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There is a labour elasticity formula that is used to get a view of potential employment trends – for each 1% growth in the GDP there is a corresponding 0.7% growth in employment. With a forecast 1.5% growth in 2020 along with accelerating technological disruption, the best-case scenario is that there may be around 100 000 new jobs created. “This is a major challenge given that more than 500 000 grade 12s left the secondary schooling system in 2019,” says John Botha: COO of Global Business Solutions.
This aligns with the Manpower Group’s Employment Outlook Survey which found the employment prospects to be the worst in five years with 81% of employers not envisaging any growth in employment and 8% contemplating a decrease in employment.
Despite these economic and employment headwinds, employers are facing increasing legislative complexity and costs. “This year,” says Botha, “it is envisaged that the AARTO and NQF Acts will be promulgated and these will require enhanced regulation in respect of drivers and the verification of demerit points and qualifications – at a cost to the employer.” In addition, the enhanced parental, adoption and commissioning parental leave will require employers to manage higher levels of absenteeism. Other amendments that employers are currently grappling with include recent amendments to the Employment Equity Act and BBBEE Codes.
All the above means that employers need to refresh their human resources and labour relations policies and procedures, their disciplinary codes as well as employment contracts in order to manage compliance and risk. Despite these uncertain and complex conditions, employers who position themselves optimally in this context will be sustainable.