People Report

People report

Providing business informed people practices and frameworks


Our people continue to respond to the challenges brought about by COVID-19 with integrity, agility and an unbreakable entrepreneurial spirit, contributing to Motus’ resilience and ability to navigate these uncertain times. Our leadership team has demonstrated strength and flexibility, and has leveraged its years of collective experience to remain focused on doing what is right for the short term while not forgetting our medium- to long-term strategies.

Our people are at the core of everything we do. Our success depends on a diverse complement of highly competent and experienced leaders and teams. On this basis, we grow our own talent and off er equality in our work environments, career development opportunities and creative initiatives that inspire the best in our people.

Our people strategy integrates human capital management practices to position Motus as an attractive choice for top calibre talent in the automotive industry. It is this approach that enables us to realise our goals of delivering the highest possible level of leadership, innovation and customer service to the markets we serve, and making mobility for good a reality in the Group and for our customers and communities.

COVID-19 has accelerated existing trends in remote working and propelled faster adoption of automation and artificial intelligence, requiring a more immediate need for new skills and the expiry of some skills. Aspects of this changing nature of work are likely to be permanent changes, requiring a redesign or at the very least, a realignment of workforce strategies post-COVID. While our people strategy has not changed, we have taken proactive measures to align our implementations of the strategy to the new realities of our organisation and the impact on our people.

Our focus in the past year has been on safeguarding our employees and stakeholders against COVID-19, ensuring continuity of operations and driving the recovery of our business, while at the same time building resilience and agility into our operations and inspiring our people to continue delivering their best. This has meant that some of our people-related strategic objectives may not have progressed as far as we would have liked; nevertheless, while delayed we remain committed to them.

The Group’s performance over the past year was only possible with the support and dedication of the 16 708 people working for Motus.

Providing business informed people practices
and frameworks

In addition to the business and economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the pandemic has also caused significant disruption for people and their families, taking a heavy psychological toll on our employees.

The impact of COVID-19

The following initiatives were introduced to support our workforce and motivate our people during this time:

  • We adapted our human capital management practices to support working from home (where practical) and enforce social distancing.
  • We communicated regularly with employees to maintain engagement and motivation, while also being transparent on the impact of COVID-19 on trade. Much engagement took place to reassure employees returning to work that premises were COVID-secure.
  • We communicated regularly with employees to maintain engagement and motivation, while also being transparent on the impact of COVID-19 on trade. Much engagement took place to reassure employees returning to work that premises were COVID-secure.
  • We extended our Employee Assistance Programmes to support employees experiencing financial and psychological diff iculties, and in the United Kingdom (UK) we assisted them with receiving government support.
  • Training programmes were transitioned from traditional face-to-face learning to virtual learning.
  • In South Africa, we launched a toolkit to assist human resources (HR) personnel and business leaders in addressing the people-related challenges of the pandemic. Topics range from providing emotional support, communicating effectively and embedding values and culture, to how to engage with the survivors of retrenchment and manage remote productivity.

Early on in the COVID-19 crisis, urgent measures were needed to preserve cash reserves and reduce costs in the short term to protect the medium- to long-term commercial viability of certain operations in the Group. As reported in our 2020 sustainable development report, we negotiated reduced salaries for employees earning more than R250 000 a year, and no salary increases were granted, employee benefits were revised and early retirements and voluntary and involuntary retrenchments were undertaken. For most of our employees in the UK, pay reduction was 5% with no decrease for those earning less than £20 000 a year and higher decreases for those in higher salary brackets. A redundancy programme was also implemented in the UK to address the cost base. Salaries across the Group have since been restored and we increased salaries in April 2021, bringing the date forward from the annual increase cycle (normally in July), to help employees manage inflation. The increase applies to all employees other than the Group executive committee, whose increases were effective from 1 July 2021.

