Investing in our people

Sasol’s human resources strategy focuses on sourcing core skills, promoting talent and career development and ensuring competitive rewards, while fostering sound employee relations and cultural transformation.

Our human resources strategy

Sasol’s human resources strategy focuses on the strategic sourcing of core skills, promoting long-term talent and career development, ensuring competitive rewards, and fostering sound employee relations and cultural transformation so as to enable the group’s growth agenda. In line with the objectives of the Functional Excellence programme, the human resources function was restructured with effect from January 2010 and consists of the following human resource global sub-functions:

Talent management; learning; rewards; employee relations; diversity and South African transformation; shared services and human resources operations. The functional core is responsible for shaping and safeguarding human resource strategies and policies, which are executed by the human resource teams in the business units and shared services.

At year end, Sasol had a total of 33 399 employees in our global operations. This comprises of 28 978 employees in our South African companies and 4 421 employees in our international companies. The net employment creation figure indicated a negative growth of 939 for the year (excluding joint ventures).

Our employee turnover rate for the year in our South African operations was 5,05%, comprising 2,17% voluntary turnover and 2,88% involuntary turnover. The employee turnover rate for the year in our international companies was 9,68%, comprising 2,05% voluntary turnover and 7,63% involuntary turnover. The high turnover experienced in the international businesses is due to restructuring that has taken place within those businesses. 
Turnover (permanent employees)
Resignation (voluntary) 596
Dismissal 161
Retirement 291
Death 165
Medical Impairment 86
Retrenchment (Medical) 1
Retrenchment (Normal) 86
Sale of business unit 0
View a detailed breakdown of our total workforce by region and employment type (permanent and non-permanent), as well as further details on employee turnover.
(GRI – LA1, LA2, EC6)

Fostering a positive climate of employee relations 

As a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, Sasol upholds the principle of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and endeavours, at all times, to maintain fair, open and constructive relations with all employees within the legal framework of the countries within which we operate. The core objective of our employee relations strategy focuses on enabling the establishment of values-driven partnerships with organised labour organisations, improving employee engagement and embedding a democratic employee relations culture. To this end, the group partnership forum was launched in 2009 with a view to improving dialogue and relations with all employee representative groups, which include the trade union organisations CEPPWAWU, Solidarity and SACWU.

More than 60% of Sasol employees are members of trade unions and are covered by collective agreements/works council agreements that have been entered into with trade unions within the various jurisdictions in which we operate. Representatives of trade unions are present in our formal joint management-worker health and safety committees, and they also serve on our medical schemes boards and on the boards of retirement funds. A wage negotiation process within our South African operations resulted in one strike exceeding one week duration. During the year, a total of 6 976 employee-days were lost due to industrial action. 
GRI – LA14

Ensuring competitive compensation for our employees 

The group's remuneration approach is intended to allow us to remain competitive in global, complex and rapidly evolving industries by contributing to the attraction, retention and motivation of the right calibre of employees. To ensure this competitiveness, we benchmark our remuneration and benefits extensively using various reputable local and international survey houses. Annual increase budgets are determined in relation to market movements, inflation indicators and company performance. These are then translated to individual increases taking into account the scope and nature of the employee's role, market benchmarks for similar positions and the employee's personal performance and competence in fulfilling the role. Benefits are reviewed annually and are aligned with benefits typically offered by large corporates. Our performance management policy mandates personnel to be part of a predefined performance appraisal process where this is not in conflict with bargaining council negotiation structures.

We have implemented various performancerelated incentive schemes to provide links between performance and pay. While the specifics differ between business units and geographical locations, financial performance, compliance and safety performance are as a minimum included in every employee's incentive contract. We also have corporate indicators related to environmental factors. The targets and design principles for incentive schemes are reviewed annually and group targets and design principles are approved by the remuneration committee.

The short-term, medium-term and long-term incentive schemes collectively form part of eligible employees' variable remuneration. The proportion of such variable remuneration to fixed remuneration would vary per employee level and the geographical location to ensure external competitiveness. The quantum of units granted under the medium-term and long-term incentive schemes may increase as a result of individual performance. As individual performance also plays a role in determining fixed remuneration in most of our international jurisdictions, the proportion of fixed to variable pay actually paid out would vary on an individual basis. 

Supporting retired and retrenched employees 

A formal process exists within the organisation where from the age of 50 onwards, structured sessions are held with intended retirees, in order to prepare them for retirement. We see retrenchment from the organisation as a last resort, with alternate positions always being sought first within the organisation. Should options of redeployment be found with retraining required, training is offered to the affected employees to better prepare them to manage their new role. Severance pay is offered to affected employees, calculated on completed years of continuous service. Any retrenchment process within the company is dealt with sensitively, including providing the necessary assistance with regards to training, counselling and financial management.

