- SimplyBiz -



Welcome to SimplyBiz®

This is a place for you to find mentorship in other business owners and to be a mentor to others by participating in discussions and sharing your insights and experiences. It’s also a platform where you can build a beneficial, like-minded network and promote your business.

As a member of SimplyBiz.co.za I pledge:

To be real (no pseudonyms)
To be open to advice and support
To offer advice and support (and be kind when I do)

SimplyBiz FAQs

Each week the SimplyBiz team receives hundreds of emails from members. Here are our answers to some of the more common questions.

Please read these FAQs carefully. They outline what we consider acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and content. We may update the FAQs from time to time, so please read them regularly.

These FAQs are answered in the spirit of the terms of use of the site.

Can I upload my own articles, guides, tools, videos or podcasts?
In future you may be able to upload your own articles, guides, tools, videos and podcasts too.

Where can I find the question that I asked?
When posing a question, you should select one of the categories. The categories are related to the main headers on the site, namely 'Get More Clients', 'Guidance on Finance', 'Sort Out Admin', 'Manage My staff' and 'Stay Motivated'.

You can look for your questions in the category where you posted your questions under the 'Questions' tab. All the questions and discussions posted under this category will be listed here.

Should your question start to trend on the platform, you may also find your question on the main screen under 'Trending Discussions'.

You will also find your question under 'Username’s Contributions as a Discussion Starter' on your profile page.

How do I start a discussion?
You are able to start a discussion by using the 'Ask a Question' tab.

Select a category for your discussion from one of the main headers, namely 'Get More Clients', 'Guidance on Finance', 'Sort Out Admin', 'Manage My staff' and 'Stay Motivated'.

Depending on the category that you have selected, click on the appropriate header and you will find your new discussion under the 'Questions' tab. All the questions and discussions started under this category will be noted here.

Should your discussion start to trend on the platform, you will find your discussion on the main screen under 'Trending Discussions'.

Where can I find the comment that I posted?
If you made a comment on an article, it will be in the comments section below the article that you have commented on. If you responded to another member's question or discussion, it will be in the category where the question of discussion was started.

For example: If you asked: 'How do I find a reputable accountant' under 'Guidance on Finance', your question will be under the 'Questions' tab.

Why has my comment been deleted?
SimplyBiz welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and assist business owners in growing their business. Comments must be relevant to the business community.

We will not condone the following:
• Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
• Sexism
• Homophobia
• Religious intolerance
• Cyber bullying
• Hate speech
• Derogatory language
• Comments inciting hate or violence

You must not make or encourage comments that are:
• defamatory, false or misleading;
• insulting, threatening or abusive;
• obscene or of a sexual nature; or
• offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory against any religions or other groups.

We strive to make the SimplyBiz community a safe and welcoming space for all.

SimplyBiz reserves the right to:
• remove any comments that do not meet our requirements; and
• ban users who repeatedly infringe these rules and the agreed terms of use.

Our policy is to remove posts that goes against our terms and conditions and pledge, or that has been reported to us by a member of the site. If you feel a message you posted has been removed without justification, you can reword it and resubmit it on the site. We will also remove replies to, or anything that contains a copy of, the comment that has been removed.

What should I do if I find a comment, person or business profile offensive or inappropriate?
We strongly support the SimplyBiz community in maintaining high standards of participation. If you feel that a comment, question or discussion does not comply with the intent of the site (to be a niche business platform for business owners) or our terms of use, please contact SimplyBiz with full details of where the inappropriate content is located.

The SimplyBiz team also reviews the platform from time to time to maintain an environment conducive to constructive business conversations.

Should you find any comment, person or business profile offensive or inappropriate, you may contact us on:
Tel: 0860 116 400
Twitter: @SimplyBizSA
Email: SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za
The 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of all of our web pages

We will assess your concerns against our terms of use and our pledge at our sole discretion.

Please notify us only of serious complaints, not simply because you disagree with something said.

Can I let other people use my account to make comments?
No. Please keep your login details (username and password) to yourself and do not let others use your account.

Why is there a 1 000-word limit for comments under articles?
We have a word limit to encourage users to make their point concisely.

What is the difference between the questions section of the website and comments under articles or blogs?
The questions section contains message boards where users can start threads about topics and discuss matters. Comments under articles or blogs reflect users' views about the article or blog and the aim is not always to start a discussion.

Does SimplyBiz have any guidelines on how to write comments?
Yes, we do. SimplyBiz members want to receive business advice and guidance from different points of view and experiences. We therefore recommend that you keep the following in mind when writing comments:
• Try to contribute to the thread, rather than just clicking on like or dislike.
• Once your comment is online, everyone with internet access can read it.
• Please make your comment clear to ensure that it is not misunderstood.
• Your comment may be rated by other users and categorised as the best or worst comment.
• Don't forget that you are legally responsible for what you submit. Please consider how your comment could be received by others.
• Please be polite. Do not use swear words or crude or sexual language.
• English is the preferred business engagement language to be used.
• Keep your submissions relevant to the story or topic.
• Do not insult other contributions or discuss the non-appearance or removal of any content on this site or the suspension or termination of any users.

If you would like to discuss the operation of the site with us, please email us on SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za.

Am I legally responsible for what I write?
Yes. Please note our terms of use and make sure you know what is acceptable.

What is the difference between unmoderated comments and comments moderated in advance?
Please note the following types of moderations:
• Unmoderated: This is when your comment is published on the site without being checked in advance.
• Moderated reactively: The SimplyBiz website is generally moderated reactively, in other words based on complaints received and when coming across issues in our engagement with the site. Moderating the site in this way means that many more business owners and members will have the opportunity to contribute to the articles, comments, questions and discussion.
• Fully moderated/Moderated in advance/Automoderated: There are sites that are fully moderated in advance because they are of a contentious nature. In this case your comment will be checked in advance before it appears on the site, based on content that has been automatically flagged.

Please note:
• The type of moderation used is at the sole discretion of SimplyBiz.
• SimplyBiz has the discretion to remove comments (please see our terms of use).
• Your question, comment or discussion may have been removed because it did not comply with our terms of use, for legal reasons or following a complaint.

