertakings that are considered to be ‘undesirable’. Therefore, foreign nationals who intend establishing a business or investing in a business that is established within the Republic of South Africa will need to show possession of at least R5 million and any foreign national who is successful in obtaining a business visa will need to prove that at least 60% of the business’s staff are South African citizens or permanent residents.

Our Human Capital Risk Solutions- HCRS- team is well positioned to assist companies with staffing requirements and manage their Human Capital Risk in the South African Labour environment. We are able to give our clients access to the most suitable and qualified staff in South Africa, helping them achieve their goals and growth within South Africa and the greater African region.

Please get in touch with a specialist HCRS consultant to find out how we can help your business grow.

Returning to South Africa?

Are you returning back to your country of birth? Or perhaps just a consideration at this point? If either are the case, you are probably wondering what opportunities exist, and is perhaps your most pressing concern.

At Duncan & Associates we understand your concerns, having lived and worked in London and Sydney before returning back to South Africa. Like us, you would ideally like to have a new exciting opportunityalready confirmed before you relocate back home.

We do not underestimate your concerns and the challenges you and your family will face moving home.

Here are some brief tips:

  1. Make sure you contact the right people who can guide you- those that understand or are in your market.
  2. South Africa is geographical. Are you only considering one city when perhaps your options will be greater elsewhere?
  3. Understand your market. The more you understand your market the easier it will be to focus your efforts.
  4. Be realistic. The markets are different. South Africa will offer great opportunity, make sure you are looking for it.
  5. Understand which qualifications are sort after in the South African market.
  6. Start looking before you leave. Modern technology has made interviewing abroad possible.
  7. Understand salaries. South African companies pay a CTC- “Cost to Company” which includes benefits such as pension, medical aid, car allowance etc. Packages can be mis-leading.
  8. Understand the importance of change in a country like South Africa, and how this will affect your job search.
  9. It is advisable to get permanent accommodation only once employment is secured as traffic can be a real nightmare.

These are a few things which can help you secure that perfect role back home, and you can relax and startto enjoy all those things you have missed for so long. Trust us, we know.

Get in touch by sending us an update CV, as well as your plans and commitments.We are more than happy to help.

Brett Duncan – Managing Partner : Tel: 011 038 8314 / Cell: 0823841953


SA Business Environment ‘Favourable’

South Africa’s business environment compares favourably with its peer group of upper- to middle-income economies globally, according to a new World Bank report, which adds however that certain improvements are still needed.

These include raising the market share of efficient, high-performing enterprises, enhancing productivity, and increase export competitiveness for job-led, sustainable economic growth.

The report, entitled “South Africa: Second Investment Climate Assessment – Improving the Business Environment for Job Creation and Growth”, was prepared by a World Bank team in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry, and released by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and World Bank country director for South Africa Ruth Kagia last week.

The report presents the results of a 2008 survey of 1 056 manufacturing industries, 68% of which are located in Johannesburg, 14% in Cape Town, 12% in Durban, and 6% in Port Elizabeth. Of these, 231 businesses were revisits from an earlier 2003 survey.

Strengthening business competitiveness

The report provides survey-based analytical advice to policy-makers, business leaders and civil society, with a view to strengthening business competitiveness in South Africa.

The report’s key messages are that:

  • South Africa could improve its productivity and competitiveness by increasing the market share of efficient producers. Given the high concentration of South African industry, this requires further efforts to enhance competition through more activist and innovative policies.
  • Investments in employee training in small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) should be increased with better targeted government support.
  • South Africa could do more to improve access to finance by SMMEs and support productive informal enterprises.

“The findings of the report are very interesting, particularly where they refer to the business environment in South Africa – the ease of doing business, regulatory framework, and all the different steps that need to be gone through when one is doing business in this country – which actually compare favourably to those of other peer countries,” said Davies.

He said that the government actively promoted the above factors as one of the country’s competitive advantages, adding that it was something they wanted to preserve and even improve on, as it was clearly important to attracting new business.

“Furthermore, we acknowledge the challenges identified in the report, such as small business development and access to finance, and our department is working to address the challenges,” said Davies. “We welcome the report as a tool of dialogue, discussion and debate.”

African spillover

“Improving the investment climate in South Africa is critical for economic growth and job creation,” said Kagia. “For Africa’s largest economy, a better business environment will generate large spillovers benefits across the African continent.

“The challenge is to identify bottlenecks and take concrete actions.”

For the purpose of the survey, the comparator group of emerging economies was Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Malaysia, and Thailand.

These countries are natural peers of South Africa, as all are relatively high-performing, resource-rich middle-income countries which have experienced significant export-driven industrialisation.


Tips for Interviews

Tips for interviews

Details:  Make sure you have full details of the interview, ie- number of people in the interview, their titles, time, date and address.

Time keeping:  Make sure you get there on time. Aim to be 15 minutes early. Plot your route, and be aware of heavy traffic times.

Research:  Do as much research on the company as possible. This is very important as it shows that you are interested in the organisation, and will enable you to ask relevant questions. Research the news- has the company been in the news? Have a look at the company’s stock- have there been any drastic movements? Perhaps a new CEO/ CFO etc.

CV:  This may sound obvious, but make sure you know your CV. You must be comfortable with what is on your CV. Some recruiters may change the content or wording somewhat and this may throw you off balance during an interview. Ensure that you have good reasons for leaving all your previous roles etc.

