Friday, September 13, 2019

HR 101 - UIF (Unemployment Fund) – Part 4

HR 101 - UIF (Unemployment Fund) – Part 4

By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Please note that this pertains to South African Labour Relations and Best Practice requirements.

Last time we had a look at how to collect illness benefits and this time we will focus on the ‘how to’ of claiming the maternity benefits as well as adoption benefits.

Following along from all the other collections you will need to register at the Labour office and obviously you will need to get a medical certificate from your doctor – be advised though that the doctor has to complete and sign the correct form, so make sure that you get a copy from the Labour office or alternatively get one off the website, but make sure that it is the correct one.

When you go to register, again the following documents need to be taken with you:

- A copy of your 13 digit, green bar encoded identity document
- Copies of your last 6 payslips
- Form UI19 completed and signed by your employer
- A Certificate of service from your employer
- Proof of your banking details
- A statement from your employer to evidence any money that you may have (or will be) receiving during the period that you will be on Maternity Leave.
- A fully completed and signed registration form.

When you go to the Labour Offices to register, you will also be given a Form UF92.  This form must be completed and signed by your doctor and then it has to be returned to the Labour Office.

Again the benefits will be paid to you by means of a cheque which will be posted to you or where possible by means of an electronic transfer.

If you need to apply for additional benefits after the baby is born, then you need to complete a Form UF 95 (which also needs to be completed and signed off by the doctor who delivered the baby.)

If you are unemployed as well as pregnant, then you need to advise the Claims officer as you may be entitled to additional benefits.

The documents that you need if you are applying for adoption benefits are:

- A copy of your 13 digit, green bar encoded identity document
- Copies of your last 6 payslips
- Form UI19 completed and signed by your employer
- A Certificate of service from your employer
- The adoption order or legal documentation pertaining to the adoption of the child
- Proof of your banking details
- A statement from your employer to evidence any money that you may have (or will be) receiving during the period that you will be on Adoption Leave.
- A copy of your adopted child’s birth certificate
- A fully completed and signed registration form.

Please note though that adoption benefits must be applied for within six months of the adoption order being issued – after that your claim will not be registered and you will not receive the benefits.

Again the benefits will be paid to you by means of a cheque which will be posted to you or where possible by means of an electronic transfer, however a form will be issued by the Labour Office, when payment is made and this must be completed and returned to the Claims Officer at the Labour Centre.

Next time we will have a look at the “how to” collect the death benefits too.

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

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Leadership 101 - The Role and Responsibility of Directors – Part 1

Leadership 101 - The Role and Responsibility of Directors – Part 1

By Nikki Viljoen – N Viljoen Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Please note that this pertains to South African Legislation, the King Requirements and Best Practice.

There is a great deal of eye winking and chuckling from the “Gogos” (one of the local native names for Grandmother), around the term CEO (Chief Executive Officer) or even Director, here in South Africa.  It seems that everybody that you talk to is either a self- named, self-styled CEO or they aspire to be one!

The fact of the matter is that with the New Companies Act coming into effect, the whole landscape, in terms of business ownership has changed dramatically.

In the good old, bad old days anyone could be a Director of a company and in fact there were many individuals who made careers out of being Directors of Companies.  I have actually heard of a lady who was a Director of something like 37 different Companies.  She earned a considerable sum of money from each of the Companies for doing very little work, but she had her name on the Company Letterheads.  Other than attending meetings and perhaps voicing an opinion or two there was little to do and of course there was very little responsibility.

You see before the introduction of the New Company’s Act, responsibility was only really held by very few individuals.  Directors like the Financial Directors who were obviously responsible for looking after the financial side of the business, were far and few between.  The Sales Director for example was responsible for ensuring that sales targets were met (often by any means possible), but never carried the responsibility for the financial well-being of the Company.

Let me explain – often when a Company found themselves in financial difficulty the Financial Director was made responsible because it was his responsibility to ensure that the ‘numbers’ were correct and that expenses were controlled.  In this situation the Sales Directors would usually absolve themselves from any blame by saying something along the lines of “I brought in the sales and that is what I am responsible for, I am not in charge of the expenses.”  Hardly fair I am sure you will agree as in my experience the sales people have no problem running up huge expenses.

The New Act makes all Directors equally liable and accountable for what happens in the business.

