Human capital

The recognition of the importance of human capital is prioritised throughout the Group. In order to improve on the employee experience, the Group has identified a number of key areas requiring enhancements to the existing processes, policies, infrastructure and/or resources.

Talent acquisition and retention

During the year, the Group took a decision to in-source the talent acquisition process. Profiles of the types of individuals required are created on various employment portals, which in turn, proactively search for potential candidates. Apart from driving cost efficiencies, this cloud-based approach also ensures a standardised talent acquisition process, delivers higher success rates and a quicker turnaround time. All vacant positions are advertised on the career page of the Blue Label web portal. Internal applicants are given preference, in an effort to drive promotions and advancement within the organisation.

Employee benefits

This year, the Group conducted a comparative study of staff benefits among its peer groups. The Group is implementing a provident fund for all employees, who will have the option of joining the Group provident fund scheme. The existing Group life benefits will remain unchanged.

The Group transferred all medical aid members from Bonitas to Discovery Health in April 2016, in order to ensure a consistent and equal service for all members.

Payroll system

Following a recommendation from internal audit that the Group adopt a more structured, yet accessible payroll system to enhance the payroll functionality, while offering a world-class employee and management self-service capability, the Group reviewed a number of potential product solutions.

After due consideration, the Group selected Educos to provide the necessary HR information infrastructure. The Group is in the process of moving all payroll and HR functionality from the existing system to the Educos system. The new system is web based, thereby allowing staff remote access to the system. It has a number of security features which protect the data in accordance with Group IT policies and procedures. The HR modules allow for a more structured engagement with staff relating to recruitment, training, performance management, disciplinary matters, employment equity and health and safety.

Staff wellness

The Group regularly holds Wellness Days at the workplace. Examples of services on offer include medical assessments, fitness assessments, blood donor days and charity support days. The Group also provides a 24/7 counselling service and other interventions when required.

Corporate governance

Management views incidents of child or forced labour as morally abhorrent and does not allow such activities. The Group upholds the protection of rights as afforded by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the Bill of Rights and the relevant labour legislation.

Employment equity

The Group actively promotes and supports equal opportunity and fair and consistent treatment to all staff, as contained in the Group Employment Equity and Transformation Policy.

While the talent acquisition process is aimed at promoting staff internally, the underlying premise is one of merit based appointments.

The Employment Equity Committee is representative of the organisation and meets regularly to discuss and critically review issues such as barriers to employment, affirmative action requirements, performance against set targets and indirect issues that may impact negatively on the employee experience and the fulfilment of the goals as set out in the policy.

The Company and Group employment equity performances are reviewed by the Social Ethics and Transformation Committee.

Employees across the Group continue to be non-unionised.

The table below reflects the demographics of the employee base over three years, excluding international operations:
Levels   AM   CM   IM   WM   AF   CF   IF   WF   Total
Unskilled and defined decision-makers   17   1   1   1   18   0   0   1   39   52   62
Semi-skilled and discretionary decision-makers   84   18   12   16   92   22   2   28   274   240   239
Skilled technical and academically qualified workers, junior management and supervisors   67   24   24   119   33   8   9   71   355   351   280
Professionally qualified and experienced specialists and mid-management   0   2   2   47   0   0   2   13   66   92   81
Senior Management   0   0   0   17   0   0   1   6   24   33   32
Top Management   2   0   0   15   1   0   0   0   18   27   36
Grand Total   170   45   39   215   144   30   14   119   776   1305   1176
Split as follows:                                            
Total permanent staff   154   42   37   212   138   30   14   116   743   795   730
Non-permanent staff   16   3   2   3   6   0   0   3   33   510   446

AM: African male, CM: Coloured male, IM: Indian male, WM: White male, AF: African female, CF: Coloured female, IF: Indian female, WF: White female.

The headcount decreased significantly from 1 305 to 776 in the period under review, mainly due to the disposal of the Velociti call centre.

The Group remains dedicated to attracting and retaining talent particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds at all levels in the organisation, but specifically at the professionally qualified level.

The consolidated Group Employment Equity Plan was submitted to and approved by the Department of Labour.