The role: Again this may sound obvious, but make sure you know all you can about the role you are applying for. Take a job spec with you, and make sure you study it before hand. Exploratory interviews are sometimes harder as there is no central point to focus on.

Examples: Always try use workable examples when asked questions. For example: Q: Are you a team player? A: “Yes I believe I am. In fact, just the other day I stayed behind to help a colleague finish an important document.” Using examples will give credibility to your answers. Try think of work situations before the interview, as they may not come to you during the interview.

Strengths and weaknesses: So clichéd- 98% of recruitment companies will tell you “You want to describe your weaknesses as strengths.” I would ask- why are you applying for a job that highlights your weaknesses? Be confident, you have been successful so far, this is due to your strengths, not your weaknesses. Everyone has weaknesses, but not necessarily relating to your job.

Questions: Use your research and prepare a list of relevant questions.

Career: Don’t be afraid to ask about career progression. Companies will look for candidates who want to learn and grow. Having said that, companies will not be looking for candidates who are not committed to a role.

Rapport: Rapport is essential and needs to be established from the outset. Smile; be positive and confident in your ability. Use interviewers names- make sure you get them right (keep business cards in front of you).

Conclusion: Most importantly be yourself. You will not get every interview that you attend, however you want to make a good impression and give it your best shot.

Get in touch by sending us an update CV, as well as your plans and commitments. We are more than happy to help.

Brett Duncan – Managing Partner : Tel: 011 301 0905/ Cell: 0823841953/ Fax: 011 301 0944

Deborah Akeroyd – Associate: Tel: 011 301 0919/ Cell: 0760963373/ Fax: 011 301 0944

Asanda Sokutu- Associate: Tel: 011 301 0903/ Cell: 0735931408/ Fax: 011 301 0944

Top Tips to Help Writing a CV

Your CV needs to be an accurate account of your career to date. The information you provide must be to the point, and easy to digest. Studies have shown that the first 10-15 seconds of someone viewing your CV are the most critical.

Here are some tips that we recommend bearing in mind when you are writing a CV, for the first time, or merely updating it with your latest experience:

Important information:
I.D number, Current Address and areas where you would consider working, Ethnicity, Nationality, Availability for interview, notice period with your current employer.

N.B: Clients and recruiters will determine much from this information when screening CV’s. If clients or recruiters are not sure they may over-look your CV and focus on a more informative CV.

For example: if a client is looking for a candidate to start ASAP, they will select the candidates who have mentioned they are immediately available first. Clients will more than likely select CV’s which state- “immediately available”, and over look the ones that have no availability mentioned.

Include all education, even if you may think it not relevant to Financial Services.
List the most recent education first including the dates (months).
Include transcripts, 1st time passes etc.
Include academic achievements- top of class, academic colours, Head boy/ Girl etc.

These are important but need to be relevant to your current work environment and the role which you are applying for.
For example, a cooking course is great, however not relevant if applying for a Financial Services vacancy.

IT/ Systems:
Include all IT software experience even systems you may have used a while ago, as it may put you ahead of those who have no experience of the system at all.
List the level to which you can use software- for example- Excel to macro level- advanced (current).

Dates of employment must include months.
Any gaps of 4 weeks or longer should be explained- travelling abroad, maternity etc.
Most recent work experience first.
Non-recent roles need to be explained, but not in depth.
Always include a reason for leaving.

Points to note:
CV should be written in the 3rd person.
Bullet point your experience, highlighting the most relevant part of your current role.
Try not to waffle, be specific regarding your duties and list facts. i.e- “Manage a team of five Credit Analysts covering NBFI’s”
Make sure to include all achievements including any deal/ client activity. It is important to highlight the level of responsibility within any project or client.

This should be discussed with your recruiter and we generally leave off a CV, but will include in a covering letter. CV’s are often seen by a number of staff, and salary information is confidential.

Applying through an agency or direct is somewhat different. At Duncan & Associates we understand the Financial Services Sector and our clients. We are able to guide you through the application process and ensure that you are given the best possible chance of securing an interview, and ultimately the role you are looking for.

Should you wish to have a confidential conversation regarding advice on your current CV, or would like to discuss the market in general, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

welcoming and effortless….

“My interaction with Duncan & Associates has been one of the most welcoming and effortless experiences when looking for a job. The service provided by Brett Duncan (Managing Partner) was of the highest caliber and I was confident that he had represented me in the best possible way to my current employer.”

by far the best!!….

“I have dealt with many agencies over the years and the service from Duncan Associates has been by far the best!! I was exceptionally impressed by their efficiency, I made contact on a Thursday afternoon, had a meeting with them on Monday, an interview with the company by Tuesday and was offered the job a week later. Their approach to finding you the perfect job is extremely personal, professional and dedicated. It has been a pleasure working with them and I would recommend them to anyone looking for a new job.

shares in the same values as I do….

“Duncan & Associates completely turned this around, never before had I dealt with an agency that genuinely showed care & concern in understanding the kind of working environment I wanted to be in. My expectations were exceptionally managed, I was taken through their process, and kept up to date both telephonically & electronically, and finally my skills / competencies and experience in management were matched to a company that shares in the same values as I do.

changed my perception….

“I’ve generally been a skeptic when it came to dealing with employment agencies. My Sinicism regarding these agencies was born out of bad past experience of agencies only interested making a quick buck. This is not the case with my experience dealing with Duncan & Associates. They have truly changed my perception and will recomend them to anyone looking for a new role or career change.”