Are my comments, questions, discussions checked before they go online?
Yes, they may be. We have an unmoderated and a moderated in advance functionality on the site.

Why do I need to register to make a comment?
As per Seth Godin 'People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic'.

The site is intended to be a niche business community for business owners. To ensure that community members know who you are and what your business does, you must register and agree to our terms of use.

What will you do with my personal or business information such as my email address? Will you share it with external sources?
Personal and business information will be published on the site and becomes available to registered members on the SimplyBiz website so that they can contact you for business and networking.

SimplyBiz will never share your data with anyone. Registered members of the site may share your details with users outside the community without your written consent, but this is not encouraged.

Should this occur, please report it to SimplyBiz immediately.

Your information will be disclosed when we are obliged or permitted by law to do so. Also, if you post or send offensive, inappropriate or objectionable content anywhere on SimplyBiz or otherwise engage in any disruptive behaviour on SimplyBiz, any information SimplyBiz is has about you may be used to stop such behaviour. This may involve informing relevant third parties, such as law enforcement agencies, about the content and your behaviour. For the terms of use please click here.

Please read the terms of use before you accept them as you are giving the members on SimplyBiz access to your personal and business details and permission to contact you.

Registering on SimplyBiz gives Nedbank permission to contact you about products and services that we believe will benefit you and your business.

If you change your mind, you can opt out of receiving marketing material from Nedbank on your profile edit page.

Remember that your comments (with your username) will be placed on the internet and in newsletters, as this is a public forum.

We make every effort to keep your personal data safe.

Will you use my details to send me marketing material?
Registering on SimplyBiz gives Nedbank permission to contact you about products and services that we believe will benefit you and your business.

Registered members on the site can also contact you for business marketing and network purposes. You are able to block a member through the direct-message functionality.

What do I do if I have forgotten my password for my SimplyBiz registration account?
To reset your password please follow this link
. You will receive an email with further instructions. Please check your spam folder if it doesn't arrive in your inbox.

Please note that this email should arrive within a few seconds. If it does not, then it could be because your email provider quarantines automated emails to scan for viruses for a short period before sending them to you, in which case you will need to contact your IT team or email provider. If the registration email does not arrive at all, the most likely reason is that the email address you have entered is not registered on our system.

Remember to change your temporary password on your profile edit page for enhanced security.

How do I change my registered email address/postal address/other personal details?
Please follow this link
to your profile edit page and sign in if you have not already done so. You can then amend the details and click on 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.

How do I unsubscribe from newsletters and direct messages?
Please follow this link
to your profile edit page and select your preference under the 'Newsletter Frequency' tab.

As this site is intended to be a business networking site, you will be able to block any newsletters or emails direct.

How do I register to post comments?
Go to the SimplyBiz site and click on 'Register' on the top bar of the screen. You will be taken to the 'Count Me In' page. If you have registered previously, click on 'Login' to access your account.

How do I add a link to my comment
You have to enter the web address in your comment before you post it. Explain why you are including the link – never post a link without context.

Note that external internet sites may be monitored to ensure that they do not contain any questionable or illegal content.

Any inappropriate content must be reported to SimplyBiz for removal and the member will be blocked in accordance with our terms of use.

Can I delete one of my comments?
Yes, you can. You need to contact the moderation team. You can contact them at simplybiz@nedbank.co.za.

How do I delete my account?
To prevent people from creating multiple accounts for the purposes of abusing others or overrepresenting the support for a cause or position, you would need to register your account through your profile page.

Please note that once you have unregistered, you will have to create a new username and password if you wish to become a member again. Your previous username will be blocked, but previous comments will remain available.

How do I contact SimplyBiz?
Please contact us as follows:
Tel: 0860 116 400
Twitter: @SimplyBizSA
Email: SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za
The 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of all of our web pages

What do I do if I have an idea for an article, tool or guide I believe will benefit the business community?
You will need to pitch your idea to SimplyBiz under the most appropriate section by sending the relevant information to SimplyBiz@Nedbank.co.za.

The submission will be assessed at the sole discretion of SimplyBiz.

Can I reproduce content from SimplyBiz.co.za?
No portion of this website may be copied or disseminated without Nedbank's prior written consent. Content in the format of articles, guides and discussion comments may, however, be shared. You are not permitted to share the personal contact information or business details beyond this platform, unless you have the written consent of the registered member to do so.

Nedbank takes no responsibility for any personal contact or business information shared without the consent of the individual or business concerned.

How do I find an individual, a business, a question asked or a discussion started?
Search using the SimplyBiz advanced search capabilities available throughout the site.

How secure are my personal details?

Simplybiz takes the security and privacy of your account details very seriously. We will never request your security information such as your password through emails. Passwords are not kept in a readable format and are therefore known only to you, the member.

SimplyBiz will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as you are a registered member of the site, and remove it if you unsubscribe.

For safety reasons, however, SimplyBiz may store messaging transcript data (including message content, member names, times and dates) arising from the use of SimplyBiz.co.za.

You also have the responsibility to avoid unauthorised access. You can secure your personal details by playing according to the rules, never disclosing details of your account, username and password to other people.

Why has my account been suspended?
If you consistently do not comply with the terms of use of the site, your account will be suspended. You will receive an email from the team detailing why your account has been suspended. Moderators will also suspend your account if you have registered with an unsuitable name. If you receive an email requesting a change to your details please make the changes and reregister your account.

Why has my account been banned?
If you register with a username or post inappropriate content as described in the terms of use of the site, your account will be banned. You will receive an email from the team detailing why your account has been banned. Please ensure that that you choose a username that is not vulgar or offensive, and that your comments are appropriate to a business forum. We may also ban your account if you consistently do not comply with the terms of use and have complaints lodged against you.

What about confidentiality, privacy and contempt
Please respect people's privacy. You are not allowed to submit confidential or private information. For example, you must not upload the telephone number, email address or any other contact details of any person without his or her express consent.

