7 November 2017

South Africa: Labour Hosts National Series of Briefing Sessions On National Minimum Wage

press release

Department of Labour initiates national trade union and stakeholder briefing sessions on introduction of NMW, amendments to the BCEA and LRA

The Department of Labour is planning to host a national series of briefing sessions aimed at trade unions. The briefings will start in November 2017 ahead of the implementation of the long-awaited national minimum wage (NMW) and the coming into being of a host of amendments to a raft of labour legislation.

The first sessions are aimed at trade unions with later sessions from January 2018 being targeted at employers and other interested parties.

A key objective of the briefing sessions is to ensure that the NMW as a new labour policy intervention instrument is communicated as widely as possible.The Department also wants to inform trade unions about the outcomes of the NEDLAC process that has focussed on labour market stability measures. Key to this are the amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), Labour Relations Act (LRA), the Accord on Collective Bargaining and Industrial Action and a Code of Good Practice.

The trade union briefing sessions are scheduled to start this week from 9 November 2017 in Turffontein Race Course and on 10 November 2017 at Protea Hotel, 390 Lillian Ngoyi Street in Pretoria. The briefing sessions will be held until the end of February 2018 in all major cities across South Africa. The briefing sessions will be held from 10:00am-13:00pm.

The National minimum wage is a new policy instrument. It is on schedule for implementation from 1 May 2018. The agreed national minimum wage at NEDLAC is R20 an hour for major sectors, with the exception of sectors such as farm workers, and domestic workers among others.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Bill, 2017 seeks to introduce amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 consequent upon the enactment of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2017. The primary amendments to be introduced relate to the repeal of sections of the Act that relate to the provisions dealing with the making of sectoral determinations and the powers and functions of the Employment Conditions Commission;

the monitoring and enforcement by the labour inspectorate to apply to compliance with the national minimum wage and unemployment insurance; extension of the jurisdiction of the CCMA to include enforcement procedures and claims for underpayment in terms of the BCEA, the national minimum wage, unemployment insurance legislation, and claims arising from contracts or collective agreements;

Other BCEA changes relate to the transitional provisions to regulate sectoral determinations currently in force and to strengthen collective bargaining in respect of the sectors regulated by those determinations.

Amendments to the Labour Relations Act relate to the need for introduction of Code of Good Practice on collective bargaining, industrial action and picketing - this is designed to strengthen collective bargaining, enhance labour market stability and promote proactive and speedy dispute resolution.

Issued by: Department of Labour

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