Sasol supports its employees during times of restructuring and retrenchment by implementing specific interventions. These interventions will range from workshops aimed at empowering managers and employees to deal with the process and to provide onsite counselling to assist employees to work through the challenges posed by the redundancy process. These workshops enable employees to build self-confidence, become motivated, remain productive, clearly examine options available, and make informed decisions about the future. 
View further details on employee’s performance and career development reviews are provided in our online report.
View our case studies on avoiding retrenchments at Sasol Nitro’s Phalaborwa plant and on being recognised for our "family-friendly" human resource management practices.

Enhancing workforce diversity

To realise our growth strategy locally and internationally, we recognise the value in having a skilled workforce that sufficiently reflects the demographic profile - in terms of culture, race and gender - of the economically active population of the regions within which we operate.

Our recently established centre of expertise for global diversity, coupled with our approach towards promoting workforce diversity in terms of South Africa's transformation drive, illustrates that we believe that diversity extends beyond only ensuring that Sasol has the right mix of ethnic representation. By incorporating inputs from the organisation and interweaving these with other culture change interventions, our global diversity approach strives to increase employee engagement and to achieve broader cultural transformation. 

Our management approach

With a renewed focus on managing diversity as a cornerstone for embracing and celebrating diversity on a global scale, our global diversity journey will focus on promoting personal growth by focusing on developing emotional intelligence, people management practices, relationship building, leadership development and teamwork. We believe that increased competencies in self-awareness and an increased desire to learn about other cultures will build the required capacity to deal with culture change within the organisation and help to build successful relationships with our international partners.

We have set up diversity forums in our various business units. These forums - which are chaired by the business unit managing directors and attended by business unit leadership, unions and employee representatives - constantly strive to create co-ownership of the achievement of our diversity aspirations. As part of Project Enterprise, we also run personal insight workshops to ensure that individuals understand the impact of their behaviour on others. 

Recent developments and key achievements 

Over the past year we have made significant progress in terms of our disability management practices. In March 2009, a disability equity awareness campaign was launched within all of our South African operations. The aim of this campaign was to inform employees of their rights as members of the designated group and to encourage employees to voluntarily declare their disabilities. A process of medical verification of declared disabilities was also established, which afforded employees the opportunity to apply for reasonable accommodation if required. Medical verification is now an ongoing process within the South African operations.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) have been defined for the period up to 2012, reflecting our effort to achieve more than only compliance. These KPIs are measured by assessing performance against quantitative numerical goals, as well as through qualitative means such as organisational climate surveys. The existence of diversity managers and "culture ambassadors" in our business units has ensured that challenges and potentially limiting values highlighted in our Barrett survey results are addressed by the specific business functions either through team coaching or dialogue sessions. In addition to the continuous drive towards achieving these KPI's, Sasol has also developed a global diversity policy and framework, an employment equity procedure for our South African operations, a policy on handling sexual harassment as well as guidelines for women advancement.

Going forward we will be placing considerable effort in accelerating our diversity agenda. The continuous integration of diversity into our existing skills and leadership development programmes and talent management processes will facilitate the mobility of high performers and high potential employees into the various talent pipeline levels. This will also contribute towards the institutionalisation and internalisation of an inclusive culture. 
GRI – LA13
A summary of our progress in promoting employment equity in our South African operations, as required in terms of Section 22 of the Employment Equity Act (55 of 1998), is provided in the following table. 
Foreign nationals
Top management 9 2 71 2 1 1 4 1 91
Senior management 31 9 23 205 4 2 6 25 9 1 315
Middle management 851 93 367 2 417 250 43 210 763 123 22 5 139
Junior management 3 595 255 350 4 382 737 136 172 1 468 81 28 11 204
Semi-skilled 6 976 73 82 1 124 884 48 43 613 341 4 10 188
Defined decision-making 1 288 12 1 167 395 6 15 37 1 921
Total permanent 12 750 442 825 8 366 2 272 236 432 2 888 592 55 28 858
Temporary employees 74 2 5 12 18 1 7 1 120
Grand total 12 824 444 830 8 378 2 290 236 433 2 895 593 55 28 978
View an example of our approach to promoting localisation is provided in the case study in our online report on promoting diversity in Qatar.

Promoting the wellbeing of our employees

The vision of Sasol's wellness programme is to provide a working environment where our employees can operate in a healthy, energised and engaged manner that contributes to their personal development and to the company's success. We have developed a wellness strategy that seeks to: enhance individual productivity by contributing positively to work-life balance; proactively manage and reduce health risks by providing access to quality healthcare; and educate, inform and empower employees to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing.

Our employee assistance programme (EAP) focuses on the psychosocial health of our employees and their dependants. The programme utilisation has increased from 18,2% in 2009 to 18,8% of our employees for 2010. The provision of face-to-face solution-focused counselling is well utilised, reflecting both the employees' needs as well as their confidence in the EAP services. Since May 2009, we have been implementing an employee wellness scorecard for most business units in South Africa. We have also embarked on a programme to integrate occupational health data with other areas pertaining to healthcare and wellness to ensure that we have a holistic view of the health risks profile of our employees. 

