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Become the Change you…

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” These words, first spoken by Mahatma Gandi, are a powerful reminder of the impact that individuals can make, and how one person can often serve as the catalyst for wondrous change. Creating change is not always easy, but it is often desperately needed. If you see processes you disagree with, judgements you think are unfair or business practices you think are unethical, it’s important to voice your concerns and promote impactful changes. By encouraging improvements, you’re not only creating better workplaces, but ensuring that the world is a better place. Creating change or enacting new initiatives can often feel like an uphill battle. This is especially true when it comes to creating change in the workplace, where role-players may feel uninspired to react and oppose what is unfamiliar.  That’s why we’ve set out these three handy tips to keep you on track. Focus on the baby steps Fostering change is often more of a marathon than a sprint; don’t forget that things take time. Smaller changes can often be easier to achieve than larger or more dramatic ones and can still be a force for good. Communicate your vision It’s hard to create change when you’re the only one who knows what you want to do. Share your vision and goals with others to ensure that they know how they..

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A Guide to Social…

When you’re applying for a new job, pre-employment background checks are often part of the process. From credit screenings to criminal records, employers want to ensure that the candidate they are considering is professional and well-suited to the job. But there is one background check in particular that many job seekers are wary of; social media background checks. Why do recruiters or employers use social media background checks? Employees want to ensure that prospective employees are suitable for the position and that they are unlikely to post images or posts on social media platforms that can pose risks to the employer. Once employed, social media misconduct by employees can pose risks to the employer, including: Reputational damageLoss of intellectual propertyIT system and software damageHarassment or discrimination claims Employers often use search engines and social media to discover information about current and prospective workers, while a large number have resorted to using specialists to ensure a thorough screening process whilst also remaining unbiased and staying on the right side of the law. For jobseekers, having shared or been included in certain posts and images can potentially damage their chances of finding employment. Of course, employers are not allowed to discriminate against current employees or prospective employees based on information such as gender, age or sexual discrimination. What information can damage your chances of employment? Employers often use social media checks to..

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How to Stand Out…

In today’s economic climate, job-seekers and employees are facing a number of challenges, not least of which is the fact that it can be difficult to secure employment. The reality is that there are more suitable candidates than there are positions, which is leading to tough conditions for jobseekers. Whether you’re unemployed and looking for a job, or someone who is employed but looking for a new position, the job market can seem fraught with problems and filled to the brim with other applicants just as qualified for the job as you are. As a job seeker, you want to stand out from the crowd, ensure that your resume is impressive and your application is memorable. That’s why we’ve set up these four handy tips to help you stand out and succeed when looking for a job. • Improve your skills In a competitive job market, your skills are critical for setting your application apart from that of other applicants. Leadership skills, business skills, technological skills and more could potentially be very valuable when you’re opening yourself up to securing new employment.   Upskilling yourself does not necessarily have to be an expensive process- do some research to find out whether nearby universities or colleges offer short courses, whether your employer offers support for training or investigate free or inexpensive online courses. • Networking is crucial The old saying: “It’s..

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Employees: Your Rights in…

COVID-19 has created a crazed global paranoia, that is affecting all walks of life. Every person under the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa has the right to health and safety. If you do not have the Coronavirus but are in a panic about being infected, you do not automatically have a right to remote working, unless the employer affords you this opportunity. If not, the employer and employee can agree on taking sick leave, absence without leave, or annual leave. Other than this, employers must provide all sanitation measures possible in the workplace. If you do have the Coronavirus, the period of leave, the severity of the illness, the nature of the employees' job, and the employment type of the employee are all considered when deciding on whether or not the employer should grant you leave. The requirements for a medical certificate are that it must be issued and signed by a qualified medical practitioner. With regards to claiming sick leave, section 22 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997, sick leave is based on a ‘sick leave cycle,’ meaning that for every 36 months with the same employer, the employee is entitled to the number of days the employee would work during a 6 week period, which if the employee works five days a week, is 30 days sick leave. Below is the Basic..

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Employers: rights and responsibilities…

According to the World Health Organisation, “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).” Social distancing is a preventative measure being implemented globally, as no cure has been found for Coronavirus yet. However, this leaves many employers and employees in limbo between their health and safety and their careers or businesses. Is it unethical and negligent to insist all employees come into the office if they do not have a medical certificate from a medical practitioner confirming the infection? Is it an overly cautious and unnecessary risk for your company’s success to make all employees work from home? Do you have a right to ask to work remotely, and if so, what are the requirements and process? Luckily all these answers are spread across South African legislation. It must be noted, however, that because this is a first-time detectable human virus, labour laws are not absolute and can be relaxed upon agreement between employer and employee. Additionally, indulgences may be granted, and contractual obligations waived to ensure the virus does not affect the employee’s income and revenue. Nevertheless, employers must abide by the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993..

