WELCOME

AS A BUSINESS OWNER, YOU’RE THE GO-TO PLACE FOR SO MANY.
BUT WHO’S YOUR GO-TO PLACE?

A safe harbour to anchor your business…

Founded in 1998 the (SA)UEO is a trusted, DEL-registered employers’ organisation with a mandate to provide businesses with representation at business and labour forums – such as the Labour Court, CCMA and bargaining councils, backed by the relevant expert industrial relations (IR), human resources (HR) and labour law expertise.

Over the years, the organisation has however evolved into way more than that – to not only become a safe harbour for its members to anchor at – but also be a go-to place to continuously help you survive the business ebbs and ride the tides. We invite you to join our business family today.

How it works

BECAUSE IT’S IN YOUR BEST INTEREST
AS A BUSINESS, WE NEVER LOSE SIGHT
OF THIS IMPORTANT TRUTH…

 

You don’t just build a business, you build people. And then people build your business. For this reason, we take a very different approach to any potentially contentious labour and business issues and disputes.

Instead of going out with guns blazing and add more fuel to the fire, we build solid relationships with all relevant parties on your behalf instead, that are firmly anchored in mutual trust and respect.

This enables us to help you navigate through any labour- and business-related storms fairly seamlessly, in a way that is fair and just to all involved, so you can get your business ship back en route to its destination – as soon as possible.

 

What is an employers’ organisation?

Simply put, a South African employers’ organisation is legally registered with the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) with a mandate to represent its (business) members at labour-related forums such as the Labour Court, CCMA and bargaining councils.

What does this ‘representation’ mean in practise?

On the one hand, this ‘representation’ refers to representing our members at labour-related proceedings, such as conciliation, arbitration and mediation proceedings for dispute resolutions, which could be at the Labour Court, CCMA or private arbitration facilities.

On the other hand, it also involves participation in wage and similar types of negotiations at bargaining councils, to help influence positive incomes that serve all parties involved, as justly and fairly as possible.

What is a bargaining council?

employee bodies such as unions, in a particular industry and geographic area, with the aim to engage in collective bargaining about the likes of wages, conditions of employment, and so on.

Bargaining councils operate in terms of the Labour Relations Act (LRA) of 1995, but many of them were established as industrial councils under the previous Industrial Conciliation Act. To obtain a mandate to operate, a bargaining council must be registered with DEL, and both parties (employers and unions) must prove they are adequately ‘representative,’ as constituted by the main agreement of the bargaining council, which may vary from industry to industry.

Why is it imperative for business to join an employers’ organisation?

Apart from having a strong voice at bargaining council negotiations, there are at least four key reasons why every business in South Africa should be a member of an employers’ organisation.

The Four Key Reasons.

Why every business in South Africa should be a member of an employers’ organisation.

 

 

Representation at labour forums

Compliance with labour laws

Enhanced chances of positive outcomes for disputes

Ongoing compliance with an everchanging
regulatory landscape

Representation at labour forums

Firstly, many business leaders are not aware that a lawyer or labour law practitioner is generally not allowed at labour-related proceedings or negotiations at the CCMA or bargaining councils, unless they are official organisers (members) of a DEL-registered employers’ organisation.

Enhanced chances of positive outcomes for disputes

Thirdly, the majority of negative outcomes at labour forums such as the CCMA, are due to proceedings that were not handled correctly, both procedurally and substantially. To this end, the (SA)UEO has 200 registered organisers who are strategically positioned nationwide, to offer our members such expert assistance. These organisers comprise a multidisciplinary range of officials who specialise in industrial relations, labour law, and human resources.

Compliance with labour laws

Secondly, members of (SA)UEO constantly receive up-to-date information pertaining to the latest labour legislation that impact their businesses. When one considers the fact that just in 2019, ±74% of referrals to the CCMA were due to non-compliance with our labour laws, this is a factor that cannot be underestimated.

Ongoing compliance with an everchanging regulatory landscape

Finally, as a business owner, you have to constantly steer your business ship through an ever-changing environment, which is chancing even faster than ever, whilst avoiding social, economic, political and legal rocks that could literally sink you in an instant. 

The impact of the latest legislation that deals with the national COVID-19 lockdown stipulations and compliance with the subsequent new occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations on business, is a classic example of that. 

The (SA)UEO has a dedicated team of researchers and specialists that constantly scan the business environment to identify any new potential issues and collectively design solutions for them.

Join our business family

WHILST YOUR BUSINESS SHIP IS CONSTANTLY ROCKED BY NEW WINDS OF CHANGE,
ISN’T IT REASSURING TO KNOW THAT YOU CAN AT LEAST COUNT ON SOME THINGS
TO REMAIN THE SAME?

For more than two decades, the (SA)UEO has remained steadfast on course with its higher purpose, which is to provide a safe harbour for its members to anchor at, whilst constantly evolving to help them navigate through business storms and ride the tides.

In fact, we are both humbled and proud to state that we have a league of businesses who have been with us since day one – who can attest to exactly that. Below are the top advantages you’ll gain from joining our business family too.

