Labour Practices

Our experienced and dedicated team is a key component to the success of our organization and enables us to face the many challenges of our industry. We maintain excellent relations with our greatest resource, our employees, whose skills underpin the success of our operations. With the support of our workforce, SEMAFO continues to position itself as an employer of choice.

SEMAFO recognizes that the freedom of association and collective bargaining are fundamental rights that our employees can exercise at will. Employment discrimination, child labour and forced labour are outlawed from our practices. 

Attract, Retain, Engage

SEMAFO provides a healthy and dynamic work environment at the heart of an internationally renowned and expanding gold company. Our growth trajectory gives us a leading position in West Africa that creates exciting new job opportunities. Our commitment to SEMAFO Foundation fuels our pride in belonging to an organization where sustainable development represents a part of daily reality.

Over the years, we have made every effort to attract and retain skilled staff who possess the expertise required for our operations. To this end, SEMAFO provides competitive compensation and working conditions in Burkina Faso, for jobs of a comparable level. Our turnover rate is only 2% – compared with 10% for other mining companies in Burkina Faso. Each year, we nurture the know-how and full potential of our teams through some 6,200 hours of training programs, our recognition program and by fostering the emergence of top talent among our national employees.

Focus on Developing Local Talent

Our recruitment initiatives remain focused on hiring and training local workers as part of our commitment to promote positive change and improve their quality of life. Burkinabe employees make up the vast majority of our workforce (96%) and are mostly represented by unions under collective agreements.

Formalized in 2012, our National Workforce Development Program aims to train promising employees who are ready to move into management posts as well as deepen their knowledge within their current positions. Some twenty employees have participated in the program over three years. Learning is enabled through in-class theoretical training, immediate supervisor coaching as well as by achieving concrete work management mandates. This program enables participants to transition to posts matching their own profile, whether they be team management posts, technical expert or trainer positions. In 2015, 970 hours of training were dispensed through this program alone.

Cross-Cultural Sensitivity

Communication is one of the main tenets of our approach and commitment to enhanced employee relations.  An international company, SEMAFO is a crossroads for people of diverse cultures. While these cultural differences can be perceived as richness, they can also create misunderstandings, differences and spark conflicts. In our quest to foster a healthy working environment for employees, we have put in place a cross-cultural sensitivity training programme to showcase Burkinabe culture to Canadian expatriates and on the other hand, to familiarize national employees with Canadian values.

In addition to encouraging reciprocal understanding and knowledge between expatriates and national employees, the training also conveys an understanding of the underlying elements that shape both cultures both inside and outside the workplace. Understanding the concept of culture, its impact on our behaviour and attitudes and the dimensions to cultural differences is fundamental to adopting and implementing strategies for effective intercultural communication in our day-to-day operations.