Labour Matters with Andrew Levy

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Andrew Levy Employment are specialists in all matters of employment law and practice, and have been offering advice and guiding leading employers for over 40 years.

We are leaders in employment relations, labour market analysis, and economic forecasting. We provide high-level advisory services, educational seminars and training, and in-depth analysis in the broader labour market.

With over forty years of experience in dealing with and managing labour law and employment relations, Andrew Levy Consulting offers clients hands-on assistance with any labour related matter.

Our consulting services have been used by HR teams, executives, directors, shareholders and general managers for decades. Our pragmatic, solutions-focused approach continues to prove effective at resolving any labour related matter, allowing our clients to continuously improve their human capital strategy.

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#023 Year End Round Up 2022

Listen to what Andrew and Sarah Levy have to say about four important issues that will impact the workplace in 2023 -

- The question around the employment of foreigners
Get a handle on the Government's draft plan to deal with the "illegals" issue and at the same time attract skilled labour

- The outlook for inflation in 2023 and how this will affect wage demands, employee expectations and settlements in the coming year

- Workplace harassment - a new code of practice
Find out how the code aims to eliminate sexual and racial harassment and address the problem of bullying in the workplace

- The amended Employment Equity Act
Find out what this means for small businesses with the narrow definition of a "designated employer" and who will be responsible for setting sectoral numerical targets

#022 Fun with the BCEA

Often regarded as a dull piece of legislation, Andrew looks at the intricacies of the BCEA dealing as it does with everyday work issues and having the greatest influence on the employer.

He discusses the importance of the definitions, the distinction between wage and remuneration, how ‘ordinary’ hours of work are defined, "use it or lose it" policies for leave, changing hours of work and why most incentives and bonuses are not discretionary. Leave and absence, sick leave and medical certificates, terminations, the issue of short time and the 13th
cheque are all part of the mixed bag.

#021 Goings on in Government

Listen to what Andrew has to say about government and in particular the outcome of the 2022 Eskom wage negotiations.

Why Eskom’s negotiation strategy went wrong from the start, lacking credibility and leading to unlawful strike action - when as an essential service, wage arbitration could have saved the day.
Why government saw fit to intervene and significantly took a strong and critical stance against the unions and its members.
Why government intervention in a strike situation is not recommended and how the forced settlement at Eskom will affect upcoming negotiations in the public sector and set a serious precedent.

#020 New Codes on Managing COVID & Harassment

As we move into a changed work environment, hear Andrew’s views on The Code of Practice on Managing Covid and The Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the Workplace and how they will work in practice.

Prior to the enactment of the 1995 Labour Relations Act, labour law was rigid in terms of obeying rules but now there is now a greater focus on Codes to regulate the standards of behaviour. The Codes rely on self-discipline from employers, as employees can blow the whistle and run straight to the CCMA with any infringement. The Code on Managing Covid includes the issues of testing, vaccination, sick leave, policies and refusers.
The Code on Harassment introduces the umbrella term of ‘harassment,’ the law on racist and sexist behaviour and the concepts of ‘bullying’ and ‘workplace bullying.’

Know your Codes: Andrew & Sarah Levy will be running two morning Zoom Webinars on the following dates
Session 1: The Code of Good Practice: Managing Covid in the Workplace: Tuesday 31 May 2022
Session 2: The Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the Workplace: Thursday 2 June 2022
For more information email or call +27 83 227 0286

#019 Latest on Wages, Strikes and Collective Bargaining

As we move into the traditional wage round in 2022, hear Andrew’s take on what is impacting the labour market - notably the war in Ukraine, increased fuel and food prices and the rise in inflation.

How this will affect union wage demands and how employers are likely to respond under the current economic circumstances? What the likelihood of strike action will be in the coming months, what sectors are hotspots for action and why unions are holding out for settlements that are unattainable and often result in long term wage loss.

Know your Codes: Andrew & Sarah Levy will be running two morning Zoom Webinars on the following dates:
Session 1: The Code of Good Practice: Managing Covid in the Workplace: Tuesday 31 May 2022
Session 2: The Code of Good Practice on the Prevention and Elimination of Harassment in the Workplace: Thursday 2 June 2022
For more information email or call on +2783 227 0286

#018 A matter of fact - Evidence in Hearings

Find out why it is so important to collect, evaluate and present evidence correctly in disciplinary hearings in order to win a case.