You should not write anything that could prejudice pending or ongoing court proceedings of which you are aware. For example, if you have any personal knowledge about someone who has been arrested or charged or isbeing prosecuted for an offence, you must not mention it. If you do, you could be in contempt of court, which is an extremely serious matter.

What should I not do?
• No solicitation or investigations
You must not use our site for:
‒ any sponsorship, petition, campaign, scheme, spamming users or sending a chain message; or
‒ an investigation such as tracing the whereabouts of any person.
• No impersonation and proper disclosure
You must not pretend:
‒ to be someone else (eg an expert, another user or anothermember of our team); or
‒ that you are unconnected to a topic, when in fact you are. If you have a personal connection to a topic, you should disclose your connection or, where appropriate, not comment at all.
• No linking or copyright infringement
You must not insert links to websites (URLs) or submit content that would be an infringement of copyright.

Who can comment on articles, questions and discussion boards?
Only registered members are permitted to make comments on articles, ask questions and respond to questions.

How do I decide what is acceptable?
In deciding what is acceptable, please respect the spirit and tone of the FAQs, the pledge and the terms of use, as well as the best interest of the community.

Why would you suspend or terminate a member's registration?
We reserve the right to suspend or ban an account at our sole discretion. Here are some reasons why we might do so:
• If the terms of use, the pledge and additional notes found in these FAQs are breached.
• If fellow SimplyBiz members are spammed or harassed.
• If the spirit and tone of the community are not respected.
• If the conduct or comments of the member demand a disproportionate amount of our time or that abuse SimplyBiz members.

The length of a suspension and whether or not we ban someone depend on the circumstances. Bans are generally for extreme cases and repeated serious abuse.

If we suspend or ban your registration, you may not reregister or submit content without our permission, for example by using someone else's account.

Contact Request


These terms form a binding agreement between Nedbank Limited ('Nedbank') and any person who uses or accesses the SimplyBiz® site at www.simplybiz.co.za ('site').

1 Interpretation and definitions
1.1 Unless otherwise specified:
1.1.1 the term person refers to natural and legal persons or groups of persons;
1.1.2 the singular includes the plural, and vice versa;
1.1.3 words that have been defined in these terms will have the meaning attributed to them in these terms, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise; and
1.1.4 references to Nedbank, will, where necessary to limit its liability or enforce its rights, include its service providers, agents, clients, officers, shareholders, directors and employees.
1.2 The following words will have the following meanings:
1.2.1 'Use' means any of the following actions: accessing, viewing, sharing or commenting on the content on the site for any reason, and/or creating, posting, copying, editing or otherwise contributing content to the site.
1.2.2 'Content' means material in any form or of any kind, including text, files, documents, software, code, videos, photos, podcasts, member details or other multimedia works.
1.2.3 'Post', read as a verb, means submitting, uploading, creating, transmitting, disseminating, sharing, commenting, storing, copying or otherwise making content available on the site.
1.2.4 'User' is any person who merely visits the site, as well as a person who posts content in his/her capacity as a registered member or otherwise, and includes Nedbank employees.
1.2.5 'Member' is a registered user.

2 Nature and purpose of this site
2.1 This site is meant to enable members to provide guidance and information to one another on business-related topics, to access articles and download tools, to highlight Nedbank services and products, along with other exciting developments in the small-business industry, on a public platform.
2.2 The site allows members to profile themselves and their businesses for networking, document processing and mentoring purposes.
2.3 The content on this site may only be used for the purposes stated above.
2.4 The site contains, among others, the intellectual property rights, including copyrights and trademarks, of Nedbank and its members.
2.5 No portion of this site may be copied or disseminated without Nedbank's prior written consent.
2.6 Once a member has registered on the site, the following will apply:
2.6.1 You will be able to request contact with other members for information or networking purposes.
2.6.2 You can accept, ignore or decline a request to further a business relationship.
2.6.3 You can accept or decline a request Nedbank generated through the site to contact you with discussions, topics, content of interest or information regarding those of its products and services that it believes would be relevant to your business. You will be able to opt out or amend this feature.
2.6.4 Any contact uploaded or shared is done at the risk of members.
2.6.5 Interactions on this platform are classified as social media interactions and are governed by Nedbank's social media policies. Members are encouraged to bring to our attention any incorrect, defamatory or inappropriate content or conduct by sending an email to simplybiz@nedbank.co.za.

3 Prohibited content
3.1 While Nedbank respects and encourages the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression, in the interest of all users the content listed below may never be posted on the site. This applies regardless of whether you are posting your own content or using content created by a third party.
3.1.1 Content that in Nedbank's sole opinion is or can generally be considered to be obscene, sexually explicit or pornographic.
3.1.2 Content that is illegal.
3.1.3 Content that you know to be false, or is designed to be misleading.
3.1.4 Content that is defamatory, intimidating, harassing, hateful, injurious, racist, sexist, abusive, malicious or threatening to any person or group of persons.
3.1.5 Content that incites hatred or violence.
3.1.6 Content that is frivolous, unreasonable, vexatious or posted in bad faith.
3.1.7 Content that infringes or may infringe the intellectual property rights of any person or legal entity. This includes content that you didn't create or that you do not have permission to post.
3.1.8 Content that constitutes or may constitute an invasion of the privacy rights of any person.
3.1.9 Content that constitutes or may constitute the wrongful or unlawful disclosure or publication of confidential information or trade secrets.
3.1.10 Content that is otherwise injurious to any person.
3.1.11 Content not expressly authorised by Nedbank that endorses, offers or promotes any product or services for commercial purposes.
3.1.12 Content that contains viruses, worms or other destructive code.
3.1.13 Content that may expose Nedbank or any other users to harm or liability.

4 Right of use
4.1 You may not use the site to do any of the following (whether for yourself or on behalf of any other person):
4.1.1 Impersonate any person.
4.1.2 Harass or intimidate any person.
4.1.3 Collect the personal information of any person.
4.1.4 Post spam.
4.1.5 Expose Nedbank or any other users to any harm or liability.
4.2 If you are unsure whether your conduct or content will amount to defamation or infringement or cause any harm you must not post it but obtain legal advice first. Nedbank is not in a position to assess whether this is the case and cannot advise you on this.
4.3 Nedbank reserves the right to remove any prohibited content and suspend or terminate your right to use the site immediately.

