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Nikki’s Tip of the Week – week-ending 21st October 2017 & Important Information.

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I was invited to a Business Rescue breakfast last week and I have to say that it was interesting as well as quite shocking.

To be fair I was really under the impression that Business Rescue does not work, but I have had to change my opinion. Let me put it this way, if the Companies got themselves or were placed, by their Creditors, under Business Rescue a lot sooner, there would be more success stories.

Actually, if the truth is told, most of the problems came down to a lack of process and procedure. If the expenses are controlled, the books done regularly and aging analysis done on both creditors and debtors, the Company themselves would know if they are in distress or not. If you can’t pay your bills, you are in distress people – it’s quite simple.

For the Creditors, it’s the same actually, if your client cannot pay you or does not pay you for two months, they are in distress – do something about it and yes, actually you can do something about it.

As always though, there is a procedure and process, but it would be worth your while to find out what that is and follow it.

Dr. John Demartini says “If you plan ahead, you’ll get ahead.” So start being proactive in your business.

Anyway . . . on a lighter note, but still being proactive.

Peter is still doing his introductory webinar’s on a Tuesday evenings, all the details are below this weeks’ article. I sincerely hope that you join him – it is for free at this time

Here’s the deal . . .

Please feel free to engage with me, or not. Please feel free to send me your own snippets of information, early warnings, appropriate funnies and what have you, to share with other like-minded individuals, entrepreneurs and start-ups.

I hope and trust that you will enjoy the journey with me.

This weeks’ Blog:

HR 101 – Don’t Forget The Basic Procedures

By Nikki Viljoen of Viljoen Consulting CC

Please note that this pertains to South African Labour Relations and Best Practice requirements.
Most people have this absolute loathing for procedures and policies in the workplace, believing, somewhat naively that “It won’t happen to me”. Sad that.

Many others, having burnt their fingers once or twice or indeed several times over, now do a 180 degree turn and belabour the point, going too much into the finer detail and forgetting the basics.

Here’s the thing – too much is just as bad as too little. Oh I can just see all of you, shaking your heads sadly and wondering (probably out loud) if ‘this woman will ever be happy’ with what you do?

Stick to the basics – keep it as simple as possible. Putting in too much detail and complicating the whole process may well result in the whole thing going pear-shaped as chances are you will be opening the lid of “Pandora’s Box”.

Here’s the story.

Mike owns a courier company and has many vehicles and drivers in his employ. Both George and Simon are drivers who were driving around the yard early one morning prior to going out onto the road to do their deliveries. George was still inebriated from the night before and should probably not have been driving anything. George’s reactions were not what they should have been and coming around a corner, he failed to react in time and went smack bang into the side of Simon’s vehicle, which was parked at the loading bay. Clearly George was at fault.

Mike drove George off to the nearest police station and requested that station commander or one of his staff test George for alcohol excess. This implied that Mike did not have the means to conduct an alcohol test on his own premises.

For whatever reason, the police could not do the test either.

Mike then conducted a disciplinary hearing on George the next day. George was found guilty and dismissed for drinking and driving, for endangering the lives of others and also for the damage that he caused to both vehicles.

George was also not advised that he had the right to appeal the findings.

The Court was not impressed. You see although it agreed that George was intoxicated at the time of the accident, proper procedures were not followed.

• George did not know that he could be dismissed for being drunk on duty – there was no Dismissal policy or Code of Conduct policy in place.

• George was only advised that the charges were at the actual disciplinary hearing. The charges should have been recorded on the charge sheet or the notice to attend a disciplinary.

• George’s previous disciplinary record was not taken into account.

• George was not given enough notice of the disciplinary

• Mike did not ‘test’ to see whether George’s conduct had damaged the employment relationship to such an extent that George’s continued employment would be intolerable.

• What about the element of ‘trust’ in the relationship. Mike had not shown that the trust between himself and George had been irreparably damaged.

• The most damaging aspect of this case though was that the Court said that it was the ‘responsibility of the Management to ensure that George (or any other employee for that matter) did not start working if he was drunk and/or had consumed alcohol prior to commencing work.’

Mike had not followed that basic procedures when putting this case together and based on that alone, he would have lost the case.
So before you do the ‘knee jerk’ thing – step back, take some time to think about what you are doing. Look at your own internal policies and procedures and make sure that you follow them step by step. Chances are that if you are procedurally correct, the case will not go to CCMA for arbitration.

Remember, if you are not sure about what you are doing, find an HR specialist, don’t try and do things yourself. It will cost you more in the long run.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or nikki@nullviljoenconsulting.co.za or www.viljoenconsulting.co.za

Look what is happening in the world of Pete Carruthers.

POPI or POPIA is the acronym for the Protection of Personal Information Act. It’s a new SA law to protect your personal information (and mine).

It’s not a SA Govt conniption. Rather it is the local version of similar laws in more than 80 countries. Our version has a few quirks which we will discuss during this course. SA needs to conform to international practice. If we don’t our IT industry will get strangled.
The Act was passed in 2013. The long lead-in time is to allow corporates to change their ways.

Big firms have thousands of PCs connected to mainframes and thousands of people logging into their systems each day. Those systems, like yours and mine, were designed to cost as little as possible. So they ignored security. Not deliberately, but because it was an expense they did not need to worry about. Just as we ignore security now.

2017 is different. Massive data breaches get lots of airtime. (Equifax in the USA or our current 31 million record scandal.) And famous brands like Pizza Hut or Hyatt Hotels.

It’s tempting to think that they’re the only firms losing data. But we small firms have many more breaches. 95 out of every 100 businesses have fewer than 5 staff. And we too lose laptops and tablets and phones. Or they get stolen. And if we have staff they too steal client lists when they leave.

We don’t report it because we don’t have to. That’s about to change.

The POPI Act demands that we take care of the info we hold about others. Just as we want others to look after info they hold about us.

Understand that single concept and the various facets I discuss in this email series will make sense.

The POPI Act has a big stick to beat us into compliance. I don’t know how you feel, but a R10 million fine (payable from after-tax income) and/or 10 years jail time, is a good reason not to mess around.

Just to be clear, we small players will be held to the same security and compliance standards as corporates. We don’t face the same documentation formalities prior to the deadline. But the day we find we’ve been breached, Govt will want to see that data if we have any hope of proving our innocence.

Until recently Govt was coasting towards announcing a deadline in May 2018. This recent 31 million record breach is probably going to lead to more urgent action.

If it sounds a little overwhelming, it is. You are not alone. There are solutions which take advantage of the common facets we small players share, and these will become obvious as we work through this material together.

If you have specific questions about the issues I raise in any of these emails, simply REPLY with your question. I don’t guarantee an instant response. My desk has become a little crazy since the 31 Million Data Loss scandal. But I will build the answers into this material and offer a FAQ you can access as well.

Thanks for joining me on this POPI journey. I hope the reading of these emails is as much fun for you as the researching and writing is for me. Feel free to REPLY and tell me if something I have written could be presented (or spelled) better.

Finally, my mission is to help as many small-business owners as I can. Please forward this email to someone you know in business like yourself.

To enrol in the POPI email course, please go to:
petercarruthers.teachable.com/p/free-popi-email-course/?preview=logged_out&affcode=82536_6oge46a_

To enrol in the POPI weekly Free Webinar please go to:
petercarruthers.teachable.com/p/free-popiwebinar-small-business/?preview=logged_out&affcode=82536_6oge46a_

It’s FREE folks so you have nothing to lose and some knowledge and wisdom to gain.

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