NamHR Human Resource Solutions Namibia Your people management solution


Answering HR questions
Question Answer
Can I still use temporary employees? Yes. Temporary employment is also known as fix term employment contract employment. This type of employment refers to the employment of employees for a fixed period – i.e. the employee clearly knows that the employment period have a fixed start and end date or is linked to the completion of well defined assignment. It is recommended to have a clear agreement with the temporary employee in this regard in order to avoid any disputes. Note that the temporary employee enjoys the same rights under the Labour Act (2007) as full time / permanent employees. Temporary employees therefore need to be registered, inter alia, with the Social Security Commission, have the same leave benefits, etc.
Can I still use casual employees for 2 days? No. The Labour Act (2007) does not make any provision for casual employees.
Why do I need an employment contract for my employees? Employment contracts govern the employment relationship between an employer and employee. The employment contract stipulates the basic conditions of employment in relation to salary, benefits, working hours, employment terms, etc. and is aimed at avoiding misunderstandings during the employment period. No employment relationship should exist in the absence of an employment contract.
Can I introduce an employment contract if the employee is already in my service for some time? Yes. It is never too late to introduce an employment contract. The employer will need to consult with the employees in order to confirm the contents of such contract where after the employment contract will follow. Note also that the parties also need to agree on leave balances etc. at the same time – i.e. new contracts will be introduced for example from 1st February 2010 and variable items such as leave balances at this time should be included as a opening balance in the contract in order to avoid future disputes regarding queries preceding the introduction of employment contracts. It is important to note that an employment contract is to the benefit of both the employer and employee.
I never kept written records of my employee’s leave. How can I rectify this? Consult with your employee and agree on the accrued balance on a specific date. Both parties then agree to these balances with the immediate introduction of relevant leave forms and a system to keep a record of same. Note that the employer are required, by law, to keep leave records and the employer will be disadvantaged when a dispute arise in this regard.
What will happen if I pay out accrued annual leave during the employment period? Payment of accrued annual leave at any time except when the employment relationship discontinues, is illegal even if the employee request or agree thereto. The employer may be held accountable to reinstitute the paid out leave days.
Is the labour act applicable to domestic workers and farm workers? Yes. Most people make the mistake to think that the labour act does not apply to domestic employees and in some instances even agricultural employees. The labour Act (2007) governs any and all employment agreements within Namibia, whether such employment arrangement is formally agreed to or not. All employees and employers have basic rights which need to be reduced to writing in agreement between the employer and employee. Relevant records need to be kept for all employees. The aim of this website is just that – to enlighten all employers of their rights and responsibilities and to provide them with the relevant tools, for free, in order to comply with the labour Act (2007).
When do I need to pay Social security for my employees? Every employer needs to register his/her employees with the Social Security Commission whether they are permanent or temporary employees. The employer furthermore needs to contribute and deduct from the employee a certain portion of the employee’s remuneration and pay it over to the Social Security Commission. It is a statutory obligation for employers to register your employees with the Social Security Commission and to pay the annual fees.
What is Workmen’s Compensation (WCA) and who needs to belong to it? WCA pays for injuries on duty of your employees. All employers need to be registered with WCA. WCA will annually calculate a fee payable by every employer, calculated as a percentage of the employer’s wage bill for all employees falling within a predetermined salary range. It is a statutory obligation for employers to register your employees with WCA and to pay the annual fees.
What might be the consequences if I permit a female employee to continue working during her maternity leave period? Both the Labour Act (2007) and the Social Security Act prohibit female employees to work during the maternity leave period as defined in the Labour Act (2007). By permitting a female employee to work during her maternity leave period, even if she request to so, opens the employer up for liability in terms of complications with the pregnancy or childbirth and that apart from possible legislative action. It may be construed as fraud when maternity leave benefits are claimed from the Social Security Commission while the employee is earning her normal remuneration from the employer.  
What is talent management? It is crucial for companies to identify talented employees and to deploy strategies to develop and retain such employees. Companies therefore need a formalized process through which their talent is manged. Talent management is paramount to successful succession planning for key positions as the process will also point out areas where there is lacking depth in the company and appropriate startegies will then be deployed to close these gaps.