5 Desired behaviour
5.1 Make comments, share articles or repost opinions that are true or amount to fair comment and that are in the public interest in the context of the site community. If you fail to do this, you may be held liable for defamation (causing harm to a person or legal entity's reputation).
5.2 By posting content on the site you warrant and represent that you either created, own or otherwise have the right to use or post that content.
5.3 You warrant that any content that you post does not infringe any party's intellectual property or personal rights, including, but not limited to, his/her/its patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy or other personality rights. You also warrant that your use of the content or posting thereof constitutes fair use or fair comment or truth that is in the public interest.

6 Complaints
6.1 Any product or service complaints about non-Nedbank products must be directed to the product or service provider in question to ensure resolution.
6.2 Any product or service complaints about Nedbank should be directed to the correct channels within Nedbank.

7 Licence
7.1 By posting content on the site, you grant Nedbank a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual and worldwide licence to use your content in connection with the operation of the site and compiling information on its products and/or services.
7.2 By posting content on the site, you grant users/members permission to share your comment on social media platforms.

8 Registration
8.1 When you register to use the site (become a member), you must provide information that is true and accurate.
8.2 You must keep this information up to date.
8.3 By registering to use the site you warrant that you are over the age of 18. Alternatively, you confirm that your parent or legal guardian has agreed to your use of the site.
8.4 In the case of business registrations you warrant that you are duly authorised to register the business on the site. Businesses and individuals that register on the site may be vetted with a view to excluding any businesses or individuals deemed to be inappropriate by Nedbank. This will be at the sole discretion of Nedbank.

9 How we protect your user information
9.1 All users must be registered to become members.
9.2 On registration members can choose which of their details are available for other members to view.
9.3 On registration as a member on the site your personal and business information will be available to all registered members of the site.
9.4 Members have the ability to omit information that they do not want to publicise.
9.5 Personal and business information is made available in line with the nature and purpose of the site, and may not be used beyond this framework.

10 Privacy Policy
10.1 Nedbank recognises and respects your right to privacy. Accordingly we are committed to the protection of your personal information and the appropriate use of that information.
10.2 Access to this information is limited to the site, Nedbank and any member.
10.3 The information will be used to communicate with you only if you have selected to receive marketing information in your member registration form or profile.
10.4 Cookies accessed or stored by our site may retain personal information such as your name, email address and contact number, but you have the choice to switch off cookies on your computer.
10.5 No personal information gathered by us about you will be shared with any other person or entity without your prior permission, except as provided in these terms or as required by law.
10.6 Be aware that communication between you and any other member of the site can be accessed by other internet users.
10.7 Please do not use email if you want to share confidential information with us.

11 Your login details and duty to log out
11.1 You agree to keep your login details secret, including your username and your password, which you must select.
11.2 You must not give third parties access to your account or login details.
11.3 You must log out after each session to prevent other persons from accessing your account.
11.4 As we deal with each other in a non-face-to-face environment, we are entitled to assume that any content posted on the site after login with your username and password was posted by you or with your consent.

12 Nedbank's role and responsibilities
12.1 Nedbank merely provides a site for the use and appropriate enjoyment of its users.
12.2 Nedbank reserves the right to screen users after registration.
12.3 Nedbank reserves the right to monitor, delete or modify any of the content posted on the site from time to time, and to perform checks on members.
12.4 Nedbank respects the rights of all persons and requires that its members do the same.
12.5 If you believe that any person is acting inappropriately or performing any of the prohibited acts or posting prohibited content, you may contact Nedbank to report the matter, and Nedbank will take the appropriate action at its sole discretion.
12.6 Complaints that are frivolous, unreasonable, vexatious or in bad faith will not be entertained.
12.7 Nedbank reserves the right to monitor, or participate in, any disputes between members.
12.8 Nedbank's publication of any content posted by any member on the site does not amount to an endorsement of any kind.
12.9 Before relying on any product information, opinion, guidance and/or service you should verify that the resource, guidance, content, product and/or service is accurate.
12.10 While Nedbank will regularly back up site data, and endeavour to recover data that may be lost, it is not obligated to do so.
12.11 The availability of the site and its content, including data stored by members, cannot be guaranteed.
12.12 Nedbank reserves the right to discontinue the site at any time.

13 Disclaimer of warranties and limitation of liability
13.1 Nothing on the site constitutes an offer.
13.2 You agree that Nedbank will not be liable, under any circumstances and in any way, for any errors or omissions, loss or damage incurred as a result of your use of or reliance on any content posted on this site.
13.3 Nedbank is not liable to any person for any losses or damages that arise, directly or indirectly, from any content appearing on or originating from this site, or the actions or omissions of any members of this site or Nedbank in regard to this site.
13.4 This site is provided as is and as available.
13.5 Nedbank makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the site's operation or the content included on the site.
13.6 Nedbank cannot and does not verify the accuracy, truth, ownership rights or nature of any content its members submit.
13.7 Nedbank will not be liable for any damage of any kind arising from the use of or inability to use the site.
13.8 To the full extent permissible by law Nedbank disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for any particular purpose.
13.9 Information transmitted over the internet or stored for display on the internet is susceptible to unlawful interception and monitoring.
13.10 By using the internet you accept the risks associated with unlawful interception and monitoring.
13.11 Comments on the platform may be shared outside of the platform and Nedbank will not be held responsible or liable for any effects and/or damages that may arise as a result of this.

14 Member indemnity
14.1 You agree to defend and indemnify Nedbank against and hold it harmless from any and all demands, liabilities, losses, costs and claims, including reasonable attorneys' fees that may arise or result from your use of the site, or that was caused directly or indirectly by you or any person whom you allowed to access the site, whether by posting content on the site or otherwise.
14.2 Without derogating from the foregoing, you agree that Nedbank will at its sole discretion have joint control over litigation that arises as a result of your use of the site
14.3 No undertakings, settlements, public communications or statements that refer to or implicate Nedbank, directly or indirectly, will be issued or given without its prior written consent.

