South Africa has faced many challenges when it comes to Labour Law. However, this changed when the new Labour Laws Amendment Bill was signed into legislation on 23 November 2018. The breakthrough includes major amendments relating to parental leave and the minimum wage.
Parental leave is now granted when a father’s child is born but, it has also been extended to parents who choose to adopt or people that became parents via surrogacy. Furthermore, the Bill provides the farther or in the case of a same-sex relationship, the non-child bearing parent with ten (10) consecutive days leave when the Employee’s child is born or adopted. Family Responsibility Leave will not have to be taken anymore.
South Africans have been waiting in anticipation for the proposed amendments to the National Minimum Wage Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. The amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act catered to a large extend for the National Minimum Wage Bill.
Some of the major changes include:
- A fine system when an Employer is not paying an Employee in accordance with the National Minimum Wage Bill. Labour Inspector’s powers have increased.
- Employees who earn below the minimum earnings threshold (R205 433.30 per annum) may refer disputes relating to non-payment of wages to the CCMA.
- The CCMA has been given a wider jurisdiction relating to Labour Inspectors and the enforcement of Compliance Orders.
- Furthermore, in the event an Employer fails to comply with a Labour Inspector’s written undertaking or Compliance Order, the Director General may apply to the CCMA instead of the Labour Court, to have such written undertaking or Compliance Order being made an Arbitration Award.
The expansion of the CCMA’s powers to adjudicate compliance disputes and to resolve compliance disputes is done with an intention that the CCMA resolves these disputes quicker. The referral to the CCMA is considered to be more cost-effective. However, at this stage it is too early to comment on the CCMA’s capacity to cope with such disputes and the increased work-load that it will bring.