From skills development to making sure our working environment is safe and enjoyable, find out more how we care for Aqunion staff.
Fair and decent remuneration
Fair and decent remuneration packages have a huge impact on retention rates, employee satisfaction and motivation, while retaining excellent staff allows us to remain competitive in the market. It is for this reason that we benchmark and compare our remuneration packages with the use of the Peromnes System and annual salary surveys:
Remuneration plays an all-important role in our ability to attract top-performing employees. This greatly impacts on our competitiveness and productivity.
We believe that the retention of productive and top-performing employees is critical to running a successful business, as well as for our sustainability. Retaining employees means that we save on training costs and that we maintain an efficient and knowledgeable workforce. One way of ensuring employee retention is through our offering of a Provident Fund (investing for maximum growth), coupled with risk insurances – benefits that many employees in our industry desire. Furthermore staff retention is maintained through regular promotions and growth and development opportunities in our ever-expanding business.
The industry in which we operate is governed by certain laws which regulates compensation and wages (amongst other things). Not only do we comply with these laws but also remunerate our employees in excess of the minimum legal requirements because we believe in fair and decent remuneration.
Our sound labour relations and recognition of the Food and Allied Workers Union within our businesses allow for sound negotiation opportunities, ensuring that our employees are remunerated fairly.
Fair and safe work environment
In accordance to the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, we are committed to proper care for the health, safety and welfare of all our employees at work. We do so by providing a working environment that ensures all operations are carried out safely and by providing training and supervision as required for this purpose. Through our Code of Conduct we secure the co-operation and involvement of all employees in achieving a safe and healthy working environment. All stakeholders of our business know and understand that health and safety at work is not merely a management responsibility, but that each and every employee also has a statutory responsibility for one another. Through the establishment of a Health and Safety Committee, and appointments of responsible Health and Safety Officers, Representatives, First Aiders and Fire Fighting teams, we work together to ensure the safety and welfare of all our employees.
Training and Development
Although we do not yet have on-site training facilities, our businesses cover various training opportunities at all levels of the organisation. With specific focus on skills programmes within the aquaculture field we are building capacity in an environment of scarce skill. A National Certificate qualification in Sound Aquaculture Skills has become a minimum requirement for supervisory level staff on abalone farms in our business and we are privileged to have a number of staff having successfully completed this programme in 2014. We furthermore invest in adult education and training for our employees at other institutions and also offer a variety of life skills training such as self and money management skills, first aid skills and basic computer end user skills. A further focus toward sustainability is the development of our leaders. We also offer internships (abalone farming, human resource management, accounting, etc.) where we create opportunities for further development of scarce skills in our particular industry. Employees receive training and support in other fields related to their career development and study assistance is also provided for. Our vision for the future is to have a fully operational on-site training centre where all new employees will spend their probation periods training in all relevant areas before being placed out to the particular areas for which they have been employed.
Our Gansbaai site offers an on-site clinic, serviced by a registered nurse who provides health care and dispensing of medications. Our Hermanus sites offer regular visits from the local clinic for voluntary general medical examinations of employees. In accordance with legal and permit requirements, we provide employees with annual medical examinations at no cost to the employee. HIV/Aids Awareness as well as TB programmes are offered at all sites at least twice a year. During these campaigns free voluntary testing is also provided. Where necessary or relevant we arrange for additional employee support systems (e.g. social workers, AA meetings, etc.). Over and above this, our Employee Relations personnel are available to attend to any personal or work-related matter to ensure the wellbeing of our employees and our business.
Corporate social investment
Aqunion is committed to the development of its local community and has identified education – with a particular focus on Early Childhood Development – as the area where we want to make a significant contribution. In 2015, Aqunion will be investing in the expansion of a crèche in Hermanus – Yomelelani Pre-school. Our contribution will allow the crèche to accommodate an additional 80 children. We are very proud to be associated with this project and to make a meaningful contribution to the local community. The intention is that this effort will be extended to other areas in the Overstrand in years to come.