On the 23rd of November 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law the much debated and publicized and oft criticized amendments to Labour Legislation which would, amongst others give effect to the national minimum wage of R 20.00 per hour.
These amendments are taking effect on the 1st of January 2019, and while various media outlets have reported widely on the broad impact of the Minimum Wage Bill, legislative processes have been implemented with a view to mitigate the spate of protracted strikes which have plagued business in recent years.
Recap of Changes:
While the biggest coming change will be the new national minimum wage, there are still exemptions which can be applied for by businesses who can prove that the minimum wage would be onerous or may result in job losses.
Furthermore, the minimum wage will be phased in over a period for domestic- and farm workers who will move to R 15.00 and R 18.00 an hour respectively from the 1st of January 2019.
The amendments also extend the scope and powers of the CCMA and provides them with powers previously only available to the Department of Labour and/or Labour Courts, including the issuing of compliance orders and in determining pay disputes.
Another major amendment has been a move to extend the powers of a CCMA Commissioner during wage disputes which many unions have viewed as an encroachment on their powers but which may well serve to streamline and simplify the negotiation process which has, in recent years seen heavy abuse by trade unions who retained disproportionate bargaining powers in such negotiations.
Finally, the amendments to the BCEA and UIA allow for the payment of up to 10 days of paternity leave.
While it seems trite, one needs to take the bad with the good and view the timing of these amendments as an attempt by the struggling ANC to garnish votes ahead of the upcoming elections and while not all unions have been in favor, it would appear that the president has won over his constituents in the COSATU camp and the amendments seem to have their approval for now.
HR City will be hosting an information session on the new amendments in the near-future to clarify and explain the amendments and their effects on businesses. If you need any information please do not hesitate to contact us directly.