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Our people

Our people

Total employees
Employees by region
SA employees (HDSA%)
Employees wages and

Gold Fields’ 50,000 employees are the most critical stakeholders in the company’s effort to become the global leader in sustainable gold mining. They contribute immeasurably to the company’s ability to achieve its triple-bottomline targets. If we are to achieve the ambitious production goals we have set ourselves – namely to have five million ounces of gold a year either in development or in production by 2015 – we need to have a well-informed, trained, motivated, productive and healthy workforce.

Converting workers at Gold Fields into owners of the company will make a major contribution towards achieving future human resource goals. It has always been our aim to ensure that every employee in the company owns shares in Gold Fields. In this regard the company has developed an Employee Share Option Scheme that will see category 3 to 8 employees receiving a 10,75% equity interest in Gold Fields’ South African assets. This transaction is expected to be concluded by the end of calendar 2010.

Our responsibility towards our employees starts with the average eight hours they spend at the workplace, but extends to the other 16 hours of the day as well. For this reason we spent the 2010 financial year entrenching our 24 Hours in the Life of a Gold Fields Employee programme, which was launched early last year throughout the Group.

This programme starts with ensuring that, in return for their labour, our workers receive market-related compensation. In addition generous incentive and bonus schemes are in place to raise the output of our staff and help us reach maximum efficiencies. The 24 Hours programme also includes components to ensure that employees are well housed, have access to recreational activities and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. We continued to roll out our R550 million employee housing project, launched in South Africa in 2009, and handed over 192 homes to employees and their families during the year.

Health, safety and wellness are integral parts of this programme and are dealt with in detail in the next section of the sustainability report.

Our other human resource-related sustainability issues relate to training, human rights, organised labour, transformation and diversity.

Employee engagement and labour relations

Various structures and engagement forums allow for two-way dialogue between organised labour and company management, including inter alia communication channels with HR managers on all sites; employee representative committees; website, intranet, newsletter and campaignspecific communication; and employee climate surveys. These channels provide Gold Fields with an important sense of the material issues and concerns of its diverse group of employees.

South Africa and Ghana have strongly unionised environments with 80 per cent of South African employees and 93 per cent of Ghanaian employees belonging to unions. Operations in both countries have formal structures in place to engage with trade union representatives, many of whom are full-time labour organisers at our mines.

During the year under review the Ghanaian operations experienced a one-day unprocedural strike action during wage negotiations. The matter was settled through negotiations.

No employees at our operations in Australia and Peru have opted to join an organised labour movement.

Over the years Gold Fields’ relationship with trade unions has matured as the company has maintained open and ongoing communication with this important stakeholder group. In South Africa we invested in a number of initiatives to improve labour relations during the year. This included a leadership development programme offered to all union leaders to enhance their business acumen and knowledge about the economics of mining.

Improving our understanding of employees’ most material issues is equally important and to this end we have proposed a new employee relations model and revised engagement structures in the South Africa Region. This follows an analysis of existing problems in our relationship with organised labour. The model was presented to union representatives for feedback and input in April 2010. This, together with the results of an employee climate survey conducted in financial 2010, will inform our future approach to employee relations.

Transformation and diversity

Transformation and the creation of a diverse and demographically representative workforce is an important sustainability issue at Gold Fields. The company strongly supports legislation and guidelines that promote equal opportunity and demographic representation of its workforce reflecting the wider population.

In South Africa employment equity is a national imperative enshrined in the Employment Equity Act and a key component of the Mining Charter that filters through to the social and labour plans of our mines. While not legislated, the employment of local people in Ghana and Peru is considered best practice and is a necessary ingredient for positive community relationships.

Good progress has been made in Peru, where all of our employees are now local, and in Australia, where the operations are managed to a large extent by Australians. The Tarkwa Mine in Ghana is run by a Ghanaian national and Ghanaians are increasingly being elevated to senior management positions at all operations. Because skills are scarce and expatriate positions highly valued in Ghana, Gold Fields faces a retention challenge in this region. However, remuneration packages are highly competitive and continue to attract top talent.

South Africa presents our biggest transformation challenge and while we have made good empowerment progress in middle management tiers, where 32 per cent of employees are historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs), much remains to be done before senior management levels are satisfactorily representative. Our drive to transform Gold Fields has been given added momentum with government’s proposed update to the Mining Charter, which requires that 40 per cent of positions at all levels are filled by HDSAs by 2014. At present we have 36 per cent representativity at these levels. Table 1 below provides our employment and equity breakdown.

Table 1: Gold Fields SA Region workforce profile as at 30 June 2010

  Occupational level Male     Female     Foreign nationals        
  A   C   I   W     A   C   I   W     Male   Female     Total  
  Senior management 9   2   5   63     2   0   2   4     4   0     91  
  Professionally qualified                                                  
  and experienced                                                  
  specialists and                                                  
  mid-management 171   15   41   558     73   7   18   114     25   0     1,022  
  Skilled technical                                                  
  and academically                                                  
  qualified workers, junior                                                  
  management, foremen                                                  
  and superintendents 2,145   48   25   2,118     357   14   7   293     664   5     5,676  
  and discretionary                                                  
  decision making 12,857   18   4   489     978   10   1   190     9,793   32     24,372  
  Unskilled and                                                  
  defined decision                                                  
  making 9,920   3   1   55     1,033   2   0   0     4,382   99     15,495  
  Grand total 25,102   86   76   3,283     2,443   33   28   601     14,868   136     46,656  

NB: A = African; C = Coloured; I = Indian; and W = White

Crew replacing liners inside mill at Beatrix

Our primary response to the transformation challenge has been to invest heavily in education and training and we are seeing some promising results from this investment. But it is a long-term process and most mining engineers, for example, will require years of hands-on experience before they can be elevated into more managerial positions. While we wait for this crop of leaders to emerge we will have to recruit senior black managers externally into key positions.

