At RCL FOODS we believe that passion breeds success. We respect individuals and nurture them by empowering them to grow. We also value every employee’s contribution to the Group as a whole, and believe that self-management and accountability are key elements in fostering an efficient and productive workforce. This provides a platform for building a community of inspirational people who have a common purpose. Specific focus areas include:

Human capital Sustainability is synonymous with achieving long-term human capital development and corporate social responsibility objectives
  • Attracting and retaining talent, supported by leadership and talent management programmes, is key to transforming the organisation and building RCL FOODS
  • Underpinning this are individual development plans and sound succession plans which ensure that high potential employees are recognised and prepared for the future
  • As part of the talent management process, people development systems and processes have been enhanced with greater emphasis on the integration of the 2020 Employment Equity objectives. The Leadership Standards and Behaviours have been rolled out across the business, promoting behaviours that ensure every manager is accountable for sustainable delivery. Employees are also able to access specific training within defined learning pathways, such as leadership and professional skills
Employee relations
  • We acknowledge the right of all our employees to freedom of association, and actively drive best management practices in all our operations in order to create a work environment conducive to productivity, participation and organisational stability
  • Through constructive recognition agreements, we have a significant bargaining unit, with a total of 75% of its employees within the various bargaining units, for whom the recognised trade unions negotiate annually their salaries and conditions of employment. To ensure proper communication and engagement with the recognised trade unions, our social partners and various trade unions' regional and site-based employee representative forums are in place to facilitate information sharing and consultation, including the National Working Forum for national issues
  • In order to ensure equitable and fair working conditions, we have well developed disciplinary and grievance policies and procedures. These policies and procedures are communicated to all employees during their induction, in our on-boarding pack, through training, on the intranet and through ongoing communication of the Group’s standards, policies and procedures
  • There have been a number of strikes in the various business units this year, with a total of 79 working days lost, which had a financial impact on the Group – totalling R41,6 million
  • The RCL FOODS reward philosophy and the over-arching intent that guides its strategy is to remunerate and reward employees in a way that supports the achievement of the organisation's strategy and goals. It seeks to reward outputs and results rather than input and effort.
  • We aim to attract, retain and develop valuable employees of the right calibre, with the intent to create career progression and growth through learning, development opportunities and challenging jobs. We seek to reward performance and innovation, recognising those who deliver outstanding work whilst consistently demonstrating our core values.
  • As a business we wish to engage employees to such a degree that they willingly choose to work for RCL FOODS rather than other organisations.
  • We continually review our reward and remuneration policies and practices in line with industry best practice in order to ensure that we deliver market related remuneration.
  • RCL FOODS is an equal opportunity employer committed to a policy of employment equity. Progress towards achieving the Group’s workforce diversity objectives is measured through Group targets and quarterly progress reporting
  • There is a process of iterative consultation and engagement with the businesses' employment equity committees to ensure that the Group delivers against its employment equity plan for 2020
  • There is continuous engagement and consultation with the regional employment equity committees for all issues relating to workplace diversity
  • We have structured our working requirements and leave allowances to recognise that our employees have responsibilities and commitments outside of the workplace. All employees receive annual leave that is in line with or exceeds the statutory requirements laid out in the Basic Conditions of Employment in South Africa and other territories in which we operate
  • Our maternity and paternity leave policy and payment exceeds statutory requirements, as we believe strongly in supporting our staff in their familial requirements. Pregnant women are entitled to maternity leave for a period of 6 months. New fathers are granted paternity leave following the birth of their child. The specifics of this are outlined in the Group Leave Policy, which also covers sick leave, special leave, family responsibility leave, study leave and unpaid leave. Where possible, flexible working arrangements are agreed with employees

Resourcing scarce and critical skills has continued to prove challenging, especially within specific geographies. We have focused on improving resourcing strategy and practices by:

  • Introducing a common assessment provider (TTS) across the Group which will deliver cost savings in the recruitment process;
  • Improving the use of resourcing performance indicators as part of an integrated HR dashboard;
  • Successfully implementing an eRecruitment system which has improved the efficiency of the overall recruitment process;
  • Extending resourcing tools and processes to Foodcorp and TSB to ensure consistency and standardisation of the resourcing process across the Group;
  • Integrating eRecruitment with social media to provide a platform to access an increased target population through the use of the LinkedIn recruitment tools;
  • Using resourcing tools and processes to deliver huge savings on recruitment costs and less reliance on recruitment agencies (R2,9 million to date);
  • Continuous growth of the bursary and management trainee entry channels; and
  • Emphasis on employment equity (“EE”) appointments.