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How the Coronavirus will…

Africa’s supply chain is intrinsically linked with China’s, and with the decrease in demand for Africa’s raw materials and commodities, has come a decline in access to manufactured goods and industrial components for Africa. In the beginning of March 2020, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development stated that “the annual global GDP growth is projected to drop to 2.4% in 2020 as a whole, from an already weak 2.9% in 2019, with growth possibly even being negative in the first quarter of 2020,” and global markets plummeting in the days to follow. Despite this, the Chinese growth is expected to rebound as soon as the second quarter of 2020, but for now, to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, the Central Banks have cut interest rates and injected liquidity into the banking systems of some countries. In addition, the World Bank committed $12 billion to aid developing countries in overcoming, or lessening the blow, of the impact of COVID-19 and contain the spread. The World Bank also announced an addition to the Pandemic Emergency Finance Facility began a pandemic bond in 2017 with the intention of aiding developing countries should a pandemic reach certain conditions and thresholds – however, thus far, these conditions have not been met, and the bond has not been released. Financial Institutions Global financial institutions are evaluating the economic impact of the Coronavirus,..

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How the Coronavirus will…

Infrastructure China has focused on sub-Saharan Africa in the past few years, and between the years of 2014 and 2017, Chinese policy banks loaned $19 billion to infrastructure and energy projects within Africa. More specifically, in the context of China’s need for natural resources and in line with the Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road Initiative aims to link Africa, Asia and Europe, but COVID-19 has significantly impacted activity around this initiative. A recent report by Baker McKensie and Economist Corporate Network states that in order for BRI to remain a key player in global infrastructure development, the core of the initiative must be set around sustainability. This sustainability must encompass the protection of the health of not only those involved in the initiative but the communities surrounding the projects currently underway. Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals COVID-19 is expected to place a significant amount of strain on the ill-prepared healthcare system in Africa due to the lack of medical supplies and laboratory capacity. However, the World Health Organisation stated that they are equipping 36 African countries with virus testing kits, aided in training healthcare workers, and provide personal protective equipment to healthcare workers. In addition, African countries are establishing quarantine centres and stocking up on medical supplies. The global pharmaceutical sector is being exhausted with the increased demand for pharmaceutical ingredients resulting in a shortage of these ingredients, if..

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Reimagining the workspace post…

Workers around the world have been adapting to the new way of working remotely during the subsequent lockdowns globally. While this has taken some time for workers to adjust to, businesses may be making some of the recent changes made to processes more permanent, even post COVID-19. Business leaders around the globe have seen ways in which some of the changes over the past few months have actually been beneficial for business. Flexible working With everyone except for essential workers being forced to work from home, organisations have been able to see that not everyone has to be at the office in order for work to be done efficiently. Therefore, workers could see more flexible working hours and conditions post-COVID-19, as businesses may allow more people to work from home more often. This will be a huge step for businesses as working from home used to be considered the second-best option to working from the office. It was viewed like this as employers thought workers were likely to ‘slack off’ when working from home. However, the forced lockdown has seen many employers proved wrong when it comes to working remotely. This will also benefit workers as less money will need to be spent every month on transport. During this lockdown, employees around the globe have figured out whether they are more or less efficient when working for home, this could,..

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Disciplinary hearings: The process

A disciplinary hearing is a meeting between an employer and an employee held when the employer wishes to discuss an allegation of gross misconduct of the employee. This meeting is used to decide what disciplinary action will be taken if it is needed. This is an extremely sensitive and stressful process for all of those involved; therefore, specific procedures need to be followed to ensure a fair disciplinary process. But what are those procedures? It isn’t exactly explained in your welcome letter when you join a company. So here is a quick guide the proper steps that need to be taken during a disciplinary process for both employers and employees to they are given a fair hearing. Step 1 Issue the employee with a notice to attend a disciplinary hearing This notice must state the date, time and place where the hearing will take place. A detailed description of the charges against the employee must be clearly and explicitly stated on this notice as well, including the date and time of the incident. The employer needs to hand this notice to the employee with enough time to prepare; this excludes weekends and public holidays. The employee needs to be given at least 48 hours to prepare before the hearing. Step 2 Conduct the hearing on the proposed date and time The employee has the right to decide whether or not..

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Disciplinary hearings: the employee's…

This is the second blog in the series. The first blog entitled 'Disciplinary hearings: The process' covered the process a disciplinary hearing needs to follow in order to be a fair hearing. This, the second part of the series, will focus on the rights of the employees during a disciplinary hearing. Employees facing disciplinary action are entitled to a range of rights to ensure they receive a fair hearing. These rights were founded on the right to fair labour practice and are laid out in the Labour Relations Act of South Africa. The rights of the employee are as follows: The right to a sufficient amount of time to prepare a defence. A sufficient amount of time is, as a rule of thumb, 48hrs from the time the notice of the hearing is given. This period of time may need to be extended depending on the number and complexity of charges. The employer is obligated to notify the employee of the date, time and location of the hearing. Employees have a right to fully understand the charges. Therefore sufficient details need to be given to the employee of the charge in order to prepare. The employer needs to provide the accused with the documents that will be used in the hearing. This will satisfy the employees right to documentation.A hearing must be held before any disciplinary action is taken, therefore..

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