View Full Version : Department of Labour public briefing on amendments to the LRA and the BCEA - Durban

16-04-2012, 21:14
Departmentof Labour public briefing on amendments to the LRA and the BCEA rolls onto Durban

The Department of Labour is to mount a public briefing session at Durban’s Tropicana Hotel to report back to the stakeholders on the newly proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).

The latest public briefing, which will be held on Wednesday (April 18), is part of a national roadshow as South Africa ogle closer to a new labour market regime. The public briefing sessions started two weeks in Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively.

DoL Chief Director: Collective Bargaining Thembinkosi Mkalipi said the nationa lpublic briefing sessions were a platform to provide clarity on the two bills amended. Mkalipi said told the Cape Town briefing gathering that, now that the Bills had been sent to Parliament any further inputs was at their behest.

The process to amend the LRA and BCEA started in 2009 and the process gathered momentum in 2010 during public hearings. The process later took a year of engagement at Nedlac with 30 meetings being held.

Mkalipi reiterated that the national public briefing session were an initiative to provide clarity on how the two bills amended could impact in the labour market.

The two bills that have been submitted to Parliament deals with aspects such as: increased informalisation of labour in the labour market; adjustment of law to ensure compliance with SA’s obligation in terms of international labour standards; enhancing the effectiveness of the labour market institutions such as the Labour Court, CCMA, the Essential Services Committee, the labour inspectorate and bargaining and statutory councils.

The bills also seek to ensure that labour legislation gives effect to fundamenta lConstitutional rights including the right to fair labour practices; and clarify uncertainties that have arisen from the interpretation and application of the LRA and BCEA in the past decade.

Mkalipi said highlights on amendments were the protection of vulnerable workers against abuse by labour brokers. Mkalipi further said CCMA statistics showed that 50% of cases indicate that workers were not represented by trade unions, and do not have money to enforce their awards. He further said CCMA figures showed that there was a 60:40 ratio of awards that were made in favour of employers.

He said another key element of the Bills was also making it easier for employers to fire high income earners, to help unblock the system with long-drawn disputes.

The amendments to LRA and BCEA seek to extend protection mainly to employees earning below the threshold of R172 000 per year. The exception with conditions, will apply to seasonal workers, probation workers and workers working on fixed projects.

“In the new labour regime it is no longer about who register an employee, but, whether does a worker get the benefits he or she is entitled to,”Mkalipi said brokers or employers can no longer treat some employees less favourably for same or similar work performed.

A key element of the new legislation was making decisions of the CCMA final and binding.

Another element in the amendments would be tackling violence associated with strikes and lock-outs. In terms of proposed changes workers would have to be balloted before embarking on strike and both parties should respect the picketing agreements which now extend to third party.

The next public briefing sessions will be held at Rustenburg’s Hunters Rest on 20/04/2012; followed by Bloemfontein, President Hotel 23/04/2012; Kimberley, ICC Kimberley 24/04/2012; Witbank Protea Hotel 26/04/2012; and a swansong will be in Polokwane, Meropa Casino on 02/05/2012.

Media Statement

Department of Labour

16 April 2012