Holiday payments totalling nearly R20 million are being distributed to some nine thousand building industry employees in the Eastern and Southern Cape.
“The annual pay-out process started on December 2, and will be completed by December 13, when the industry shuts down,” says Theo Verschuur, Council Secretary of the Building Industry Bargaining Council Southern and Eastern Cape (BIBC).
However, cash pay packets and long queues of builders waiting for their money have been replaced by electronic transfers into their employers’ bank accounts.
For those registered builders who do not yet have banking accounts, the BIBC has mobile office units which visit the smaller towns such as Queenstown, Grahamstown, Port Alfred, Kenton-on-Sea, Humansdorp, Jeffreys Bay, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, Riversdale, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn.
Payment is in the form of cheques rather than cash in order to protect both the workers and the BIBC team.
Included in the pay-out is a bonus calculated on the number of days worked by the employee, as well as payment for the four paid public holidays which fall within the annual leave period.
All the processing, calculations and distribution of the pay-outs is managed by the BIBC on behalf of registered building companies.
The holiday money, as it is known, is collected through the year through contributions by both registered employers and the employees.
“Our research shows that employers in the building industry value this service as it greatly reduces their own administration workload, and helps protect cash flow during the shut-down.
“The system provides proven security and reliable administration to the industry. It has been in operation for many years, and has been fine-tuned to ensure that all employees receive the correct holiday pay timeously.
“It was previously known as the ‘stamp’ system, but has evolved to an electronic “stamp” contribution system,” says Verschuur.
For employees, the advantage is that their holiday pay and other benefits are guaranteed even if they work for more than one registered employer during the year.
“It is for this reason that the system is supported by all parties to the Building Industry Bargaining Council, which includes the National Union of Mineworkers, the Master Builders Association, and the Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers of South Africa (AUBTW),” he says.
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