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Newsletter May 2011 Volume 1 Issue 1 www. om la frica. com

0545 302854 / 0206 367515

Welcome to Africa HR Newsletter Dear subscriber,

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1. African migrants abandon the American dream (News article) 2. Why would any business assume so much risk by not linking HR data with strategic decisions 3. Recent Labor law news 3. Labor news from Africa 4. Legal watch! Contract of Employment! 4. Contact us

Welcome to our first HR newsletter for HR leaders and professionals in Africa. We are very excited and look forward to bringing you HR news from around Africa. We want to bring you information, articles and news regarding Human Resource Management in Africa. For this reason we welcome you to submit articles, news and information that will help us all. Nowhere else will you get content specific, valuable information on Africa HR. Please help us by spreading the word and encouraging other Africa HR people to join the mailing list to receive the newsletter directly. We hope you find the newsletter useful and do forward to friends and colleagues that may also find it useful. Please do send us feedback to enquiries@hr-oml.co.uk

African migrants abandon the American dream By BBC World - Africa “I am fed up and finished with the US�

The American dream is not all it is cut out to be and some Africans are turning their backs on life in the US. Frustrated by tough economic times in the United States, Sammy Maina is packed, ready and waiting to return to Kenya. "I'm fed up and finished with the US," declares Mr Maina, 33, owner of a prepaid calling card firm, Myaatel, and a money transfer company, Doubles Xpress, that caters for African immigrants. But with money scarce because of the recession, fewer and fewer immigrants can afford to purchase his international phone cards or pay to use his money transfer services. Read more (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12810828)


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Why would any business assume so much risk by not linking HR data with strategic decisions? By Anita Wiafe, MD, OML Africa When it comes to HR data collection, management and sharing we all know as HR leaders working in Africa that we have a problem. What I don’t understand is why we have this problem? I don’t understand because when it comes to HR in Africa we do the administrative expert part really well. We relish in HR administration, we are known for it. So why then do we have problems keeping accurate data and sharing information? Well the issue is a lot of companies including public sector organisations, HR information systems still use mostly paper rather than computerized data. This by far along with lack of proper infrastructure also contribute to the capacity of HR departments across sectors in Africa to collect, compile and analyze workforce data. The other issue is that the way data is collected and inputted is often not standardized and as data collected is not really used for business decisions in most cases, checking accuracy slips through the loop. When it comes to sharing information, it seems that some of the main reasons include a lack of trust in what the data will be used for, fear of competitors getting hold of the data, lack of data and finally fear of the discovery of some of the poor HR practices taking place in companies and organisations across sectors. A lot of these practices are around poor compliance policies and procedures and best practice. But what I find astonishing is why a business would assume so much risk by not aligning HR data with strategic decisions on how to make best use of their workforce? It seems in Africa that workforce data is more like a burden than a strategic asset to HR.

The implication is that HR is just occupying a seat at the management table with no real impact. The data collection and management is totally disconnected from the business without the appropriate context. Transforming the raw data into actionable business intelligence is a problem in itself as many HR managers do not know how to do it. Theory of HR reins in Africa but putting it into practice is a big issue and challenge for many Africa HR leaders. Even where there is data it does not reach the real decision makers in the business leading to decisions based on hunches and anecdotes rather than facts. So from highlighting the issue to solutions, how do we practically address this issue? I suggest we start by moving away from this mistrust that has been created and begin to see that sharing information is part of our professional development and work. How do we set standards if we don’t know what one another is doing? We need to all commit to that professional standing where we manage sensitive data appropriately and confidentially. Companies in the West share data all the time and participate in HR data surveys all the time to help in the areas of pay, rewards and benefits, performance management, training and development and so on. Some even work together on HR projects and share the information from the findings. As HR leaders this is an issue we can no longer ignore, it is time for a radical rethink on how we begin to take action slowly to solve this problem.

To get the ball rolling OML Africa will be discussing this issue at the next HR Breakfast roundtable meeting in July. If you would like to participate or share with us how you have overcome this issue please let us know. You can also join the discussion on our LinkedIn group or on the member’s area on the OML Africa website: http://www.hroml.co.uk

“We are known for it. So why then do we have problems keeping accurate data and sharing information?”

HR Data management doesn’t have to be a pile of stressful!