15 No responsibility for third-party sites, content and charges
15.1 From time to time Nedbank or members may provide links or access to third-party sites and content.
15.2 Nedbank is not responsible for such third-party sites or content or actions.
15.3 Nedbank does not provide any warranties about such third-party sites or the content or the operators of such sites.
15.4 Nedbank in no way recommends or endorses these parties, their sites or their content, products, opinions, advice (if any), relevance, currency, security or privacy.
15.5 Third parties may levy additional charges for using or accessing any of the content made available on the site, including cellphone or content service providers.
15.6 It is your responsibility to check charges before downloading content onto any device.
15.7 You agree that you must evaluate and assess content independently.
15.8 You will bear all risks associated with the use of any content. If you download any software by means of the site, you will be bound by the relevant software licence agreement.
15.9 You agree to exercise caution when accessing links on the site or links that are emailed to you. The disclaimer in 13.3 above will apply to your accessing any links as stipulated in these terms of use.

16 We may modify these terms
16.1 Nedbank reserves the right to change these terms at any time and at our sole discretion.
16.2 You are responsible for regularly checking whether these terms have changed.
16.3 Any amendments will be binding on all users of the site.
16.4 A certificate issued by the webmaster will serve as prima facie proof of which version of the terms applied at a specific date, or which content was posted on the site on a specific date.

17 General
17.1 Entire agreement
17.1.1 These terms constitute the entire agreement between you and Nedbank regarding the use of the site and replace any previous agreements.
17.1.2 If you download any software from the site, the licence agreement applicable to such software will also apply to you.
17.2 Non-waiver and severability
17.2.1 Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these terms will not constitute a waiver thereof.
17.2.2 If any provision of these terms is held to be invalid, unlawful, void or unenforceable, the remainder of these terms will continue in full force and effect.
17.3 Governing law
17.3.1 The laws of the Republic of South Africa will apply.

Unregister Notice

You have clicked the unregister button, are you sure you want to unregister from SimplyBiz?

Unions - Harmony vs. Conflict?
By SimplyBiz

header image

Unions can have a devastating impact on your production due a protracted dispute or stay-away

One of the biggest fears for small business is the potential for conflict with labour union representatives or members. This is, unfortunately, a reality for any business, but especially threatening to small businesses.

Unions can have a devastating impact on your production due a protracted dispute or stay-away, or because you are bound by agreements made at a central bargaining level. These types of high-level agreements may suit the larger enterprises that are able to pass increased labour costs on to the market, but they could seriously hamper your survival as a small business.

These threats are obviously biggest for businesses in highly unionised sectors, such as manufacturing and construction. It is therefore important to bear these risks in mind if you operate in these sectors.

And, while the solution may appear to be to ban union membership by your employees, this is not allowed under the Labour Relations Act.

As a small business, it is also quite likely that you will be employing younger, less experienced staff. This could play to your advantage in being able to select employees who are not union members or who value the security that a job offers.

The introduction of the youth wage subsidy in 2014 goes a long way to opening the door for younger employees to enter the workplace. How this works is that employers can claim the incentive for any employee between the ages of 18 and 29 who receives a monthly salary lower than R6 000.

The scale of the benefit ranges according to a number of different criteria and salary brackets. SARS has provided this useful guide and automated calculation page to determine the extent of the rebates that apply.

As an employer, it is always going to be difficult to avoid the effects or threats that unions may hold over your ability to run a lean, profitable business.

Adopting a confrontational approach to union membership or representatives is a sure way to raise this threat level to the extent that your viability is at risk. At the very least, ensure that you comply with all labour regulations in your industry. Better yet, build an understanding and relationship with union members and representatives.

Should you operate in an industry that is subject to union action, it always pays to cover your back by contracting expertise in the form of a labour lawyer or consultant who can advise you.

Key take-away: Labour unions are a reality in many industry sectors. Ensure you are aware of the labour regulations and workers’ rights and that you remain compliant. The investment in a labour lawyer or consultant during salary negotiation periods will stand you in good stead.

Constitutional Court of South Africa" by Stefan Schäfer, Lich - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

What is your take?


    • Avatar
      751 days ago Ifriky started a discussion. 6 0

      Interesting article. Through the eyes of a non-SA citizen, I would start by mentioning that the work force mentioned includes non-SA citizens who may or may not enjoy all the benefits offered by unions. Granted, nations need to look out for their citizens. However, consider that this (among other) constraint makes the foreigner more appealing to the employer because he is the more likely to stay during stormy days and go the extra mile. God knows in small businesses, especially in early stages, stormy days are the norm. This brings me to the sad xenophobic rhetoric that had become quasi-seasonal in S.A... It confuses me. My first question is "Why me?". Indeed if I simply handed over my research work to the first willing and able S.A citizen, I would probably be as lonely as I am now even while I actively look for S.A citizens to train. As an entrepreneur, the reality is that while the laws may allow a permanent resident to get into business, the people do not always like it. I have had this experience unfortunately, where it did not seem to matter that my business offered employment possibilities... It only seemed to matter that I as the owner was not born here. Laws are laws, but we do live with people, and people decide. Despite these hurdles we still push through and make things happen. Why? Because we look past cultural barriers, and when we do look at these barriers, we see opportunity. It would be beautiful if South Africa could do the same because: 1- Companies would listen to their workers before union action is necessary, because they would really care. 2- Workers would see the bigger picture and chose accountability mechanisms that do not harm the business, because they would really care. 3- Both employers and employees would work towards the economic growth of the nation, because they would really care. Finally, I would not feel so unwanted even while I contribute to the economy of a nation whose citizens (granted it is a minority) tell me they do not want me in their midst.

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        MoniqueOlive8 751 days ago 1 0

        Don't lose hope lfriky. Businesses need all the entrepreneurship mentorship available. We all view the world with a bias, but different perspectives allow grow us out of old reasoning and better ourselves.