Let me say that again – all the Directors are equally and jointly responsible for what happens in the Company and they are responsible in their personal capacities.

Next time we will look at some of the risks that Directors should be aware of and also how best to manage them.

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

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Networking 101 - Referrals Through Networking

Networking 101 - Referrals Through Networking

By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting (Pty) Ltd

I bumped into a friend of mine the other day who I haven’t seen for absolutely ages.  After exchanging the usual pleasantries, she asked me how business is and if I was being hurt by the recession or the ‘R’ word as she called it?

Well quite frankly, I’ve heard about the recession and the ‘R’ word, but I have been extremely busy, in fact busier than usual so clearly neither the recession nor the ‘R’ word apply to me.

As most of you know, most of my business comes through referrals, which means that all of my business comes through networking.  All the networking that I have been doing since 2003 when I started, is now paying huge dividends and I am swamped with work and am having the time of my life.

She promptly burst into tears!  Tears mopped and composure back in place again, she told me how she has had to close her business and is now looking for work.  She also told me how she regrets not having listened to me on the countless occasions that I have spoken about networking and referrals, and how to go about both.

You see she treated the networking meetings and events as a social gathering and despite having met a huge  number of people and gathering stacks of cards, she actually did nothing else.  The result of course, was that she had not built any relationships – secure (well so she thought) in the knowledge that her business came from the big corporate companies.

Sadly, the recession  or the “R” word has had the most impact on the Corporate Companies, particularly the mining sector where she so enjoyed to play and one by one her contracts have been put on hold or not re-negotiated when they came to an end.  Depressed and panic stricken at seeing her once thriving business deteriorate, she was unable to resort to her network for additional support and referrals – she didn’t have one.

Understanding that to network right now to get leads right now would make her seem quite desperate and would probably do more harm than good, she has elected to close the business – for now.

She assured me though, that whilst she is down, she is certainly not out.  She is carefully going through all my articles on networking and she will be going to networking meetings – but from now on, they will not be treated as a social event, they will be used carefully to meet like-minded people, to interact and build sustainable relationships, so that she can, in time ask for and receive referrals and slowly but surely, build up her business until once again it is filled with successfully negotiated solid business.

I certainly hope that she is steadfast in her resolve, because if she is – I have no doubt that her business will once again become a really successful entity.

I also think that she now understands that Networking is about building relationships.

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


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Business Tips – From Employee to Entrepreneur – Part 9

Business Tips – From Employee to Entrepreneur – Part 9

By Nikki Viljoen – N Viljoen Consulting (Pty) Ltd 

Please note that this pertains to South African Legislation and Best Practice requirements.

So far we have looked at:-
1. The difference between being an employee and an employer;
2. Your Purpose:
3. The People around you and
4. Your Personal Footprint.
5. Knowledge & what you do with it
6. The Generosity of your Spirit
7. The Role of Technology in your Business
8. Self Confidence
9. Creativity
10. Focus
11. Vision
12. Result
13. Networking
14. Leadership
15. Management
16. Problem Solving
17. Being Innovative
18. Teamwork
19. Strategy
20. Branding
21. Marketing
22. Profit and Passion

Today we will explore the last three in this series.

1. Scalability
Contrary to popular belief in many quarters, there is a huge difference between being a small business owner and being self-employed.  Make no mistake, whilst it is incredibly important to keep your finger on the pulse of your business and be aware of exactly what is happening in every aspect of it, the reality is, if your business in not fully defined as a company and if it is still reliant on you for it’s very survival, well then you are self-employed. There is no right or wrong for either, it is purely dependent on the way the company (or you) operate.

It is important however, that when you plan for the future that you understand the difference between the two (being self-employed and owning a company that is). 

2. Leverage
At some point in time, most business owners need funding.  Make sure that your business plan remains current as well as accurate and that you have made allowances for the interest that needs to be paid back (when you are calculating what you need and then what you can afford to pay back as well).

And finally . . . . .

3. Legacy
Like it or not, we all leave a footprint of one sort or another on this planet.  We are all responsible, one way or another, for the consequences of our thoughts and actions.

The decisions that you have made, or not, have impacted on our planet, your community, your colleagues, your friends, your family and more importantly on yourselves.

What will be you remembered for when you are gone?

