Human capital

Our people play a critical role in our success. Their skills, diligence and commitment are essential to achieve the manufacturing excellence required to meet our customers’ quality standards and to ensure cost-efficient production. As a company, we ensure that our workplace environment is safe, that we provide the facilities to help support our employees’ health and wellness, and that we promote gender equality.

Our human capital policies and practices aim to ensure that we attract, develop and retain the skills we need to execute our strategy, while building the skills and experience of the next generation of leaders and experts.

Human capital is managed at an operational level by our human resources function. Transformation is a key HR consideration, and is monitored by the employment equity and transformation committees who then report to the board.

Labour relations

We respect the rights of our employees to freedom of association and aim to maintain constructive relationships with unions. Union engagement takes place at national, provincial and company level through formalised recognition agreements. Across the group, 73% of our employees belong to a union. Failure to manage employee relationships can lead to loss of critical skills and labour disruptions, which destabilise production and undermine our cost competitiveness and reliability in the eyes of our customers.

Employee assistance programmes at certain subsidiaries provide counselling to employees and appoint financial consultants to offer investment advice on withdrawal of retirement benefits. Smiths Plastics applied for a training lay off scheme and a retrenchment assistance programme through MERSETA and the Department of Labour to support those affected by the Section 189A process.

Attraction, retention and development

The world-class technical and engineering skills we require are in global demand. We aim to be the employer of choice in our industry and to attract and retain talented employees through competitive remuneration packages, quality training programmes and practical learning opportunities. Where employees show the necessary commitment and potential, they may benefit from career opportunities and broader experience across the group and in our international operations.

We’re committed to ensuring workers receive fair and competitive remuneration. For the last decade, the percentage annual increase in hourly wages has exceeded the increase in salaried pay.

Skills development

We offer a range of practical learning programmes that give candidates opportunities to develop a skills pipeline for future potential employment. These include learnership programmes, apprenticeship programmes, candidate technician internships, candidate engineers’ programmes and graduate-in-training programmes. Hesto’s training school is accredited with the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services SETA (MERSETA) and the company runs an accelerated artisan training programme in collaboration with the Department of Labour and MERSETA. Various operations also run adult education and training (AET) courses and Lumotech provides for permanent employees to further their studies at a recognised college or university. Mutlu Akü provides access to an e-learning platform (Mutlu Akudemi) for employees and distributors.

HIV/Aids
HIV/Aids prevalence rates at our South African operations are around 3%. Our major South African operations offer voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for employees and contractors at company clinics and refer patients to government clinics where they can access ARVs should they need them. Several operations offer nutritional supplementation for HIV positive employees. Awareness-raising activities include competitions, promotions, banners, speeches on wellness days and World Aids Awareness Day activities. Employees on our medical aid programmes can access Aids management programmes.
Human rights

We’re committed to the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact, which include provisions relating to human rights, labour rights and a commitment to working against corruption. We take incidents of discrimination within the company extremely seriously and these are subject to the normal disciplinary procedures, including dismissal.

We respect the rights of our employees and those of our suppliers to freedom of association. We support the elimination of child labour, forced and compulsory labour and select our suppliers carefully to ensure that they share these ideals.

We apply the same principles to our international operations to ensure that the rights of employees are protected at all our operations.

Tip-off Hotline

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