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        TheTastyChef 751 days ago 3 0

        Ifriky, it breaks my heart to hear how successful, smart and willing people such as yourself are made to feel this way in our country! My first 2 employees, a while back, were 2 wonderful, hard working Zimbabwean ladies who were hungry for success and treated my bakery as there own. Unfortunately, as in many situations, they had fled Zim to try and provide for their families back home, and as such were here illegally.  

        I made every effort possible to legalise them through the proper channels, however, it was denied, for no apparent reason, and because they were now on illegal immigrant radar, were sent back home!  I have never been more dissolutioned and angry with our government, punishing them and inadvertantly me as a business owner for trying to abide by the laws!

        What ends up happening, is that entreprenuers end up circumventing the laws in order to keep our foreign employees!  But in the long term,  this means that they will never benefit from the workers rights of SA, and leaves them exposed to exploitation. 



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        Marang 751 days ago 4 0

        It is so bizarre to me that an investor who's creating jobs in an age where unemployment is such a problem, is rejected simply because they're not a citizen. it makes no sense at all, and impedes so many opportunities. we need to do better, be better. 

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          TheTastyChef 751 days ago 2 0

          Agreed, totally senseless and so short sighted!  What makes me wonder, is how long will our neigbouring nations put up with this Xenephobia?  When are they going to say, enough is enough and impose sanctions or block South African trade in their countries to try and force the SA govenment to stop this!  Does this administration really need to repeat the mistakes the Nats made during apartheid?

          It seems this may be a possiblility if nothing is done, which deeply saddens me considering all we have been though and fought for as a country.

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        antoprophy 751 days ago 4 0

        Dr. Ifriky, wow this breaks me especially given that as a black South African woman I could easily and effortless expand my business to East Africa and I was respected as an investor. I was welcomed with open arms and never had to question being African. 

        To quote you: "Finally, I would not feel so unwanted even while I contribute to the economy of a nation whose citizens (granted it is a minority) tell me they do not want me in their midst." Have you found that your business growth has been impeded by this risk that you now have to mitigate?

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          Ifriky 751 days ago 3 0

          Thanks for the question Antoinette. Actually from a business point of view it only gets in the way when I need to take a firm stand on a view. Recently again I pulled out of a contract because despite attempts to correct my name, it was spelled wrongly and posted on facebook. In defence of my brand and to make a statement that it cannot be taken for granted, I pulled out. One of the comments I got was "you should not antagonize these people because you are not from here". I have learned that it is part of business in SA but this is my case. I know a number of entrepreneurs from elsewhere who thrive no matter what. I keep growing and I actually think this is a blessing in disguise because I end up with a thicker skin. As an entrepreneur you welcome a thick skin wherever it comes from.

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      751 days ago MikeChilewejnr started a discussion. 3 0

      Thank you for the invite @antoprophy


      my take as an investor in SA especially in FMCG companies which is most of the times labor intensive.

      We come in companies who are looking at selling their business cause of lack of growth capital or retiring. When we get in we always have to change a few things and most of the times the labor law in South Africa makes it hard on most things


      South African workers also demand pay rises all the time, this is first hand experiences, if inflation goes up, immediately people are striking for raise.


      I think its better that the law should also protect the employers because if they close their businesses people will be unemployed completely


      The government should work on making sure that the economy is going the right direction so that things are say affordable for people which gives less pressure on the employer


      On Xenophobia for us it’s a Big issue, we have a few transactions that are hanging because our funders don’t want to put money when factories usually employ foreigners. Because foreigners usually accept say less than what locals want. These foreigners have proper papers and permits but when they take the money back home it’s a lot of money


      It’s also a big threat for even me, lately, I haven’t been moving freely especially visiting new prospective ventures which are usually right in town or out of town because of fear


      It also bothers an investor like me that my fellow brother is being punished for being a foreigner, how do I employ the same person who is doing that to my home brothers?


      The government of South Africa has so much to do in terms of creating a balance and working on the economy otherwise if all foreigners could leave tomorrow South Africa would be in serious problems   

      • Avatar
        antoprophy 751 days ago 2 0

        Mike, thank you so much for being candid, we need to hear more from investors like you who are directly affected by the buffet of issues we have right now. 

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        MikeChilewejnr 751 days ago 4 0

        @thetastychef the situation in the rest of Africa is different to South Africa. Its very free and less restrictive

        Its only that governments are playing catchup to good policies that will develop the countries but its never too late. Otherwise its a free world out there where you operate your business in peace without fear of being a foreigner and the governments always protects foreigners.

        I hope South Africa will change on this one 

        • Avatar
          antoprophy 751 days ago 2 0

          We have a long way to go and it starts with facing our truth through conversations like this one. Thanks Mike.

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        MikeChilewejnr 751 days ago 4 0

        We should be united as Africans and have a proper balance which will help everyone both locals and those who are coming in 

        Investors shouldn't feel threatened or their investment threatened at anytime. A lot of African countries are booming and if government doesn't look into this seriously investments will go to other countries. We shouldn't take them for granted 

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          Marang 751 days ago 1 0

          For sure - we really need a more welcoming attitude towards investors from other countries across the continent, the benefits are obvious and often, immediate! And as you say, Mike, there are other markets who are more cooperative and welcoming to outside investment will surely attract those who want user-friendly, accomodating investment destinations....

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          TheTastyChef 751 days ago 3 0

          Yes indeed Mike,  lets all hope that they can stabalize the situation before it is too late!  Out of interest, what is the trading environment like throughout the rest of africa? 

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        Marang 751 days ago 4 0

        Thanks so much for that perspective, Mike. ‘Balance’ seems to be the buzzword when it comes to how unions are viewed – the perception that they are heavy-handed in their engagements with the employer is a worry, and needs to be addressed. What is also disturbing is the xenophobic unrest and resultant negative perception in SA as an investment destination by potential investors from across the continent. 