In line with our transformation commitments, we have also targeted a higher representation of women at all levels in the company. At present women make up around seven per cent of our workforce, still short of the 2014 target of ten per cent set for the mining industry by the charter. In addition to inadequate availability of skills, the physical demands of mining make it particularly difficult to attract women to the sector. The appointment of a black female chair by November this year should provide further impetus for progress on this front.

Attracting and retaining skilled people

Global shortages in technical, engineering and Mineral Resources skills remain a challenge across the Gold Fields Group, and each region has strategies in place to attract, develop and retain the best skills available. We have always put a strong emphasis on training and during the year invested R264 million in internal training and skills development initiatives. Each employee received 35 hours of training on average last year.

The accredited Gold Fields Business and Leadership Academy continued to play an important role in developing the skills required by the company for optimal performance. During the year 9,992 employees completed qualifications at the academy, while many other employees underwent further training during financial 2010. This ranged from courses in adult basic education to advanced mining and technological studies.

Gold Fields has for decades engaged with academic institutions and relevant government departments to help improve the quality and quantity of engineering graduates in South Africa. It is therefore pleasing to see that our investment in bursaries is generating a steady supply of black engineers and technicians, 72 of whom were employed full time in the company during the year, while 117 continue to pursue tertiary studies. In 2009 Gold Fields awarded 124 university bursaries, 378 technical learnerships and 40 postgraduate assignments. It will take time for these recruits to gain enough hands-on mining experience to be elevated to more senior positions, but we are confident that the programme will create a robust pipeline of highly skilled HDSA candidates and usher in a new breed of management to the company.

To strengthen the skills pipeline in South Africa further we announced a R28 million investment in skills development through a three-year sponsorship of the mining faculties of the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg. In terms of the sponsorship, the universities will receive a combined onceoff capital injection of R8 million followed by R6 million a year for three years. In return Gold Fields is afforded naming right status for the infrastructure that it sponsors as well as participation in advisory committees at the two universities. Amongst others the funds will be used to equip mining design laboratories; for upgrading and new equipment for existing design laboratories; and salaries of full-time senior tutors at the faculties.

In other countries too Gold Fields is developing closer relationships with tertiary institutions. Ghana’s second batch of 10 sponsored engineering apprentices is currently in the process of completing the second year of study at the Takoradi Technical Institute (TTI) in Tarkwa. The skills development of these students is augmented by their practical work experience at our engineering departments at the mines.

The South American region has formed alliances with a number of tertiary educational institutions to deliver training programmes on leadership, human rights, executive coaching, technical skills and financial skills. These institutions to date include the University of Piura and DBM Peru. The company is also finalising relationships with three other universities.

Leadership development

The company’s leadership development programme, piloted in the South Africa Region in financial 2009, focuses on ensuring that all executives and senior managers are equipped to fill vacancies when needed and have a wider understanding of all the issues confronting the company’s leadership. Altogether 16 senior managers joined the pilot programme on a full-time basis for eight months. The outcome of this pilot study was extremely positive and during the year under review the programme was successfully launched in Peru. The West Africa and Australasia Regions concluded the design and exploratory phases and will launch the programme in the final quarter of 2010.

A total of 23 Ghanaian employees completed supervisory, management and leadership training while 16 protégés were assigned mentors for ongoing, hands-on training and development. Around 242 training events focusing on supervisory and team leadership skills were held at the company during the year.

The Australasia Region ran several leader training programmes during the year, focusing on supervisor training, Occupational health and safety law for supervisors, frontline management and individual coaching. Employees trained in management and supervisory skills increased during financial 2010 to 74 per cent of identified employees.

The South America Region’s management and supervisory training focused on developing supervisory capabilities in mine operations, geology and the mineral resources divisions of the company. Around 29 per cent of managers and 28 per cent of supervisors are involved in the leadership training programme being run in conjunction with the University of Piura.

Human rights

Adherence to human rights is a relatively new segment in the corporate HR practice. It has developed sophisticated tools to prevent and monitor infringements ranging from the use of child labour and forced labour to racial and gender discrimination, as well as upholding rights to freedom of association such as membership of trade unions. Gold Fields’ human rights policy strictly enforces the elimination of any significant risks to these rights. Internal grievance mechanisms also allow employees and contractors to raise possible human rights infringements.

During financial 2010 human rights was one of the focus areas of the human resources department, which kicked off the campaign with the launch of a toolkit for HR managers (see case study, page 102). The toolkit and accompanying awareness programmes are currently being rolled out in all the regions.

Longer term it is envisaged that adherence to human rights is integrated into all investment agreements as well as contracts with suppliers.