CCMASunday Times Business Times reports that new referrals to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) linked to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act are expected to increase the agency’s dispute caseload by 25% this financial year.  

This is according to William Thomson, acting national senior commissioner for dispute prevention and training at the CCMA.  There have been 19,500 referrals so far this year in terms of the NMW Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act.  The "jobs bloodbath" referred to by President Cyril Ramaphosa is "just beginning", Thomson commented.  The CCMA, which tabled its 2018/2019 annual report last week, was coping, "but we are stretched", Thompson indicated.  In an effort to slow down the flood of referrals, the CCMA is being more proactive in trying to persuade employers not to cut jobs.  Out of 38,588 referrals in 2018/2019, Thompson advised that 15,787 jobs had been clawed back.  In spite of recent efforts to connect retrenchments to the technology revolution, they have "far more" to do with the NMW Act combined with the dire state of the economy than the fourth industrial revolution, Thompson pointed out.  "We cannot say the retrenchments we're experiencing are directly related to the fourth industrial revolution," but it will start happening, and employers and workers need to focus more creatively on how to address technological change, he opined.


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