Of course we all need to make money to improve our lives and the lives of our families, but we also need to make a difference and leave the world a richer place for our having been here.

. . . and oh!  Don’t forget to always have fun!

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

Monday, September 09, 2019

Inspiration - Arrogance

Inspiration -  Arrogance

By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting (Pty) Ltd

I know that this is supposed to be my motivation spot for the week, but this week I am not quoting anyone, and although to me it is still “inspiration” as I am trying to inspire respect  for people who have tonnes of experience, who know what they are doing, I am really angry.  Arrogance is a very dangerous emotion, especially when you are starting out and should be looking for all the help that you can get.

Let me start at the beginning . . .

I am an avid Idols fan – Idols where-ever, American Idols, British Idols and obviously South African Idols.  I have watched this year’s production right from the very beginning, often with my hands clasped tightly over my ears because of the ‘pain’ of listening to the singing of some people who very definitely have no idea what singing should sound like!

I obviously have my opinion and my favourites and I am entitled to that.  I often don’t agree with the judges and jump up and down in irritation and frustration when they praise someone that I think made a total mess of a perfectly good song or when they disparage someone who I think made a pretty damn good effort. 

The thing is though, I am  not taking any part in the competition, other than that of spectator.  I have the power to vote for my favourites and also with my remote – I am not compelled to watch the show if I don’t want to.

Having said that though the contestants are part of the whole process.  Last night I was absolutely gob smacked at one of the contestants (who just by the way is not one of my favourites) who made a total hash of a song and then when he was criticized by all of the judges turned around to the presenter of the show, when he asked “what do you think of the judges comments” and said “I’m so over them!”  This was accompanied by a dismissive wave of his arm and a shrug of his shoulders.

Now I know that criticism is often a very bitter pill to swallow, especially if it was something that we didn’t want to hear, but this little upstart’s arrogance made my blood boil.  The four judges, who have been in the industry for many years are successful and hugely so.  Surely if they did not know what they were doing, they would have fallen by the wayside a long time ago?  The music industry is one of the toughest that there is and yet this youngster, who is not only wet behind the ears, who is definitely not the greatest singer in the competition and is in my opinion a ‘little boy’ had the nerve to disrespect these judges publically!

His lack of experience is clear – he does not realize that these are the people, whether he wins or loses the competition, who could put his name on the ‘music map’ of South Africa.  They all have huge influence in the music industry and singularly or collectively they could kill any hint of him doing anything here.

How short sighted!  How arrogant!  How rude!

The lesson in this though, is that there will be times, in whatever we do, that we will hear things that we do not wish to hear!  Be that as it may, there are people who have not only survived in the business, but who have been or are immensely successful. 

They haven’t become successful by being wrong!

These are the people that we need to look up to, to learn from, to keep ‘sweet’ so that we may continue to learn from their experience, irrespective of whether we agree with them or not.  Listen to what they say, learn from their experience and their wisdom, and above all respect them, if for nothing else, for the fact they have become successful against all odds!

Here endth the lesson for the week!

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

Friday, September 06, 2019

HR 101 - UIF (Unemployment Fund) – Part 3

HR 101 - UIF (Unemployment Fund) – Part 3

By Nikki Viljoen of N Viljoen Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Please note that this pertains to South African Labour Relations and Best Practice requirements.

So far we have established what you can claim for, or what benefits you could be entitled to and then we established what the procedure is to claim unemployment benefits from the unemployment fund.

Today we continue with the ‘how to’ of claiming your illness benefits.

You will need to register at your nearest Labour Centre.  This being the ‘illness benefit’ though, means that if you are too sick to go and complete the forms yourself, a relative or friend can collect the forms  for you and you can then sign them.  The forms will have to be returned to the Labour office.  Some of these forms can be downloaded off the Department of Labour website, but word of caution – I have of late, discovered that you download a form from the website only to be told when you submit it to whichever institution, that the form is ‘obsolete’ and that the infamous ‘somebody’ did not update the website, so it would perhaps be a good idea to check first to ensure that the website forms are current.

When you register you will need the following documents:
- A copy of your green, bar encoded ID document.
- Copies of your last 6 payslips
- The UI19 form that must be completed and signed off by your employer
- A certificate of service from your employer
- Proof of banking details (either a recent bank statement or a letter from the bank)
- A Statement from your employer documenting the amounts of remuneration that have been received by yourself during the period that you have been sick.
- The fully completed and duly signed registration form.

