Training sessions in September 2019

We have put together some training sessions in September in Pretoria on the NBCRFLI.

On the 16th of September we will spend a full day of training on the Complete Collective Agreement of the NBCRFLI. We will work through the amendments as well as every single clause.

If you are a new employer in the Road Freight Industry, this session is definitely for you.

On the 17th of September we will spend another full day’s session, and this time we will show you the ropes with regards to the ONLINE SYSTEM of the NBCRFLI.

And on the 20th of September we will have a morning workshop to show you in a practical way, how you can apply for an exemption from the NBCRFLI rules.

Join us for all 3 or any of these courses by contacting us on!


Implementing wage increases

Companies that function within the jurisdiction of a Bargaining Council get into the rhythm of that Council in terms of implementing wage increases.

The Road Freight Industry increases usually happen on the 1st of March each year. The Clothing Manufacturing Bargaining Council’s increases are usually around September each year. Even the Sectoral Determinations for certain sectors get into a cycle. Farm worker wages are usually increased in March, Domestic workers’ wages are usually increased in December.

If you have done our Online Training, you would know that in the first module we explain the functions of a Bargaining Council. One of the things a Bargaining Council does, is to extend its agreement to non-parties. This means that when an agreement has been reached between the parties who negotiated it, the Bargaining Council applies to the Minister of Labour to then take those rules and make them applicable to the rest of the industry. In other words – apply those rules to the ones who were not part of the negotiations.

It sometimes happens – for many different reasons – that such agreements are not extended, or promulgated on time…

The consequence of this is that the Agreement is then not applicable to those who did not sign it.
It is not enforceable under the law and companies who are not party to the agreement do not have to abide by its rules. In the case of the implementation of wage increases it will inevitably cause uncertainty. This puts everyone in an awkward situation. One would think that it will be fine if everyone (for the sake of preventing labour unrest) would give the increases anyway while waiting for the minister to promulgate it.

This is however not the case.

In our experience working with the NBCRFLI (the Road Freight Bargaining Council), we have seen that if you increase an employee’s wages without the increase being promulgated or gazetted, the Council dismisses the increase altogether. Their system will force you to increase your employees’ wages AGAIN once the minister has promulgated the agreement.

So to follow the path of least resistance, we never implement increases to our clients’ payrolls unless the increases have been gazetted.

The Clothing Manufacturing Industry Bargaining Council has recently sent out a circular informing the industry of its new increases. Upon investigation we found that these increases have not been promulgated yet. We therefore refuse to increase the wages until they are published in a gazette.

Unfortunately with South African labour laws, this is often the effect – the rule / system is not flexible enough to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances of business. Until this changes, it is always easier to follow the path of least resistance in order to keep your focus on your business’ core function.

Navigating through the December payouts – (Sick Bonus)

We have touched on the Holiday Bonus as well as the annual leave payout

Now let’s talk about the Sick Bonus.

The NBCRFLI has three main benefit funds namely the Sick Pay Fund, the Leave Pay Fund and the Holiday Bonus Fund.

Every month, employers contribute towards these funds on behalf of their employees (have a look at this youtube video for a quick explanation of all the funds payable each month).

The Sick Pay Fund is used to pay the employee when he / she goes on sick leave, but once every three years, the employee receives a Sick Bonus payout.
This is a great incentive offered by the NBCRFLI for employees to not take unnecessary sick leave. It is important to understand how this works, as most of our clients’ annual queries are about the sick bonus payouts.

An employee is only entitled to a Sick Bonus every THREE years (the employee’s commencement date plays a big role here).

If the employee commenced employment on 1 January 2009, then a payout was due to him in January 2012 as well as during January 2015 and also in January 2018. The cycle date is also the commencement date.

If the employee has used up all of the sick leave available, then there will be no bonus payout

In rare cases, employees do fall very ill and they end up using all of the available funds in their Sick Fund account at the NBCRFLI. The logical effect of this is that there will be no sick bonus payout.
If the employee has used up some of the sick leave funds available, then the sick bonus will just be less than what it could have been.

It is advisable to keep a list of employees whose sick leave cycle is due for a bonus payout for ease of reference.

This helps in answering queries faster and sometimes means that you have queried a non-payment at Council before the employee raised the issue :-). This list is easily generated by using the NBCRFLI’s online system.

If you need assistance with anything related to the NBCRFLI payouts, give us a call 🙂

Ensuring a smooth December payout season (annual leave)

Last week we gave three tips on how to navigate your way through the Holiday Bonus payouts

The NBCRFLI has three main benefit funds namely the Sick Pay Fund, the Leave Pay Fund and the Holiday Bonus Fund.
Every month, employers contribute towards these funds on behalf of their employees (have a look at this youtube video for a quick explanation of all the funds payable each month) and during the employee’s annual leave period, the Bargaining Council pays out the year’s contributions to each individual employee.

A company might grant their employees their annual leave throughout the year, or the company might close over the Christmas period and oblige all their employees to take their annual leave during this time. Whichever way your company chooses to do it the following points need to be remembered:

  1. The NBCRFLI can only pay out funds that are available

    Every month, the employer contributed towards the Leave Pay Fund on behalf of each employee. If there are only 2 contributions available, then the NBCRFLI can only pay out two contributions. It is therefore important to check whether the employee has enough contributions available to submit a claim.

