FASA member and legal firm Eversheds, in one of its regular newsletters has summarised the recently released Labour Relations Amendment Bill (LRAB) and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill (BCEAB). The Bills, which have been approved by Cabinet, will be finalised by NEDLAC by the end of April 2012 before being submitted to Parliament. The LRAB and the BCEAB envisage some far-reaching changes to aspects of our present employment law terrain including the following essential features:
THE LABOUR RELATIONS AMENDMENT BILL WILL:
- Further facilitate the granting of organisational rights to sufficiently representative trade unions.
- Require the holding of ballots by trade unions and employers’ organisations prior to calling a strike or lock-out. This is an interesting requirement as it appears that a failure to hold the ballot cannot result in the strike being declared unprotected.
- Granting the Labour Court additional powers in respect of breaches of picketing rules.
- Remove the protection against unfair dismissal for employees earning, it would appear at this stage, above R1m per annum. Contractual notice is simply paid out to the employee and there is no recourse to the CCMA.
- Grant further protection to workers placed by labour brokers.
- Require the registration of labour brokers.
- Regulate the employment of employees earning below an earnings threshold on fixed-term contracts or as part-time employees.
THE BASIC CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT AMENDMENT BILL 2012 WILL:
- Prohibit employers requiring employees to make payments to secure employment or employees to purchase goods, services or products from the employer.
- Adjust the powers of the Minister in respect of sectoral determinations.
- Allow the Minister to issue an ‘umbrella’ wage determination for sectors not covered by any other sectoral determination or by a bargaining council collective agreement.
- Allow the Minister to prescribe minimum pay increases in a sectoral determination.
- Revise the system for enforcement of labour laws by labour inspectors.
Should you have any queries, in the interim, please contact any of the attorneys of Eversheds Employment Law Department. Contact details can be found on their website at www.eversheds.co.za/services/service/23/introduction