Registration with a bargaining council is indeed compulsory; but when a company registers, it benefits everyone.
This is according to Lindie Fourie, operations manager at the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI), who emphasises that both the employers and employees are definitely better off when the company registers.
“Being part of the BCCEI makes a company an active participant in a more stable and sustainable sector,” says Fourie. “This is mainly because the BCCEI facilitates collective bargaining on wages and general terms of employment, helping employers and labour to arrive at a fair outcome for all.”
The result of collective bargaining, she argues, is invariably of benefit to both employers, many of whom do not have the resources to deal with long term negotiations, and employees, who may not be sufficiently organised at plant or company level to present their demands. A fairer outcome for all also ensures that the general working environment is less disrupted, and the necessary energy and resources can be applied where required.
There are also certain minimum allowances which employees are entitled to, which are part of the conditions of employment applicable to the whole civil engineering sector. In many instances, employers and employees are not aware of these, she notes.
She highlights that being registered with the BCCEI facilitates the situation where employers and employees can be assisted in understanding what conditions are applicable to them. An example would be where the BCCEI requires businesses to belong to the Construction Industry Retirement Benefit Fund (CIRBF). Many smaller companies do not make any retirement provisions for their staff, but the BCCEI ensures that they attend to this vital aspect of employee well-being.
“Companies must also have a minimum funeral benefit in place for their employees,” she says. “Where business owners don’t have such schemes, there is an industry retirement benefit fund, medical aid and funeral benefits, although these are not administered by the BCCEI.”