Basic Conditions of Employment Act Amendment Bill 2017

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act No. 75 of 1997, as amended (the BCEA), which gives effect to the right to fair labour practices referred to in Section 23 of the Constitution by establishing and making provision for the regulation of basic conditions of employment, may see certain amendments in the coming weeks. The Amendment Bill of 2017 proposes, amongst others, to include the Employment Services Act and National Minimum Wage law in the definition of ‘employment law’ in the BCEA.

This definition is relevant for the purposes of, amongst others, inspector functions, entry, inspections, compliance order arbitration award, deemed employees, codes of good practice, and confidentiality. Also note that employment law in the Labour Relations Act has a slightly different meaning:

a.  That an employee earning below the earnings threshold, and who works for less than 4 hours on any day must be paid for 4 hours work on that day.

b. Repealing the chapter on sectoral determinations, with transitional provisions stating that existing sectoral determinations (and period of operation, legal effect and copy of determination) continue to apply, except that:

  • Learner allowances must comply with schedule 2 of the National Minimum wage law; and
  • A wage does not apply if it is less than the national minimum wage; and
  • Where a determination already prescribes wages that are higher than the national minimum wage, the wages, remuneration and associated benefits based on those wages must be increased proportionally to any adjustment of the national minimum wage, for a period of three years from the commencement of the National Minimum Wage law.

c. Amending the application of the Act, and the monitoring, enforcement and legal proceedings chapter of the Act to alter enforcement procedures, and to reference the national wage, Employment Services Act and unemployment insurance laws. Deadline for submitting comments on the proposed amendment is 30 November 2017.

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