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Recent labor law news South Africa South African Business Group Says Labor Law Change Will Discourage Hiring ---------One of South Africa’s main business groups said planned labor law changes would discourage employers from hiring as Africa’s biggest economy struggles to bring down its 24 percent jobless rate. Read More http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0318/s-african-business-group-says-labor-lawchange-to-harm-jobs-1-.html Ghana Utility Workers warn Gov’t against renewing AVRL’s contract ---------The Public Workers Union (PUWU) has warned Government against any attempt to extend the contract of Aqua Vitens Rand (AVRL), operators of Ghana Water Company. Read More http://www.citifmonline.com/index.php?id=1.2 87144.1.339772

Africa HR Newsletter

Labor news from Africa Botswana Don't blame the workers for contempt of court, blame the Union http://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?sid=1&aid=541&dir= 2011/May/Tuesday3 Burkina Faso Burkina Faso Labor Union Threatens Protests Over Prices, Wages http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-0501/burkina-faso-labor-union-threatens-protests-overprices-wages.html Ghana Ghana-Forestry Union rises to call of making work safer by planting 20 trees on 28th April (http://madmimi.com/promotions/1142429/edit) Nigeria Uniting metalworkers in Nigeria in progress http://www.imfmetal.org/index.cfm?c=26425&l=2 PHCN Privatization: Electricity Workers Suspend Planned Strike http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/phcnprivatisation-electricity-workers-suspend-plannedstrike/90619/ South Africa

Policy Document on Decent Work for domestic workers out soon ---------Accra, March 26, GNA - Government has established a Task Force to develop a Draft National Policy Document on Decent Work for domestic workers. Read more http://www.ghananewsagency.org/s_social/r_2 7048/social/policy-document-on-decent-workfor-domestic-workers-out-soon

Mandela and Zuma gold mine 'exploiting workers'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa13275704 Zambia Itezh-itezhi operations paralysized as Public Service workers strike http://www.lusakatimes.com/2011/05/10/itezhitezhioperations-paralysized-public-service-workers-strike/ Foreign investors continued flouting the labour laws in Zambia http://www.steelguru.com/metals_news/Foreign_inve stors_continued_flouting_the_labour_laws_in_Zambia/2 03833.html Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Teachers Threaten to Strike Again Over Low Pay, High Risk on Job http://www.voanews.com/zimbabwe/news/Zimbabwe -Teachers-Threaten-To-Strike-Over-Pay-andInitimidation-121583244.html


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Legal watch! Contract of employment! Each edition will cover aspects of labour laws in Africa, part of our compliance series for Africa HR leaders. We are starting the series off in this issue with contracts of employment. All the labour laws in Africa specify when contracts should be issued to employees. In this issue we will refer to the following countries listed below. In these countries the law states that, employees must be issued with written statement of employment after the beginning of an employee’s period of employment with an employer. Period in which HR/employer should issue a contract of employment no later than within:  3 months, in Nigeria  2 months in Ghana  First day of commencement of employment In South Africa,  3 months in Kenya  3 months in Malawi An employment contract is one of the best ways of protecting you and your employees. An employment contract is a basic and vital employment right. An employer is required to provide each and every worker with an accurate understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Consent in the form of agreement to such a contract is required in the form of signatures. It is vitally important that such employment information be recorded in the form of an employment contract. The employer is to provide such an employment contract and the employee must understand its contents.

Watch out for our forthcoming HR Publication coming soon, covering specifically HR News across Africa, with interviews, articles, features, jobs and more all to guide the Africa HR leader operating within Africa.

Once signing it the employee is obligated by their employment contract and must comply accordingly to the employment terms, conditions and company policies contained within it. It is quite surprising just how many employers in Africa do not provide employment contracts. They seem to have some wild idea that "if it is not in writing, then it does not exist," or another dream is that "if there is no written contract, then we can do what we like with our employees." These are not good ideas - these are liabilities which are sure to land the employer in hot water or worse a labor court. Please note that a contract doesn't have to be written but most importantly the law requires you to issue contracts. We advice that HR completes regular contract audits to ensure that all employees have been issued with contracts that clearly outlines the terms and conditions of employment. At minimum these terms should meet the labor law of the country you operate. HR should also check the law to ensure that contracts are issued within the specified period. Legal watch OML Africa team

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Telephone us: 0206367515 / 0545302854 Email us: enquiries@hr-oml.co.uk Follow us on Twitter, twitter/OML Africa LinkedIn Groups, AAHRL, Job Seeker Africa Facebook page, brighterfutures4africa website: www.hrforafrica.com / www.omlafrica.com

If you want to feature or have articles for our newsletter or our forthcoming HR publication Africa HR News, please email us.

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