The Committee meeting took place outside of Parliament in Pretoria; therefore, PMG was unable to attend and a report could not be written. The meeting was not recorded. However, the Committee Secretary has provided us with the relevant documents presented in the meeting, as well as the official minutes as approved by the Committee. Please see below.
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
Date: Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Venue: Sheraton Hotel, Pretoria
Time: 17:00 – 19:15
Agenda: Briefing by the Department of Labour on the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment [B15B-2012] and Labour Relations Amendment Bills [B16B-2012].
Mrs MP Themba
Mr MP Jacobs
Ms L Mabija
Mr RJ Tau
Mr HB Groenewald
Mr Z Mlenzana
Mr O De Beer
Mr DB Feldman
Prince MMM Zulu
Mr MP Sibande
GUESTS FROM DoL
Mr Xola Mnene
Mr DG Mkono
Meeting officially opened by the Chairperson
The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Themba, thanked members of the Committee for their commitment and their attendance in processing the two important amendment bills, namely the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill (B16-2012).
The meeting was the first in relation to the two amendment Bills and the Chairperson implored members of the committee in view of the committee’s tight schedule to further commit themselves to ensure that both amendment Bills are thoroughly considered and processed through the committee.
The Department of Labour’s Acting Deputy Director on Labour Policy and Industrial Relations Mr Mkhalipe told the Committee members that it is of paramount importance that the two Bills (i.e. Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and Labour Relations Amendment Bill) are considered concurrently as they are interrelated. He further pointed out that the meeting was mainly meant for a briefing overview of the two amendment Bills for the benefit of members as follow-up briefings are planned. He thereafter took the Committee through both Bills pointing out that both Bills were submitted to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) together with the Regulatory Impact Assessment that was conducted in 2010. He also pointed out that public consultations were held in each province during January and February 2011 with average attendance of approximately 250 representatives of all stakeholders. There were about 390 comments received from both individuals and organisations.
Mr Mkhalipe (Acting DDG, Labour and Industrial Relations) explained that the Bills respond to the following contentious issues:
· Increased informalisation of labour in the labour market
· To adjust the law to ensure compliance in line with international labour standards
· To give effect to Constitutional rights and fair labour practices
· To enhance the effectiveness of the Labour Court, the CCMA, etc
· To clarify uncertainties arising from interpretation of LRA and BCEA
· To avoid exploitation of workers in line with the ruling party’s manifesto
Mr Mkhalipe indicated that the main focus of the Labour Relations Amendment Bill is Section 198 as this section amends the way Temporary Employment Services (TES) are to operate in the labour market. Issues that are pertinent to the amendment include the following:
· To avoid labour brokers making workers permanent temporary employees
· To allow equal pay for work of equal value
· To allow workers employed by TES to bring their cases to the CCMA/Labour Court
· To enable workers employed by labour brokers to have social benefits (eg retirement funds), etc
Mr Mkhalipe pointed out that temporary employment will be limited to a period not exceeding 3 months. Employees will be treated as the same as permanent workers unless there is justifiable reason. That these protection measures apply only to those who earn below the Basic Conditions of Employment Act which is R172, 000. 00.
After a thorough explanation of the key focus areas of the Bill by the Acting DDG, Committee members needed some clarity regarding the temporary employment of an employee in the place of an employee who is sick or on maternity leave. Clarity was also sought in terms of how can employees deal with CCMA cases that take too long to settle? The DDG explained that the amendment Bill does cover such cases and address matters like those. The Bill once passed it will make it mandatory for employers to forward security payments in reviewing awards by the labour court.
In closing the meeting the Chairperson on behalf of the Committee promised to thoroughly go through both Bills and as the Committee process it and come up with further questions of clarity and possible proposed amendments where necessary.
The meeting was adjourned at 19h15
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