South Africa’s new labour policies

The Department of Labour has published a series of amendment bills proposing changes to three existing legislative acts tackling critical issues within the South African labour market.
The amendments are being introduced in an attempt to address and regulate the growing ‘casualisation’ of work that has become a feature of the labour market over the past decade.
According to the government the amendment will:
  • Ensure decent work for all workers
  • Protect the employment relationship
  • Avoid exploitation of workers
  • Introduce laws to regulate contract work, subcontracting and outsourcing
  • Address the problem of labour broking and prohibit abusive practices
  • Facilitate unionisation of workers
  • Ensure the right to permanent employment for affected workers
The bills propose changes to the following acts: The Labour Relations Act (LRA), the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), and the Employment Equity (EE) Act.
The proposed amendments to the Acts can be grouped  under the following themes –
(a) responses to the increased informalisation of labour to ensure that vulnerable categories of workers  receive adequate protection and are employed in conditions of decent work;
(b) adjustments to the law to ensure compliance with South Africa’s obligations in terms of international labour standards;
(c) ensuring that labour legislation gives effect to fundamental Constitutional rights including the right to fair labour practices, to engage in collective bargaining and right to equality and protection from discrimination;
(d) enhancing the effectiveness of the primary labour market institutions such as the Labour Court, the CCMA, the Essential Services Committee and the labour inspectorate;
(e) rectifying anomalies and clarifying uncertainties that have arisen from the interpretation and application of these two statutes in the past decade. 
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