Navigating labour pains

21st September 2021

Navigating labour pains

Under the current economic climate, it is “all hands on deck” for businesses across South Africa. This is more so for the HVAC +R industry which has long suffered low growth and market instability. In good and bad times, success is often reliant on businesses joining an industry-specific association. The right association chosen will help support and drive a business forward. In the case of South Africa, SARACCA is that said association.

SARACCA is one of the biggest associations within the HVAC+R industry. As an employer’s organisation SARACCA offers many essential benefits to members ranging from training to labour. A key benefit is an affiliation to the Steel Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA). This affiliation gives SARACCA members access to SEIFSA’s array of professional business products and services. SARACCA is also a signatory to the Main Agreement.

The Main Agreement

The Main Agreement is a settlement agreement reached between labour unions and SEIFSA. The Main Agreement forms an integral part of a SARACCA member’s labour policy, holding many advantages for employers, such as:

Job Grading

The Main Agreement offers a simple guideline for the job grading of employees, with schedule E/3 specifically applying to employers involved in the industrial refrigeration and air-conditioning industry. In many cases, the E/3 schedule is not suitable for some contractors. Therefore, the Main Agreement offers the five-grade structure which defines employee’s area and scope of work which can also be applied to employers involved in the industrial refrigeration and air-conditioning industry. Job grading is essentially the process of assigning a specific grade to work undertaken by an employee. There are many reasons why a detailed job grade is important, here are four:

  1. It ensures that the employee is correctly remunerated per the Main Agreement relevant to the rate as prescribed and as applies to the work performed by the employee.
  2. It eliminates the possibility of underpayment of wages thereby avoiding any assessment for underpayment of wages.
  3. It provides objective guidelines eliminating the likelihood of complaints around underpayments and/or incorrect job grading.
  4. It avoids the employer having to pay a wage assessment in addition to the possibility of a fine being imposed and being held liable for the Arbitration costs.