What is the difference between information, evidence and proof and when does evidence become proof?

Why is the wording of the charge so important and how do the common law obligations fit in?

How does an employer conceptualise its case in order to be successful and what is the burden of proof in the case of a disciplinary hearing as opposed to a criminal case?

#017 After the deluge - A post-COVID economy

Find out what Andrew’s views are on wages and collective bargaining as South Africa moves into a post-Covid economy.

What approach will the unions be taking as wage negotiations get underway and will they be able to make up for lost ground during lockdown conditions?

How will employers deal with increased demands from unions following the levelling out of wages during lockdown in these tough economic times?

What is the outlook for strike action this year as the parties entrench their positions in an uncertain and bleak trading environment?
Why is GDP growth so important and what steps need to be taken by the government to open up the labour market and create much needed jobs?

#016 Wage Differentials - It's the Difference That Counts

Listen to Andrew Levy as he discusses why wage differentials are important in the understanding of the issue of pay structures and pay equality.

There are, he says, never disputes about wages only the comparison between wages and it is important to understand how these differences arise and why they can be regarded as fair.

For examples, different industries pay different rates with some being high paying and others low paying. Skilled employees can earn more in most areas, whilst unions can bargain for more for their members. Geographic differentials also play a part.

Larger organisations can pay more and a dangerous job will command more.

In summary, it is this understanding of why people do not have to be paid the same, that leads to an understanding of pay equality and the equilibrating forces that underlie it.

#015 Unemployment - Fixing SA's Broken Labour Market

With unemployment now at its highest level in years, the question on everyone’s lips is... "how this can be turned around?"

Andrew Levy discusses his views on the issue of radical labour market reform and the need for strong growth of around 5% over the next decade in order to bring about much needed job creation.

He advocates the scrapping of bargaining councils, the introduction of the strike ballot, and a statutory duty to bargain in good faith with penalties if not adhered to, as well as guidance around the area of union competition.

He recommends limited access to the CCMA depending on screening and length of service, coupled with an active and vigorous policy of awarding costs.

All this hinges of course on government buy-in and the creation of an enabling environment.

#014 Year-end Roundup - a look ahead to 2022

Join Andrew Levy as he touches on the important issues that arose during 2021 and those that await us in 2022.

With the dark COVID cloud still hovering above us the effect on the economy has been dramatic with employment, wages and earnings being the main casualties. Listen to Andrew as he discusses the issue of mandatory vaccination in the workplace. How this fits in with the rights enshrined in our Constitution and how you can safely handle those anti-vaxxers.

What is happening in the realm and direction of wage settlements?

Why we are surprisingly seeing more militant strikes in the current economic environment and why union strategies appear not to have changed in light of our fragile economy.

#013 Andrew Levy's Labour Law in Practice 2nd Revised Edition

This popular and practical guide for SA Employers, first published in 2010 has been updated in light of the many important developments in our labour law during the last decade.

These include the implementation of the national minimum wage, the changes with regard to labour brokers and fixed term contracts and the introduction of parental leave. It also includes a section on how to handle industrial action, the questions surrounding Covid-19 and the 4th Industrial Revolution. Written in Andrew’s inimitable style, interspersed with his hands-on Levy Laws, and case studies, it concludes with a useful decision making methodology that will enable employers to make better labour related decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

#012 Strike Spike 2021 4th quarter

Andrew provides an insightful commentary on the unexpected spate of strikes in the in the fourth quarter of 2021 at a time when the country experienced its highest level of unemployment and job loss – a direct result of the national lockdown - the restrictions surrounding the Covid pandemic and the additional cost incurred by many employers. What can be the motivation behind these strikes be and did they benefit the union and workers in terms of the outcome? Do workers have the same inclination to strike as unions? Have unions changed their negotiation strategies given the constraints experienced by employers and what can we expect in the months to come. And why is the Code of Good Practice : Collective Bargaining, industrial Action & Picketing so important, especially with regard to bargaining in good faith.

23 episodes

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