What is succession planning? Succession planning is a formal process whereby the company determines and document succession for specifically senior- and key positions. The process will indicate gaps which will then in turn lead to the deployment of startegies to close such gaps. Different studies have shown that succession planning is paramount to the continued and profitable existence of companies, especially on senior / executive levels. Many studies have been done to identify good leaders and CEO’s but their biggest legacy is the successful transition of their position to their protégé without any detriment to the company during the years to follow. The same principle applies to all levels in the company.
What is a career plan? All human beings instinctively want to progress in life and in their career. A career plan forms part of an effective performance management system and indicates to an employee the career options open to him/her. The career plan is formulated by consulting the employee in order to understand his/her aspirations and then to apply this aspiration to the company’s organizational structure. The employee will be assessed and he/she will be informed of what development and experience is needed for/her to progress through the different levels of his/her career plan. Regular assessments on readiness are discussed with the employee, usually during performance review meetings. Career plans is also known as career ladders and various other names.
What is a personal development plan? A personal development plan is normally part of an effective performance management system. The personal development plan indicates the short term and longer term development needed for the individual to be successful in his/her current position and also prescribe what is needed for the employee to progress and the progress thereof.
What is a performance management system? A performance management system describe the process use to ensure that employees know what their job entails and the assesment of their performance compared to the expected outcomes required from them. The first element of a performance management system is therefore job profiles or job descriptions.
What is the difference between a job and a position? Position profiles refers to a job profile or job description which is specifically tailor made for a specific position.
Job profiling? Job profiling refers to the technique / process used to determine the duties expected from the occupant of a position and describing it in such a way that is measurable and clear to the employee. The process usually starts with the breakdown of the company’s outputs into the required outputs expected from functions, departments, inter-departments, jobs and lastly positions. Effective job profiling leads to increased productivity as employees clearly understand what is expected from them and they are measured effectively and fairly on their outputs.
What is a skills matrix? A skills matrix is usually used to determine the skills and gaps of a group of employees performing the same tasks. For example: on column will list the names of the employees with the horizontal column listing the skills of every individual according to a predetermined key.
What is variable pay? Variable pay refers to the none guaranteed portion of an employee’s remuneration package. Examples of variable pay include commissions, incentives, performance bonuses, etc. Variable pay is also known as “pay for performance” and is globally gaining more popularity as it is a key driver for performance. It is however important that a variable pay package should be both inspirational and fair - thereby ensuring that employees remain motivated.
What are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Key performance indicators measure the company / function / department / inter-department / position or incumbent’s performance against important elements which is paramount to the success of the company / function / department / inter-department / position. The company usually have 10 or less KPIs which in turn are then broken down through the hierargy to the level of position / incumbent. All KPIs in the company will ultimately support the company’s main KPIs. KPIs is important as it keeps all functions and employees focused on the goals of the company and any deviation can be picked up immediately and be rectified – i.e. subject to relevant and frequent tracking mechanisms.
What is piece work pay? Piece work pay refers to payment according to the completion of a task or assignment. It is therefore not linked to hours worked to complete the task or assignment but only to the completion of the task or assignment according to set standards. Piecework pay increases performance but it is important that the rate be fair and that the employee agree in advance to the principle and required outcomes.
What is induction? Induction refers to the formal process followed by the company in order to introduce new employees to the company and their specific position. Induction is also known as orientation. An effective induction programme adds value in that the new employee is sooner ready to take up full responsibility of his/her position.
What is an organizational structure? An organizational structure refers to a visual chart of all functions, departments, inter-departments, positions and employees of the company. This is a very valuable tool when doing manpower planning, cost analysis, succession planning, etc. Various Human Resources software packages are driven by the company’s organizational structure in order to function properly. It is therefore important to note that a well though through organizational structure is one of the first building blocks when setting up a company in order to understand how many employees will be needed and the relationship between the different positions. The same applies to any extensions of a current company.
What is manpower planning? Manpower planning refers to the process used to determine the number of positions / people needed for the company to operate optimally. Manpower planning is usually also accompanied by the various labour cost expense elements in order to determine the cost of labour in the company (again broken down into functions, departments, inert-departments and positions). Manpower plans are usually updated annually in respect of a future year whilst also being corrected monthly to accommodate short term changes. Labour cost is usually the biggest expense item in any company’s budget and it is therefore important to have effective manpower planning and budgeting routines in place.
What is grading? Grading refers to the evaluation of positions in order to determine the “size” of positions. Different grading processes are used such as HAY, Pheromones, etc. Companies will only use one grading system and all their positions will be graded. Graded positions are clustered to create the different levels in the company.