Representation at labour forums

Representation at Labour Court, CCMA, bargaining councils or other arbitration, conciliation and mediation proceedings.

Critical business updates

Expert advice, updates and vetted information on new developments and crises that may impact your business, as and when they arise.

Group rates for the (SA)UEO Group Legal Insurance

Excellent rates for the pioneering (SA)UEO Group Legal Insurance, which includes cover for litigation and CCMA proceedings, brought to you through a collaboration with a leading insurer, subject to Ts and Cs. 

 

Cutting-edge business resources

Access to new business, HR, IR and labour law resources that are constantly being researched and developed by our network of multidisciplinary experts, to help you operate in the new normal and gear up to successfully rise into the new world of work.

Online IR and HR portal

Access to an online portal that consists of a wealth of IR and HR tools, templates, guidelines, policies, contracts, and resources for a range of different potential scenarios, which is especially useful in a post-COVID-19 pandemic world, which fundamentally and permanently altered the structure of workforces.

Influence at business forums

A strong, collective voice at business forms to oppose, promote or support any decisions pertaining to policies and laws that could influence the way you do business.

Exclusive invites to business events

Invites to panel discussions, forums and events where topical business issues are explored and addressed and lessons learnt by various business leaders are exchanged.

In a business landscape where there are no certainties or guarantees, it is of the absolute importance to tap the minds of others who find themselves in the same boat.

Ongoing new business benefits

The (SA)UEO is constantly exploring new collaborations that could add value for our members, as and when a new demand arises. There is power in numbers, and we will seize every opportunity to leverage this power to the advantage of business.

FORTUNATELY, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BREAK THE BANK,
TO BECOME A MEMBER OF OUR BUSINESS FAMILY.

The (SA)UEO offers ultra-competitive membership rates for various scenarios, to support business in challenging economic times.

OUR HIGHER PURPOSE…

On the one hand, as a collective of the business members we represent, the (SA)UEO is committed to remain steadfast in the course of our main mission, which is to actively and proactively participate at relevant labour forums to negotiate and influence the best possible outcomes for all parties involved. 

On the other hand, we are inspired to continuously evolve to fulfil our higher purpose, which is to be a safe harbour for our members to anchor at, a helmsman to help steer your business ship through the ebbs and tides, and that solid Rock of Gibraltar you can always count on, when everything else around you seems uncertain. 

The
(SA)UEO way

Whilst we strive to change with the times, so that our value proposition can remain relevant for our members, the core values that underpin the way we do things, will always remain the same. We humbly believe it is because we have such an uncompromising approach to our principles, that the (SA)UEO has managed to stand the test of time, despite ultra-challenging times.

We place you first

As a business owner, you are the go-to person for so many whose entire livelihood depends on you, which is why we at the (SA)UEO aim to be your go-to people.

For this reason, we have also become friends and confidantes of so many of our members over the years, who know they can call us or drop in at any time for a brainstorm – or just an ‘offload’ during stressful times.

We’re here for you, always have been, always will be. Guaranteed!

We don’t take anything at face value

Without exception, before we provide any labour-related, business advice or assistance, we go through a rigorous process with multiple industry and subject matter experts to verify all the facts at hand, to ensure you make decisions and take actions that are comprehensively informed.

We don’t break relationships, we build them

Richard Branson said it best: ‘Succeeding in business is all about connections.’

Regardless of how volatile relationships can get when the going gets tough in labour or business negotiations, we remain consistent in our promise to our members, which is to establish and cultivate strong relationships on your behalf, built on mutual trust and respect, and cemented by honouring that silent ‘gentleman’s code.’

Essentially, we aim to find that common ground and look after the interest of all involved, for as far as is humanly possible.

We do business on a handshake

Whilst we will always be strong advocates of proper policies, procedures, and protocols, at our very core, we’re the kind of people who will move the earth and everyone on it, to fulfil a commitment we made. You can count on the fact, that we do what we say, and we have your back. Period!

Our ultimate law, is what is right

Just because something is legal, doesn’t make it right, which is why we will never advise our members to use the law as a means to shirk their human, fundamental responsibility to others.

Whilst we will never deviate from what is legal, our ultimate aim is to find justice, by doing what is both legal and right.

WHEN IT COMES TO LEADERSHIP, FOR US, THE WORDS OF ROBIN SHARMA RINGS TRUE…

“IT IS NOT ABOUT A TITLE OR A DESIGNATION. IT’S ABOUT IMPACT, INFLUENCE AND INSPIRATION”.

Meet our national leaders

General Secretary

ELISE COETSER

As Elise responded to her professional calling, the words of Margaret Mead lit up every step along her way: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Therefore, in spite of the doom prophets and naysayers who said: ‘it won’t be easy,’ Elise continued and found (SA)UEO in 1998, because she believed ‘it was necessary.’ More than two decades later, she remains a progressive, purpose-led leader, steadfast on course with the ultimate vision that originally inspired this organisation: to be a safe harbour for leaders to anchor at, amidst the never-ending business ebbs and tides.