Headcount in South Africa reduced by 7,6% off a high base at June 2020. Of the 3 937 employees who left our employ, 34% were retrenchments and 40% were resignations with the majority of exits being at the semi-skilled level. In the UK, headcount decreased by 5,5%. In Australia we have experienced a decreasing headcount for the last three years, to align headcount to the operation’s revenue potential and to restore profitability.

Since the start of the pandemic, to compensate for the impact of the lockdowns, our employees received government relief from the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) in South Africa, the furlough schemes1 in the UK and the Job Keeper Fund in Australia. We also took advantage of PAYE deferrals in South Africa and value-added tax deferrals in the UK. All support schemes ended by the first quarter of F2021.

Remuneration report.

Strategic priorities

Motus’ people strategy is designed to address our fast-changing business context driven by digital transformation and ensures that the manner in which we manage our people supports the Group’s business objective to be a customer-centric and innovative organisation. It takes into consideration the particular human capital needs of each business segment to achieve their individual business strategies.

Retrenchments are a last resort, and voluntary retrenchments and early retirement options are always exercised first. Where roles become redundant, we look to reassign employees into diff erent roles and/or locations supported with retraining, where required. Retrenchment processes are undertaken in compliance with all applicable regulation, and with close engagement with unions.

How we measure our performance

During the year, the Sage X3 HR platform was integrated with the existing South African payroll system. The central HR database consolidates all HR data and administration and reporting processes. Strict access control protocols apply and users of the system have received training. The integration is providing greater data accuracy.

Our performance development system tracks individual employee development plans and training. Training spend and hours of training for South Africa are independently assured once a year. In addition, workplace skills plans and the Annual Training Report are submitted annually to the relevant SETAs2. The workforce composition in South Africa is measured against the Group’s Employment Equity Plan, which is discussed on employment equity. Our training and diversity and inclusion performance is measured for our businesses in the UK and Australia.

Governance of social impact.

Stakeholder engagement

Motus is committed to developing sound employee relations and acknowledges the rights of all employees. All interactions, including disciplinary actions and negotiations on terms of employment, are managed with utmost responsibility. In all operations, good relationships and open communication exist between management and employees. We maintain regular written communication with our people through emails, newsletters and bi-annual virtual presentations to business leaders detailing the strategies and results of the business.

The Group and business segment CEOs communicate regularly with the workforce. This year their communications focused on ethics in the workplace, COVID-19 and its impact, the social unrest that broke out in South Africa in July 2021 and the Group’s Unstoppable Disability Campaign.

During the year, we piloted a departure survey in South Africa to gather insights on the number of exits and the reasons why individuals choose to leave our employ. These insights are now a standing agenda item for the social, ethics and sustainability (SES) committee.

Engagement surveys are undertaken at business segment level to gain insight on employee concerns. As an example, Financial Services’ annual employee engagement survey is open to all its employees, and covers the management ethos, leadership style, and this year, how COVID-19 is being managed. Pleasingly, the scoring for the COVID-19 related questions was between 95% to 99%; testament to Financial Services’ COVID-19 communication strategy. Overall the survey response rate was 70% – a 10% improvement on prior year. The learnings were shared with other business segments, some of which have since conducted the survey.

Retail and Rental conducted its climate survey in June 2021 with over 3 300 participants. Work is underway to implement interventions to address the highlighted areas for improvement, with a working group paying particular attention to the concerns raised by women.

In the UK, our employee engagement survey covers a range of issues such as how involved employees are, whether they have what they need to do a good job, whether they feel they are supported by their team members and managers, and whether they feel Motus cares about them as individuals. The commercial vehicle business in the UK achieved a response rate of 85%, and a good overall score of 3,8 out of 5 (compared to a UK industry norm of between 3,3 and 3,6). The insights gained are used to implement practical improvements and progress is communicated back to employees. Other divisions in the UK will conduct the survey in September and October 2021. More recently, we introduced informal local groups in the UK to help address issues raised in the employee engagement surveys. Employees also have access to Safecall, which allows them to anonymously raise problems concerning top management.