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          MikeChilewejnr 751 days ago 2 0

          @thetastychef I think the best advice I can give at this point in time is that maybe its better to partner with locals who are willing to work and make small businesses work, maybe if we bring this type of collaborations the community people will feel they own part of the businesses, this is not a BEE type of things but something where, everyone involved brings in the money and works in the business together with the foreigners. They should always work on providing solutions  to the masses in the communities they are based 

          Cause these foreigners who are attacked dont even have a bank account, I think right collaborations and partnerships will help

          I have heard of one organization which was formed by foreigners but its not effective yet because the government is not acting 

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          TheTastyChef 751 days ago 2 0

          Mike, thanks for the input, it's good hearing it from the horses mouth as to what is actually happening regarding foriegners in business here.  I agree that on a governmental level, things need to change and quickly regarding the policies surrounding this issue.  Would you have any advice for small foreign business owners in SA on how to navigate these waters and run profitable businesses here?  Is there an organisation in SA that assists in this? 

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          MikeChilewejnr 751 days ago 3 0

          The Big problem is that Unions in SA have more power than the employer. When they strike, companies have to choice and they always win, which in turn makes the products the company is making to increase the prices to absorb the labor costs which again in turn makes the employee not able to afford products again. The balance is really needed and its needed fast 

          We need policies that are strong to protect both parties plus engagement when making these policies is important 


          Right now our funders are holding on to money cause of  Xenophobia when the country is out there preaching "Invest in SA" 

          investors and even tourists want a peaceful country where they feel safe

          My family calls me everyday to check on Xenophobia and its sad that government is quite and when people are arrested they are released in a few days with no charge. This would never happen in any other country, what type of freedom lets people get away with looting and even killing

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      752 days ago antoprophy started a discussion. 1 0

      @NB82 and @marang, I know that China is probably the worst example to use when it comes to human rights but I'm simply asking what do we want as SA? Our current unions and labour laws stifle mass employment, it is choking the system. Do we keep on this path of no growth and mass unemploymnet or do we get serious about addressing unemploymnet. If it's the latter then we need to shake up our labour laws and unions. 

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        Marang 751 days ago 1 0

        We certainly cannot go on the way we are – as you said earlier, something’s got to give. And although China cannot be cited as a model of human rights, as you said, we have to figure out a way to move from the current position, to one that encourages growth and jobs.

    • Avatar
      752 days ago Marang started a discussion. 2 0

      @NB82 - i agree wholeheartedly.... inasmuch as we have sound labour laws, we see plenty of cases where companies ride roughshod over workers rights.I really do feel like there is still a place for ethical, responsible labour unions in SA.

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        antoprophy 752 days ago 1 0

        Hey Nicole, nice bumping into you. 

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      752 days ago Marang started a discussion. 3 0

      @thetastychef - confrontations between companies and unions are often depicted in the media as David vs Goliath battles, which really isn't helpful when the situation is in reality, much more nuanced than that. An existing culture of openness and transparency between management and workers can help alleviate potential on-the-ground tensions during such situations, when the workforce knows that essentially, the leadership want to do right by them, because that's their experience of the workplace. 

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        TheTastyChef 752 days ago 2 0

        Sure, it must be much more complicated than it is made out to be in the media.  But on your second point, if you create a culture of openness and transparency within your organisation and have people in place to stand as mediators and spokespeople between workforce and management, then does that not negate the need for unions?  Is the way forward, maybe to do away with them and internalize these negotiations?  On the surface I could see it as a real solution, one that could possibly circumvent the negative connotations of unions and the abuse which we see fairly often nowadays, force companies and workers to sort out their problems themselves?

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          TheTastyChef 752 days ago 2 0

          I hear you that an internal person may not win the trust of workers, and actually, putting myself in an employees shoes, i do agree.  

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          antoprophy 752 days ago 3 0

          I'm sure there is a dev house out there working away on an app or chatbot called Thabo who will act as a clinical mediator making union reps redundant. We need an Uber type shake up on a space that is lagging and archiac.

          I agree that external mediation is much needed and yes the recent Masmart pay dispute is evidence of this but boy-oh-boy does it need a Tesla type make-over.

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          Marang 752 days ago 1 0

          Hmmmmmm... i'm not necessarily convinced that internal resources are the solution. Often, these situations require the services of an outside mediator or negotiator, because the parties concerned are too close to, or invested in the situation. Also, I've heard too many stories where HR are seen as management's henchmen, and not necessarily the impartial representative representing best HR & labour practice - i do believe there is still a place for responsible unions in SA. 

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      752 days ago antoprophy started a discussion. 3 0


      We need to fix these stats and being able to create employment easily and effortlessly must become part of the entrepreneurship conversation. We cannot encourage businesses to scale-up just to become stagnant at a certain level.

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        TheTastyChef 752 days ago 2 0

        Those are fascinating stats, thanks for sharing.  What jumped out at me straight away, is that the smallest percentage of employment across the board per sector, is the agriculture and mining sector!  Surely, and correct me if I'm wrong as I don't know much about this,but agricuture should be a much larger portion considering we are in South Africa?  I thought it was one of our largest trading commodities?

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          antoprophy 752 days ago 2 0

          The drought seems to be affecting the agri space. This recent article cites: "The number of South African households engaged in agricultural activities decreased between 2011 and 2016. There were 550 000 (19,1%) fewer agricultural households in 2016 (2,33 million) than in 2011 (2,88 million).This decline was mainly due to the drought experienced throughout the country during 2014 and 2015. There has also been a decline of 6,6% in the proportion of households engaging in agricultural activities nationally. A fifth (19,9%) of all households in the country were agricultural households in 2011, this declined to only 13,8% in 2016."


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        Marang 752 days ago 2 0

        Whoa! So true, Anto! Especially with the world economy in the state it's currently in, we really have to be competitive. It's becoming easier for companies to move production elsewhere if costs of operation are too high in SA.

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          NB82 752 days ago 3 0

          This isn't at all simple and I wouldn't want to come across as a liberal idealist but in my experience with global companies seeking "competative" environments to work in, there is often a trade off where leaves those most vulnerable worse off. Individual lives matter and this can get lost when trying to attract global players into the economy. Even in SA where we have sound and ethical labour laws, most professionals have a vague understanding of their rights, and there are a considerable number of international players operating here to effectively source "slave-labour" and they can afford to discard our labour laws.  In this context there is a role for ethical unions to provide needed support.

