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Seta Mandatory & Discretionary grant regulations declared invalid 21st Aug. 2015

On 3 December 2012, the SETA Grant Regulations were gazetted (Government Gazette no. 35940). These come into effect on 1 April 2013. There were many major substantial changes in the new regulations and these may have serious implications for skills development in our country.

Some of the main changes were:

  1. That the mandatory grant to employers is reduced from 50% to 20%.
  2. Any unclaimed mandatory grants must be transferred by the 15 August each financial year into the discretionary fund.
  3. Discretionary grants will mainly be paid for programmes offered by public FET colleges and universities.

As a result‚ these funds could be spent on national skills initiatives that were not related to workplace training.

Labour Court has set aside certain aspects of the 2012 Seta Grant Regulations‚ declaring them invalid!

The Labour Court’s judgment on Friday 21st of August 2015 declared both regulations to be invalid‚ and it set them aside with effect from March 31 2016.

The court found that Mr Nzimande had failed to consult the National Skills Authority as required by law.

The court also ruled that the minister had acted irrationally by reducing the mandatory grant to employers as set out in the Skills Development Act. The minister had exceeded his powers by prescribing that surplus Seta funds be moved to the National Skills Fund.

The minister was ordered to pay all costs of the application, and Seta’s now have a period of about six months to prepare for the return to the previous skills-funding regime effective in March 2016.

Busa said on Monday it viewed the judgment as a significant decision that reinforced the rule of law and that reasserted the importance of workplace skills training programmes in SA.

The management skills employers seek

The importance of key management skills to international MBA recruiters, along with their satisfaction with the standard of these skills displayed by new hires, has been a regular feature of the annual QS Jobs & Salary Trends Reports. In its latest edition, over 4,300 MBA employers gave their opinions in 15 sub strains of management skills, divided into the categories of soft skills and hard skills. In this article we tackle the top four soft skills employers want.
Soft skills defined: from people skills to leadership traits

It’s OK if you haven’t heard the term ‘soft skills’ before – it’s highly likely you’ll already be familiar with many of the management skills this term seeks to bracket together . The term brings together qualities that emanate from a person’s personality and their interaction with people around them, rather than those which reflect specific knowledge on a given topic. These are management skills, combining a person’s leadership traits and people skills, which work to complement more definable hard skills.

Interpersonal Skills: These are a measure of your people skills with specific regard to your ability to work well with others. C-level executives can no longer hide behind the sanctuary of a closed-door-policy and be considered an effective manager. Working collegially, building and developing a team, along with making sure that everyone in the team is happy in their endeavours on behalf of the company and feels appreciated, are all aspects of necessary interpersonal skills. These are the people skills employers now demand from their senior management. In some instances, use of the terms ‘interpersonal skills’ and ‘people skills’ are broadened to encompass all soft skills, as they all involve human interaction, but here the management skills listed below are described as separate entities so that the distinct features contained within soft skills can be better described.

Leadership Skills: This was the first year since 1990 in which employers included in QS’ annual survey were satisfied with the leadership traits displayed by MBA graduates, and is a reward for the efforts of leading business schools in striving to accommodate increasing expectations in this area. Organisations need leaders to provide guidance and direction, to implement plans as well as to motivate staff. Leadership skills fall under the domain of soft skills because leadership traits differ widely between individuals, being based on a person’s philosophy, personality, and experience both in and outside of professional life. However, generally speaking, a few common leadership styles can be found, including ‘inspirational’, ‘ethical’ and ‘action’ leaders. Employers will often cite leadership traits and styles they are most in need of. For example, a company going through a period of transition may have a ‘visionary’ leader high on its agenda. Indeed, being able to drive forward the change needed to transform or develop an organisation has begun to emerge into the separate category of ‘change-management’ skills.

Strategic Thinking: This is the ability to think along a clear path of action, and to be able to apply this path, or strategy, at every stage in your work and decision-making. At C-level, strategic thinking often entails setting a company’s direction and making sure it doesn’t get knocked off the intended course. Its place on the soft skills agenda for business schools has been secure since the turn of the century as programmes seek to help students progress from just functional expertise and on to ‘seeing the bigger picture’ and getting a sense of where the future of an organisation as a whole lies.

Communications Skills: This soft skill relates to interpersonal skills in your ability to communicate with others and to get on well with your team in the interests of working towards common goals. Miscommunication within a company is much more widespread than it should be, and can lead to wasted resources if people are not all on the same page. However, communication skills also extend to your presentation ability, both on paper and through speech. Much of the art of persuasion rests in the way you come across when presenting to stakeholders and the importance of the manner in which you represent your company will only increase along with the scrutiny to which your businesses is subjected to as you grow, by the media and general public for example.

Employers duty to report Employment Equity Report – 2014 Amended

Employers duty to report Employment Equity Report

1. A Designated employer must submit a report in terms of section 21 of the Act annually on the first working day of October or on such other date as may be prescribed suing the EEA2 form to the Director General and the report must be addressed to the Employment Equity Registry, Department of Labour, Private Bag X117, Pretoria, 0001.
2. A designated employer may also submit an employment equity report electronically using the online reporting system available on the department website, www.labour.gov.za by the prescribed date.
3. An employer, who becomes designated on or after the first working day of April, but before the first working day of October must only submit its first report on the first working day of October in the following year or on such other date as may be prescribed.
4. A designated employer that is a holding company with more than one registered entity may choose to submit a consolidated report.
5. A designated employer who chooses to submit a consolidated report contemplated in sub regulation 3(4) must have a consolidated plan which is supported by individual employment equity plans for each registered entity included in the consolidated report.
6. The method of reporting for the duration of the plan should remain consistent from year-to-year and from reporting period to reporting period.
7. An employer must inform the Department in writing immediately of any changes to their trade name, designation status, contact details or any other major changes, including mergers, acquisitions and insolvencies.
8. A designated employer who is unable to report by the first working day of October must notify and provide reason in writing to seek the approval of the Director-General by completing and submitting he EEA14 form before the last working day of August in the same year of reporting.
9. A designated employer must retain a copy of the report for a period of five years after it has been submitted to the Direct-General.
10. In terms of Section 22, every designated employer that is a public company must publish a summary of a report required by Section 21 reflecting progress in their annual financial report by using the EEA10 annexure for guidance. Furthermore when a designated employer within any organ of state has produced a report in terms of Section21, the minister responsible for that employer must table that report in Parliament.
11. Any employment equity report (EEA2), except for the income Differential Statement reflected in the EEA4 form, submitted to the Department of Labour is a public document. A request for a copy of such are report may be made by the public by completing and submitting theEA11 form.