We launched the Speeki app and website in Australia in June 2021, enabling all employees to raise concerns anonymously, if needed.

Stakeholder engagement

2021 performance and looking forward


  • We made progress in rationalising administrative human capital transactions relating to employment equity, training spend, employee relations, employee wellness, recruitment and audit processes. This has enabled more transparency in human capital costs and achieved efficiencies (fewer resources needed to execute people-related tasks with improving quality of service).
  • There were no incidents of non-compliance with labour-related regulations and/or voluntary codes.
  • A number of strategic investments were made to introduce new HR technology to drive improved employee engagement.
  • Objective (delayed due to the focus on COVID-19): define the key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress against the people strategy.
  • Objective: investigate how we can continue to evolve the HR IT landscape to achieve greater efficiencies, free up HR teams to focus on strategic human capital management planning and enhance employee experience.

Business specific initiatives and highlights

South Africa
  • Relaunched the e-recruitment portal, which helps to position Motus as an employer of choice in our industry.
  • A diagnostic tool will be implemented to ensure effective reporting of employee engagement survey results to the SES committee.
  • Retail and Rental is working to achieve synergy across both divisions, with the streamlining of reporting already achieved. This will ensure that the people strategy aligns with operational requirements and that the business segment’s people practices are fair, consistent and support mobility. In F2022, the business segment will focus on the identification of business-informed objectives, aligning policies, the standardisation of job descriptions and employment terms and conditions as well as benefits. It will also roll out a compulsory funeral policy for all employees and their immediate family members around September 2021.
  • Retail and Rental will embark on the first phase of an onboarding system; with a pilot to be undertaken with Motus Nissan to run to December 2021. If successful, the project will be rolled out across the business segment.
  • Adopted a single HR and payroll system, reducing costs and enabling easier data insight. The system facilitates salary payments and the management of annual leave. Future functionality will cover personal development reviews, recruitment and onboarding and a new learning management system.
  • In Sydney, we are trialling a clock-in app, working from employees’ mobile phones and feeding directly to the payroll system.

Disputes and grievances (South Africa)

506 (F2020: 554) disciplinary and 210 (F2020: 165) poor work performance hearings were held in F2021, with 327 dismissals.

A total of 51 (F2020: 36) grievances were lodged.

114 cases were referred to the Dispute Resolution Centre or Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and 27 to the Labour Court.

The majority of disputes received related to disciplinary proceedings, grievances or poor work performance. Of those referred to the Dispute Resolution Centre or Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, the majority were awarded in Motus’ favour. Arbitration awards found in favour of Motus that are referred to the Labour Court take two to three years to finalise.

All South African managers attend a labour relations course to build their capability to manage industrial relations-related matters in the workplace competently and fairly, and to apply the requirements of the Basic Conditions of Employment and Labour Relations Acts. A total of 182 employees were trained during the year.

Union membership (South Africa)

7 631

employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and the Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA), representing 60% of our workforce in South Africa
(F2020: 7 556)

Our employees are free to choose which union they wish to aff iliate themselves with. Some 88% of union membership is with MISA. Engagement with unions takes place on a needs basis and occurs at business segment level. Non-unionised employees are always represented in major discussions. The motor industry’s wage agreement with NUMSA is valid to August 2022. Employee relations remained stable during the year.

Key challenges
  • Correcting the low representation of women in senior leadership roles in the automotive industry.
  • Attracting people living with disabilities into our employ and advancing their careers.
  • Multiple systems that manage various aspects of human capital management, some HR functions that are not digitised and no central employee portal to support consistent communication and equal access to information.
  • Fierce competition for top talent, and availability of skills and expertise to drive strategic objectives, particularly digital expertise, to maintain our leadership position in the fast-changing automotive industry. In South Africa, this is made more difficult due to the emigration of skilled labour resources.
  • Ensuring that leaders maintain the desired management style in a pressurised business environment.
  • In the UK, new restrictions on labour mobility post-Brexit and a shortage of vehicle technicians.