Reducing and managing the incidence of HIV/Aids in the workplace 

Our integrated Sasol HIV/Aids Response Programme (SHARP), now in its sixth year, focuses on identifying and providing support services to HIV-infected employees and their families, as well as on preventing new infections through awareness, education, access to testing, counselling and treatment. The programme is driven at business unit level and evolves continually to ensure that it is aligned to international best practice efforts to drive prevention, care, treatment, support and eradicating discrimination.

An initial testing drive was conducted throughout our South African operations between 2002 and 2005. This found an incidence rate of 7,1% based on an 82% uptake of testing. In the period since 2006, business units have been focusing primarily on ensuring access to testing. This is undertaken by increasing awareness of testing through awareness programmes and by encouraging testing through community and medical aid resources, as well as by offering voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) at wellness days and at our occupational health clinics.

The Sasol HIV/Aids policy commits to providing access to anti-retroviral therapy. Early diagnosis and wellness is a key element of SHARP. Employees access comprehensive healthcare and HIV/Aids treatment through medical aid schemes. Sasol currently runs a workplace-based treatment programme at Sasol Mining Medical Centre in Sasolburg for uninsured employees. Anti-retroviral therapy is also available through the public healthcare facilities in each community. Details on the utilisation of these initiatives are provided below.

Our testing and treatment initiatives are supported by a comprehensive communications programme relating to the goals of prevention, support and care. Capacity building for the implementation and integration of the programme within all businesses has been conducted by accredited co-ordinator training. Training of peer educators and of HIV/Aids coordinators has been successfully provided across the group, ensuring proper representation of SHARP at each level within businesses. Employees have access to information, support and referral resources on the intranet and through printed media. Awareness sessions are held during induction training, safety briefing sessions and wellness days. This year Sasol acted on the set objectives of its communications strategy, which included embarking on a longer-term sustained campaign to ensure a more visible and interactive effort. The campaign's theme "I am part of the solution" was based on the international World Aids Day 2009 theme "I am". Launched in December 2009, it will continue through to September 2010. A campaign communications toolkit was developed to assist business units that are responsible for driving and supporting the campaign.

Our partnership with South African Business Coalition on HIV/Aids (SABCOHA) has seen the launch of the HIV/Aids supply chain development programme within Sasol. The programme targets the small to medium enterprises sector and offers workplace programme capacity building, voluntary counselling and testing, pre-treatment care and support, and treatment. This year, seven suppliers have benefited from the range of training offered on this programme.

In Mozambique, Sasol Petroleum International has contracted Careworks Mozambique to implement a three-year workplace HIV/Aids programme at its sites in Temane, Maputo and Matola. A risk assessment has been undertaken in Temane. The programme includes a workplace peer education programme, as well as awareness to action training, counselling and testing, and patient management. 
View further details on our HIV/Aids awareness programme are provided in the case study in our online report: SHARP launches year-long campaign.
Registration on wellness programme
Patients on HAART*
Treatment programme
2009 2010 2009 2010
Aids for Aids – Sasolmed 749 1 641 627 1 295
Thebemed 409 148 342 104
Sasol Mining Medical Centre 96 8 35 29
* HAART – Highly Active Anti-retroviral Therapy
Number tested 691 39 730
Thebemed 221 1 222

Maintaining high levels of occupational health 

We have a decentralised approach towards occupational health management, with responsibilities for occupational health management located on the main sites where we operate. Our occupational health services - which are provided both to employees and service providers - includes baseline analysis, ongoing monitoring and management of illnesses, the adoption of preventative measures, the development of rehabilitation and return-to-work programmes, and the management of compensation claims and payments for disabilities in accordance with legislative requirements.

We offer pre-employment health assessments to ensure that employees and service providers are not placed in positions that will negatively impact their health and we undertake medical surveillance on all risk-exposed workers. Injuries on duty are diagnosed, treated and monitored until they have healed. We undertake exit examinations on persons leaving the company and maintain the medical records for 40 years after their departure. Our occupational health management throughout the group is resourced by 110 health professionals. In addition we maintain relations with external bodies such as the Chamber of Mines, Sasolmed board of trustees, the Sasol Pension Fund board of trustees, disability committee, community driven projects, tertiary institutions and medical specialists and facilities to address occupational health issues.

The majority of business units in Sasol have attained OHSAS 18001 certification. The corporate SH&E centre collates the occupational health statistics from the business units, which are reported quarterly to the GEC and SH&E governance meetings including the risk and SH&E subcommittee. Recorded illnesses are included in the recordable case rate (RCR) statistics and hence our targets we set ourselves for safety are influenced by our worker health performance. About 11% of the RCR is presently attributable to illnesses (view embedding a culture of safety).

During 2010, the most significant work-related illness was noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), with 28 reported cases; this compares with 13 cases in 2009 and 18 in 2008, and represents 52% of total illness reported cases in 2010. Another 33% of cases are lung ailments, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma and pneumoconiosis, but excluding tuberculosis (TB). TB at 12% is by and large not work-related, but is reportable to authorities for mineworkers. HIV/Aids increases the risk of contracting TB and 90% of our TB cases are HIV/Aids-related.