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Parliament’s Portfolio Committee hold its own public hearings on amendments to the LRA and the BCEA following DoL’s recent roadshows

by lloyd last modified 2012-07-23 12:23

23 July 2012

The Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Labour is to hold its public hearings on Labour Relations Amendment Bill and Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill, this follows the submission by South Africa’s Labour minister Mildred Oliphant of the amended bills to Cabinet in March.

The Portfolio Committee on Labour’s two-day public hearings on the amended bills will start tomorrow (July 24) at 9am. The hearings will be held at V454, 4th Floor, Old Assembly Building in Cape Town.

The hearings will offer stakeholders that have in recent months been grumbling about the amendments a chance to voice their inputs. Some of the organisations that would be accorded an opportunity to make presentations include Eskom, the Board of Health Care Funders of South Africa, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Price Group, Forestry South Africa, Fedhasa, Business Unity South Africa, the Retail Association, Confederation of Associations in the Private Employment Sector, African Professional Staffing Organisation, the Banking Association South Africa, American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa, South African Society for Labour Law and Fedusa.

The Department of Labour (DoL) recently held public briefings in all provinces on the bills. The purpose of the public briefings was to report back and inform the public about the implications of the new legislation once passed.

During the briefings DoL Chief Director: Collective Bargaining Thembinkosi Mkalipi emphasised that the department had fulfilled part of its mandate, that of submitting the amendments to LRA and BCEA to Cabinet and next step going forward was for the bills to be tabled before Parliament for debate.

Some of the key areas of amendments to the LRA and the BCEA focus on addressing what is now commonly referred to as the phenomenon of labour broking; improve the functioning of the institutions in the labour market such as the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), the Labour Courts; regulating contract work; strikes and lock-outs; essential services; organisational rights and collective bargaining; chilled labour and strengthening the inspectorate.

Meanwhile, a week ago DoL Deputy Director-General of Labour Policy & Industrial Relations, Les Kettledas also announced that negotiations on the last two sets of labour market legislation that were undergoing amendments at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) have also been finalised as well and were ready to follow the legislative process.

These include Public Employment Services and the Employment Equity Amendments Bills.

The new Public Employment Services Bill will allow Government to play an active part to assist the unemployed to find work; improve access to the labour market; provide opportunities for new entrants to the labour market; improve and facilitate training and productivity. And the Employment Equity Bill seeks to make it unlawful to practise discrimination in the workplace and would also incorporate the principle of equal pay for work of equal value among others.

Issued by Page Boikanyo           

               Departmental spokesperson

               082 809 3195

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