Members of Associations affiliated to the Steel Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) which are unable to implement the agreed wage increase are encouraged to submit an application for exemption to their Local Regional Bargaining Council. SEIFSA is aware that the current economic environment may pose severe constraints on certain member companies’ ability to implement the increases, and these members are advised that the industry’s wage exemption procedure continues to apply.
It is important to note that the Bargaining Council is obliged to consider all applications for exemption, irrespective of the basis on which they are founded. This effectively means that financial reasons are not the only criteria which must be considered.
SEIFSA anticipates that applications for exemptions will primarily be founded on the grounds of affordability, job retention and/or job creation. However, employers may apply for an exemption on any one or more of the following reasons, but not limited to:
- Increased competitive threats;
- Inability of employer/s to pass on cost increases to final customers;
- Technological changes threatening business survival;
- Inherently high difference between wage rates actually paid and current affordability of market competitive considerations facing an employer;
- Market decline, projections, etc.;
- Loss or potential loss of business;
- Existing/ current unprofitable contracts the consequences of which are only likely to manifest themselves in future/ current (unreported) accounting periods;
- Expansion opportunities (including capital investments) where cheaper labour costs could influence investment decisions; and/ or
- New ventures/ operations which justify retention or creation of job opportunities at reduced wage costs.