Today's Labour News

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parliamentBusinessLive reports that the parliamentary portfolio committee on labour has decided in favour of amending the Basic Conditions of Employment (BCEA) Amendment Bill to retain sectoral wage determinations.  

The bill was intended to repeal the provision for sectoral determinations in the light of the national minimum wage (NMW) coming into force, but business, trade unions and academics opposed that.  The committee has now completed its deliberations on the submissions made during public hearings on the NMW Wage Bill, the BCEA Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations (LRA) Amendment Bill, which will be suitably redrafted.  Few changes were made to the proposals in the LRA Amendment Bill, which introduces the requirement for a secret strike ballot and regulates rules on protests.  The committee has redrafted the definition of those who will qualify for the NMW to include independent contract workers, which will take account of the trend towards part-time employment, outsourcing and casualisation.  Cosatu’s Matthew Parks said most of the recommendations made by the labour federation had been accepted by the committee and it was happy with the outcomes, amongst which were the fast-tracking of the minimum wage for farm workers and domestic workers to 100% of the NMW within two years (unless there were compelling reasons against this) and an escalation of fines against repeat offenders who failed to pay the minimum wage.

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