  2. Do not double-pay your employees

    Perhaps it is silly to state the obvious, but remember to not pay your employees for the period that they go on leave. This will lead to a very unnecessary over payment. If the employee goes on leave for 3 weeks, then only pay him / her for the remaining 1 or 2 weeks that he / she was actually at work. The balance will be paid out of the funds at the NBCRFLI.

  3. Make sure your employees go on leave every year

    Don’t let their leave days accumulate. No company can afford to get by without an employee for 5 weeks in one go, and neither should an employee be allowed to skip a year without the prescribed 3 weeks’ break.

  4. Remember to still make the deductions while your employee is on annual leave

    Deductions for the Wellness Fund, Council Levies and Provident Fund still need to be made for the weeks that the employee goes on leave. The best practice for this is to take everything in the last week before the employee’s leave commences.

If you need assistance with anything related to the NBCRFLI payouts, give us a call 🙂

Goodbye KZN, Hello Mpumalanga!

We are travelling through South Africa as a family.

For the business this is good, because we are getting new clients all over South Africa. Processing payrolls can be done from anywhere in the world, as long as we have a strong internet connection.

Our Johannesburg office is still being managed from Johannesburg, where payrolls are processed and d-forms balanced; and consultations regarding labour relations are being done by our LR expert – Wynand Stapelberg (who is now even stronger after finishing the half-marathon on the great wall of China!).

We have been in KZN for 3 months now and we are moving north into Mpumalanga for August.

We invite you to give us a call if you run your transport company from Mpumalanga or even if you just have a depot there.

What can we do for you?

  • Year-end payout audit – we can go through all your employee records and ensure that everything is prepared to ensure a smooth year-end payout
  • Payroll setup / audit – we can check to see if your payroll is set up correctly so as to ensure compliance with the NBCRFLI Main Agreement
  • Payroll Processing – you can outsource your complete payroll to us and have some peace of mind 🙂
  • NBCRFLI training – we can present our training course at your company or you can buy it online at


Contact us anytime for more information on our services 🙂

Have you received a compliance order from the NBCRFLI – then read on:

If you have recently received a compliance order from the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry then you need to understand a few basic things:

  • Your problem is not going to go away. If you do nothing, the problem will in fact get bigger
  • You have 14 days to do something. Doing something means you either comply (i.e. PAY) or you dispute it

Let’s look at the following 2 options:

Doing nothing

If you do nothing, the agent who issued the compliance order will issue a certificate of outcome stating that the issue has not been resolved. This will get the wheels in motion for the matter to be referred to arbitration.

At arbitration, the arbitrator will then listen to the case and if you attend the arbitration, you can state your case. The Main Agreement stands, and if you have indeed not complied with any of the clauses, the arbitrator will take the compliance order amounts and issue an award against your company. This however is not the end of it.

The arbitrator now also has the authority to award interest and penalties and costs against you. Penalty costs can be up to 200% of the original capital amount owed. This is not funny at all. This is where you are going to wish you paid the compliance order when it landed on your desk.

Disputing the matter

If you choose to dispute the matter, there is really not much fighting to do. You can either prove that you are not liable to pay the funds / monies on the compliance order, or you can prove that you have already paid the funds / monies.

Of course proving that you have paid something means that you present a proper proof of payment.

If you need some guidance on this, then please contact us at Mediant Solutions

or if you want to DIY (do it yourself), then sign up for Module 3 of our online training here.

012 993 4509

How to survive the December Payouts in the Road Freight Industry

Today (21 November 2017) is the deadline on the online system for the Payouts that are scheduled to take place in December 2017.

If you find yourself in the HR or Payroll environment of a Road Freight company – this article will give you some guidelines as to how we cope with the stress-load this time of the year as you claim your bonuses and leave from the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI).

  1. The first thing you want to make 100% sure of is your headcount. This is a common mistake we see every year. Get a simple extract from your payroll system (we love SAGE VIP to get an accurate headcount. Remember that any terminated employees will automatically be removed from your submission.
  2. Secondly you want to learn how to read a shift audit. A shift audit is the NBCRFLI’s record of each employee and all the contributions paid over for Sick-, Holiday-, and Leave Fund monies. The shift audit “screams out” any possible errors (read “employee queries”) that may arise once monies have been paid out. If you check these beforehand, you will pick up errors before they become issues.
  3. Thirdly you would want to predict (using the shift audits or the calculations if they are available) what the payout will be this year and compare it to what it was last year. In this way you can be ready for that question when your staff approaches you with it.

If none of this makes sense to you then perhaps you should consider doing our E-learning course (Module 2) to better understand the NBCRFLI and all its rules!

Bargaining Council Agents – Their Powers & Functions

Collective Agreement Enforcers

If you have ever worked with a Bargaining Council agent, you might be wondering where their levels of authority start and end.

In this video, we aim to clarify it for you.

BCEA or Bargaining Council Collective Agreement?

If you work in HR or payroll, you probably know most clauses in the BCEA. It almost becomes part of your natural instinct.

This becomes dangerous if you happen to work in an industry that is governed by a Bargaining Council. The rules of a Bargaining Council’s Collective Agreement supersedes the BCEA every time.

If you work in the Transport and logistics industry (freight), you will definitely benefit from purchasing our second module in our course “Understanding the NBCRFLI”. In this module we work through the entire Collective Agreement. Every. single. clause.

Go on – buy it. You know you want to.

Buy Module 2