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Department hosts the swan song of Wholesale & Retail Sector hearings and Taxi Sector information sharing sessions in KZN and NW

by lloyd last modified 2012-10-19 17:23

19 October 2012

The Department of Labour (DoL) is to host joint three-day Wholesale & Retail hearings and; Taxi Sector information sharing sessions respectively, starting on Sunday (October 21) – in KwaZulu-Natal and North West provinces.

The Department of Labour information sharing sessions with the Taxi Sector, and the Wholesale & Retail sector hearings will kick-off at 10am and 13:00 respectively. The information sessions and hearings will start on Sunday in KZN, Durban at La Vita Conference Centre 20 McIntyre Road and North West in Mafikeng with a Taxi Sector briefing at 10am followed by Wholesale and & Retail Sector hearings at the same venues at 1pm.

The Taxi Sector information sharing sessions and Wholesale & retail sector hearing will continue until October 23. The hearings/ information sessions will be held interchangeably between 10am and 13:00.

The latest hearings will conclude a national process that was started in September.

DoL’s Employment Standards (ES): acting director Titus Mtsweni said at the start of the hearings that a common feature about the two gatherings (Wholesale & Retail hearings and Taxi Sector information sharing sessions) was that these would be used to deal with the matter of revision of prescribed minimum wages (sectoral wage determination).

The Wholesale and Retail Sector public hearings will focus on sectoral determination which prescribes minimum wages for a three year period ending this year.

The sectoral determination entails aspects that deal with the protection of workers in vulnerable sectors/areas of work. The determination sets minimum working hours, minimum wages, number of leave days and termination rules.

“The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) requires the Minister of Labour to consult with affected and interested parties prior to determining new levels of the minimum wages. In line with the requirements of the law,” Mtsweni said.

These industry engagements are expected to help the Employments Conditions Commission (ECC), a statutory body that advises Labour Minister on sectoral determinations and related matters to gather relevant information to consider when reviewing the minimum wages.

Inputs and submissions obtained during the public hearings will be used when considering the new minimum wage level - in regard to: the ability of the employer to conduct business successfully; the impact which the proposed wages will have on poverty alleviation; the impact which the proposed wage will have on the creation and the retention of jobs; and the impact which the proposed wage will have on the cost of living.

Mtsweni said the Taxi Sector information sharing sessions were a follow-up engagement following a Department of Labour research into the Taxi sector as a result of concerns raised by the industry which hamper compliance with the determination.

Chief among the taxi industry concerns were the impact that the Bus Rapid Transport has on the operation of the industry; the impact of the Taxi Recapitalisation programme on the operation of the industry; concerns regarding lack of subsidy from Government on the industry; and the effect of the current demarcation model applied in the sectoral determination.

Mtsweni said the reason for holding some of the hearings/information sessions on Sundays was to accommodate the workers who might not be able to attend during weekdays. While those held during the week were targeting all role players including trade unions, employers, employer organisations and employees for both sectors.

For more information on the hearings and information sharing sessions contact: Mtsweni on (012) 309-4907 or 083 521 0917.

 Issued by Department of Labour:

Departmental Spokesperson

Page Boikanyo

082 809 3195

 


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