How the labour laws were amended in South Africa
How the labour laws will be amended
Department of Labour
20 December 2010
Changes aimed at halting trend towards casualisation
Media briefing on the Bills Amending the Labour Relations Act, The Basic Conditions of Employment Act, Employment Equity Act and the Employment Services Bill, 2010
The Department of Labour will be publishing amendment bills for the Labour Relations Act (LRA), the Employment Equity Act (EEA), the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) and a new Employment Services Bill, 2010 on Friday 17 December 2010. Each bill is accompanied by an Explanatory Memorandum.
The bills are published for public comment with the closing date set for 17 February 2011. During this time the department will hold public consultations in the different areas of the country and we will also be tabling the Bills for discussion at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC).
The current amendments have their origins in the growing “casualisation” of work that has become a feature of the South African labour market over the past decade. The 2009 election manifesto of the ruling party gave urgency to the task of introducing amendments by noting the following;
“In order to avoid exploitation of workers and ensure decent work for all workers as well as to protect the employment relationship, introduce laws to regulate contract work, subcontracting and out- sourcing, address the problem of labour broking and prohibit certain abusive practices. Provisions will be introduced to facilitate unionisation of workers and conclusion of sectoral collective agreements to cover vulnerable workers in these different legal relationships and ensure the right to permanent employment for affected workers. Procurement policies and public incentives will include requirements to promote decent work.”
Amendments to the LRA, BCEA and EEA therefore have a major focus on addressing what is now commonly referred to as the phenomenon of labour broking.