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          TheTastyChef 752 days ago 1 0

          So I'm wondering, is that not the more important issue here?  How do we keep production in SA?  What steps do we need to take to make it more viable for business to continue here? What are the obstacles preventing us from doing this?

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          antoprophy 752 days ago 2 0

          Something's Gotta Give, always.

    • Avatar
      752 days ago TheTastyChef started a discussion. 2 0

      Antoprophy I do agree that a certain evolution is neccessary as business changes.  I would love to hear some of your war stories and lessons learnt, my business is still fairly young and I have only ever had 2 employees so I'm sure I could learn alot from your experience.  Does any particular story stand out as a big smack in the face lesson?

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        antoprophy 752 days ago 3 0

        I made the mistake to ramp up too quickly without the correct processes and systems in place and this lead to unnecessary chaos and confusion. Pace yourself, pace your growth and if scaling up becomes a business imperative, make sure you have the right systems in place from recruitmnet to onboarding to induction. Every step of the HR value chain plays a role in how employees immerse themseves in your brand.

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      752 days ago Marang started a discussion. 1 0

      Inasmuch as unions can be regarded as a menacing and daunting force to deal with, it’s crucial in a country such as ours, that workers rights are protected. All too often, we hear of tales of  exploitation of vulnerable peoples in the workplace – it’s really important to strike a balance, and ensure that both sides – employer and employee, are fairly represented. At the end of the day, businesses need to turn profits to survive – we have to strive to ensure that takes place in concert with workers rights.  

    • Avatar
      752 days ago Marang started a discussion. 2 0

      Inasmuch as unions can be regarded as a menacing and daunting force to deal with, it’s crucial in a country such as ours, that workers rights are protected. All too often, we hear of tales of  exploitation of vulnerable peoples in the workplace – it’s really important to strike a balance, and ensure that both sides – employer and employee, are fairly represented. At the end of the day, businesses need to turn profits to survive – we have to strive to ensure that takes place in concert with workers rights. 

      • Avatar
        antoprophy 752 days ago 2 0

        Absolutely agree that we must ensure workers' rights are protected, most certainly but are our existing union structures and essence based on the 'baas' framework? Most entrepreneurs, especially millennials are driven by the people over profits so to be painted with the Thatcher era brush is dated.

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          TheTastyChef 752 days ago 2 0

          I agree Antoprophy, as a millenial in business, I have no or very little experience of that time and as a result, have no hangups that I'm sure older entreprenuers have.  I do business based on people, if we click, I like their story, I believe in them.  The same goes for employees, so it wold be great to see a shift in the unions, make them less daunting and more approachable to business owners as a real solution to ensuring the status quo of the employer employee relationship.

        • Avatar
          Marang 752 days ago 3 0

          My take is that unions wield extraordinary power in today’s context – if anything, my appeal would be to them to use this power very carefully, so much stands and falls on how they choose to engage – whether it’s negotiation or bullish confrontation.

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      752 days ago antoprophy started a discussion. 3 0

      Over the past seven months in Cape Town, I have been exposed to entrepreneurs from various sectors but I am mostly concerned for the manufacturing businesses. We know that employment opportunities abound in this space but the possibility of having to deal with unions, as an entrepreneur is a scary thought.  An article cites: "The late Margaret Thatcher is an extremely polarizing figure in the United Kingdom. One huge factor in this is the way the "Iron Lady" crushed the UK's trade unions during her reign." A shrinking economy and unemploymnet on th eincrease year on year in SA, where is our Thatcher?

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        Marang 752 days ago 3 0

        Where indeed? My perspective is slightly different….We’re a fairly small company (9 staffers, including owners) and as such, don’t really have the administrative muscle to handle issues with unions. Because we’re in the services sector, (PR, brand activations, events), it’s not a heavily unionized space, but we have had to enlist the services a fellow small business in the industrial relations space when we were dealing with retrenchments a few years ago.

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          TheTastyChef 752 days ago 2 0

          Marang yes, when you put it like that, and considering our country's history, it must be a huge responsibilty and a precarious balancing act!  And you are right, I think employers tend to be wary of unions and feel as if they will be made out to be sword wieilding monsters.  I think sensationalised media has a lot to do with this, what is your take and how do we bridge the gap between the perception and the reality? 

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          antoprophy 752 days ago 2 0

          I guess the Wiki explanation is: "As an employer, one of the advantages of dealing with a labor union is that it simplifies the negotiations process. When you deal with a labor union, you do not have to negotiate with multiple employees. You simply talk to the head of the labor union and the head of the union speaks for all of the workforce. By doing this, you can negotiate faster and more efficiently without having to worry about meeting with many different employees." 

          This certainly helps in a multinational, global context, my fear is for the scale-up moving from 20 to 100 employess and having to deal with the pain and agony of union disruptions. We need to review this space, bring it into this century.

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          Marang 752 days ago 2 0

          Correctly utilised, I do believe that unions can be a benefit both to employees AND employees. Unfortunately, our country has a legacy of extreme labour exploitation, and historically,  unions have played an important role in addressing that…where we are now, I feel like unions can play a key mediation role in dealing with the lingering effects of this painful legacy – and it works well when the unions have a realistic view of the business challenges in today’s environment, and do not approach the employer as a avaricious exploiter, but as a businessperson trying to balance a very tricky situation….it’s a major responsibility!

        • Avatar
          TheTastyChef 752 days ago 3 0

          I centainly see the value of unions from an employees perspective and in certain industries a very neccessary component, however what are the benefits for employers?  There are so many horror stories out there from loss of productivity to complete shutdowns of entire industries which causes small business owner to avoid unions at all costs.  Am I missing a point here or would you be able to enlighten me as to the benefits?

        • Avatar
          antoprophy 752 days ago 3 0

          Hey love, yes people are our most valued asset and heaven knows it is not the easiest part of the businesses. We must handle with care, I think I can write a book on my many leassons that slapped me in the face over the past 12 years from just the people side of business. I do think as the business landscape changes drastically year on year, the labour/union space must evolve too.

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