Says Elise, ‘Now, more than ever before, in this new, post-pandemic world, we as business leaders have an unparalleled opportunity to rise up and solve the issues of our economy, our societies and our communities. So, as we have no choice but to rebuild, it is my personal pledge to help support our businesses to rebuild for good, and to encourage one another to not just focus on making an income, but making an impact. I invite every business leader out there, to join hands with us, to accomplish exactly that.’

DRIVEN TO MAKE AN IMPACT,
FOR THOSE WHO ARE MAKERS OF IMPACT…

SUPPORTING THOSE WHO CREATE THEIR OWN LIVELIHOODS,
CREATES MORE LIVELIHOODS…

EXCO Member

ERIKKA MOTANG

It is not so much the corporate spotlight that fascinates Erikka, but the opportunity to assist those who are unemployed to carve out a living for themselves in the informal sector.

To this end, in both her capacity as Managing Member of Liel Consulting and former Board Member of The Job Club, Erikka has devoted the majority of her professional career to hands-on training and development of these brave enterprising spirits, with a focus on honing their business and financial acumen.

Says Erikka: ‘By 2018, statistics indicated that about one in every six workers in South Africa, were employed in the informal sector, and that informal enterprises provided work and income for more than 2.5 million workers and owner-operators.

Now that we find ourselves in an intra-pandemic world, these figures will no doubt increase exponentially. As such, it is my personal mission to encourage these informal enterprises to take hands with (SA)UEO to safeguard their own livelihoods, as well as all the livelihoods of those who depend on them. As best captured in an age-old African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Vice Chairperson

DAVID DIBAKWANE

David is a true advocate for fostering symbiotic workplace relationships that serve all at hand, based on mutual respect, credibility, consistency, transparency and trust.

A wise person once said that you cannot criticise another; unless you have walked a mile in his shoes. During his career that spans forty plus years, David has been able to do just that – as he fulfilled a multitude of different positions that enabled him to drive positive transformation from both employers and employees’ sides. This for example ranges from serving as Group Industrial Relations Manager for a leading banking institution in South Africa – to playing a notable role in successful negotiations that led to merging NUBESA and SABEU with the South African Society of Bank Officials.

Today, as Vice Chairperson of (SA)UEO, David remains committed to cultivating an open, collaborative spirit among all parties involved, including CCMA’s and bargaining councils, to help our members build their people, who will in turn, build their businesses.

Says David: ‘The only way to consistently ensure positive outcomes for everybody involved, is by displaying uncompromising ethics and morals, coupled with deep respect and understanding of the vibrant and diverse cauldron of cultures that make up our Rainbow Nation.’

WE HAVE TO BUILD OUR PEOPLE, BECAUSE IT IS AFTER ALL, PEOPLE WHO BUILD OUR BUSINESSES…

IT IS OUR MISSION, TO BUILD A NEXUS BETWEEN FINANCE AND HUMAN RESOURCES PRACTITIONERS…

Chairperson

ADRIAAN BEZUIDENHOUT

As Co-founder and Managing Partner of the well-established BEXT Tax Consultants and Bookkeepers, Adriaan has gained first-hand experience of the fact that two burning issues that businesses have to deal with on a constant basis, is restructuring of their finances and restructuring of their workforces.

For this reason, as the only (SA)UEO EXCO member whose professional roots are in finances – as opposed to labour law and industrial relations – Adriaan is inspired to leverage this platform optimally, to help build a bridge between the accounting profession and the human resources profession.

In this post-pandemic economic recession, which businesses will no doubt feel the impact of for many years to come, this is more important than ever. But, when everything seems to be uncertain, there is also something to be said for the fact that you can count on some things for certain.

Says Adriaan: ‘I take full ownership of my responsibilities as part of this organisation, to help ensure we remain a Rock of Gibraltar for businesses in South Africa, amidst this vast ocean of political, economic, social and environmental instabilities.’

EXCO Member

MARLENE BURDEN

Marlene cut her teeth in education, training, and development at the SANDF College for Educational Technology in 1995 and eventually spread her wings further, by founding Khulisane Academy in 2003, to facilitate skills development across multiple industries, in line with the South African NQF Act, the B-BBEE Act, and the EE Act.

We now find ourselves in a ‘digital-first’ era that continues to evolve faster than ever. Coupled with the new types of capabilities that will be required in the future world of work, Marlene is committed to help wake businesses up to the fact that skills development is no longer optional, but absolutely essential.

Says Marlene: “We’re empathetic to the fact that businesses had to cut costs and resources to the bone to survive the COVID-19 economic recession. But as we move forward on what feels like a foundation of uncertainty, the words of Wilbur Wright will always ring true: ‘It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.’ The only way we will make it in this ever-changing business environment, is by embedding a culture of ever-learning, in our very operational DNA.”

TO REMAIN RELEVANT IN A WORLD OF WORK THAT IS EVER-CHANGING,
WE NEED TO EMBED A CULTURE OF LIFELONG LEARNING…

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