By acknowledging that no resourcing strategy operates in isolation, but rather is integrated into the overall HR strategy and policy framework, the following key activities have been implemented:

  • Centralisation of management recruitment across the Group, streamlining the process, creating consistency in regard to best practices, and creating a positive experience for applicants;• Continued focus on African, Coloured and Indian (“ACI”) recruits at management level;
  • Development of professional recruitment skills amongst human resources and line management teams;
  • Development of a recruitment network to enhance RCL FOODS’ employer brand in the market place; and
  • Formulation and implementation of a compelling Employee Value Proposition (EVP) for RCL FOODS will be a key focus in 2016.
wellness and

We are committed to providing employee wellness programmes that ensure that our people have access to support initiatives that focus on health and wellness, alcohol and substance abuse and HIV/AIDS.

We recognise and acknowledge the devastating impact that HIV/AIDS has had in the communities around which we operate. The RCL FOODS Chronic Illness and Life Threatening Disease policy incorporates HIV/ AIDS and guides the business in its management, placing emphasis on education and peer education, prevention, de-stigmatising campaigns and voluntary counselling and testing.

We provide a core primary health care and occupational health service on our operating sites. Regional services are influenced by the identified risk of each region. This guides the different levels of service provision to ensure service delivery that is appropriate to employee needs.

Occupational health care is guided by legislation to ensure that employees are monitored, risk exposure is minimised and a healthy workforce and a safe working environment are all in place.

Primary health and emergency care are absolutely essential to support employees in any large company. The Group customises these services as much as possible to meet the needs of our people.

HIV/AIDS assistance programmes:

  • We provide a formalised HIV/AIDS educational and counselling service in our Northern region in conjunction with Tapologo Hospice, aimed at supporting employees and family members with counselling and delivery of ARVs. There has been a high success rate of employees returning to work once they have received treatment at Tapologo.
  • Through Corporate Investment Schemes, we support community-based prevention, education and awareness programmes and initiatives such as Lily of the Valley Children’s Home and Othandweni Respite Unit at the Hillcrest AIDS Centre in Durban.
  • In our Agricultural sector, we have set up a main clinic and decentralised clinics on factory and Agriculture premises. The main clinic at Malalane is also equipped with a fully registered X-Ray facility. Some decentralised clinics are within easy reach of similar public facilities or employees are transported to the main clinic. Wellness staff are dedicated to HIV/AIDS counselling, testing and ARV treatment on a full-time basis supported by the medical team. Support is given to decentralised clinics.

As a Group we are committed to treating employees with respect, following fair and equitable employment practices, and protecting employee health and safety in the workplace.


At RCL FOODS we are committed to creating an organisational culture in which all employees are able to perform to their full potential. To achieve this, all Group operations strive to eliminate employment practices and processes which may result in unfair discrimination and we actively work to include people from diverse sectors of society within our employee complement.

As a result of our recent acquisitions, we have revised our five-year Employment Equity plan leading to 2020. The Group employment equity targets take into account baseline data, staff attrition and recruitment and annual headcount growth. We have taken steps to ensure that our targets and processes are aligned to the Department of Trade and Industry targets. Progress against targets is monitored and reported to the Social and Ethics Management Committee. We remain focused on pursuing the transformation imperative to create a diverse and inclusive workforce that is reflective of our customer base and the society in which we operate.

Occupational levels 2020
ACI base
Top management 15 0
Senior management 25 17
Professionally qualified and experienced specialists and mid-management 40 33
Skilled technical and academically qualified workers, junior management, supervisors, foremen and superintendents 75 67
Semi and unskilled – discretionary and defined decision making 90 96

Occupational levels 2015 2014*
Top management 7 39
Senior management 30 162
Professionally qualified and experienced specialists and mid-management 831 716
Skilled technical and academically qualified workers, junior management, supervisors, foremen and superintendents 2 570 2 351
Semi and unskilled – discretionary and defined decision making 17 041 14 690
Total 20 479 17 958