Don’t forget to submit your medical certificate as proof of your illness and your doctor will also have to complete the relevant details on the form UF86 (which also has to be signed and submitted to the UIF office).  The UIF claims department will then “consider and assess” your application and if you are successful they will post you the form UF87, which again needs to be completed and signed by your doctor, before it is submitted back to the Labour office.

Should you be successful though, the benefits that are paid out to you will be from the date that the doctor booked you off, excluding the first two weeks’.  Also please note that you will only be paid for the period of time that you did not receive your normal wages from your employer.

It is also very important to understand that the ‘illness benefit’ will not be paid out to people who have caused their own illness through misconduct or if you have refused reasonable treatment from your doctor or if you have failed to follow the treatment instructions of your doctor.

Also, if you are both unemployed as well as too ill to work, this also needs to be communicated to the claims officer as you may be entitled to claim unemployment benefits for the period of time that is not covered by the illness benefit, provided of course that you qualify to collect as per the detail in part 1 of this series.

Again the illness benefits will be paid to you by cheque (which will be posted to you) or alternatively where possible, by internet transfer directly into your bank account.

Next week we will have a look at the “how to” collect your illness benefits and maternity benefits and depending upon the availability of space, the death benefits too.

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


Thursday, September 05, 2019

Leadership 101 – 9 Tips to Becoming a Great Leader – Part 2

Leadership 101 – 9 Tips to Becoming a Great Leader – Part 2

By Nikki Viljoen – N Viljoen Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Last time we looked at four tips and today we will look at another five.  These are the ones that sometimes can weigh heavy on our shoulders.

1. Underperformers Are Your Responsibility

You have to understand that the buck stops with you!  If you have the wrong team in place or individuals that do not fit and who cause more chaos than anything else – it is your responsibility.

You are the one that needs to control the situation and the reality is that you have set things up the way that you want them to be.  If they are not working properly then it is up to you to make the changes.

It’s no good blaming everyone else.  Be accountable and responsible for what you have done.

2. Slow and steady wins the race

No one builds a huge big anything overnight! Not the Branson’s or the Buffets nor anyone else for that matter!

Start off slowly with small projects. Test along the way, over and over again, measuring and adjusting as you go along.  Make sure that you have the right skills to get the task done and that your team are as committed and focused as you are.

As your smaller projects are completed successfully, learn from both what you have done correctly and what you haven’t and then apply what you have learnt as you progress.

Retain what you have learnt from the mistakes that you have made and then let the negative stuff go. There’s no need to carry unwanted baggage for the rest of your life.

3. Look at a person’s character

There are many people out there who are hugely skilled and talented but who are of questionable character.

Make sure that the members of your team have the character and drive to meet the capacity requirements.

More often than not the character of the individual will be far more beneficial to you than the qualifications of another.

Choose carefully, choose wisely!

4. Ask the question

Dr. John Demartini always says “The quality of your life is governed by the quality of your questions?”

One of the most powerful questions that you can ask your team members is “what would you do” or “what do you think”?

You will often be pleasantly surprised and amazed at the innovative ideas and thoughts of others around you.

People often don’t “do” things that they feel are expected of them in the manner in which they think it should be done rather that the way they would instinctively do it if they had the choice.  So don’t be blinded by what they do, but rather explore how ‘they think’!

Oh and if you utilize their great ideas, don’t forget to give them the accolades and praise that they so richly deserve.

5. There’s a great deal of strength in being humble. 

You need only to look at the greatest leader that we’ve ever had, Nelson Mandela, to see how powerful his authentic humbleness was.

The man certainly led us all, by living his life as an example.

The reality is that none of us like a ‘know it all’.  Their arrogance is a constant source of irritation and frustration for me personally.  People who strive to better themselves through constant learning will excel and those who live their lives as humble individuals will be far more respected than those who are arrogant and who are governed by their own egos.

Humble is always way better than arrogance.

Well that was the last of the nine points that I consider to be important attributes for a leader.  There are obviously a great deal more and this clearly is merely my opinion and I have no doubt that there are others who will have attributes that they consider to be more important.

I think that as individuals we need to learn what we can and then make up our own minds as to which we find more important.

Until next time, don’t forget to have fun!

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