Today's Labour News

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SteinhoffBusiness Times reports that troubled retailer Steinhoff' plans to reward its directors for doing an "exceptionally demanding" job despite the company wiping out almost €12-billion (about R174-billion) of shareholders' money in an accounting scandal last year.  

Steinhoff proposed in its Friday AGM notice that its interim chair, Heather Sonn, receive €200,000 (about R3.2m) and supervisory board member Johan van Zyl €100,000 (R1.5m) because of the "exceptional demands" of the job.  In addition, Steve Booysen, head of the audit committee and former Absa CEO, will receive €200,000 (about R3.2m), doubling what he earned in 2016.  In response to questions, Steinhoff said:  "The proposed amounts are a fair reflection of the extraordinary effort and people that are required in order to stabilise the company and restore value to investors.”  An analyst described the pay structure at Steinhoff as "complicated given the accounting irregularities".  Shareholders will vote on the resolution on 20 April in Amsterdam.  Michael Jacks of Arqaam Capital said he believed shareholders would not vote against the remuneration proposals and added:  "If you look at Sonn's total suggested remuneration, it's not out of line with what CEOs and directors earn in South Africa.  And they are probably working around the clock on this scandal."  Former CEO Markus Jooste earned €5.6m (about R81.2m) a year, according to Steinhoff's 2016 annual report.

  • Read this report by Palesa Vuyolwethu Tshandu in full at BL Premium (paywall access)

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