Today's Labour News

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earningsBusinessLive reports that strong opposition has been expressed in Parliament to the abolition of sectoral wage determinations once the national minimum wage (NMW) bill becomes law.  

Parliament’s labour portfolio committee is holding public hearings on the NMW bill and related amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA).  A researcher with the NMW Research Initiative at Wits University, Gilad Isaacs, told the committee on Friday that sectoral determinations, which govern non-unionised sectors, were an important tool to protect the most vulnerable workers and to reduce poverty and wage inequality.  Michael Bagraim of the Democratic Alliance (DA) agreed that the provision for sectoral determinations should remain on the statute books.  Sectoral determinations are set by the minister of labour on the recommendations of the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC).  A proposed amendment to the BCEA would remove the possibility of updating existing sectoral determinations and instituting new ones.  It also stipulates that for only three years following the commencement of the NMW Act, wages set by sectoral determinations that are higher than the minimum wage must increase proportionally to any adjustment made to the NMW.  Cosatu, Fedusa and Nactu have proposed that the NMW Commission take over the function of the ECC and undertake an annual review of the minimum wages and conditions set in sectoral determinations.

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