NEW LABOUR BILLS TO WEAKEN EMPLOYERS AND STRENGTHEN JOB LOSSES
• members of minority trade unions will be able to elect shop stewards.
• labour broker employees will be able to exercise their trade union rights at the premises of the broker’s client.
• unlawful strike action including violence and intimidation will be reduced.
• arbitration awards certified by the Commission can be presented to the Deputy-Sheriff without the involvement of Labour Court writs.
• applications for rescission on grounds of good cause may be brought before the CCMA.
• employees engaged for a fixed term could claim dismissal on expiry of the term whether they have a reasonable expectation of continued temporary or permanent employment.
• employers be permitted to dismiss senior executives (earning above a threshold to be determined) under certain circumstances without having to comply with the normal requirements of the LRA
• labour brokers will not be able to supply employees to clients for longer than 6 months unless the employees are hired to do temporary work
• employees of labour brokers will become employees of the client if they are employed to perform work over a period in excess of six months.
• employers may not employ staff on fixed term contracts for longer than 6 months unless the nature of the work is of a limited duration or the employer can demonstrate any other justifiable reason for fixing the term
• contractors and their clients will have joint and several liability for any failures to comply with the LRA or any employment law.
The new BCEA amendment bill’s intentions are that:
• employers be prohibited from accepting any payment from any employees or potential employees in respect of their employment
• the Minister may issue an “umbrella” sectoral determination covering employers and employees who are not covered by any other sectoral determination or by a bargaining council collective agreement
• the right of the employer to lodge objections with the Director -General concerning a compliance order be removed from the Act.
I will delve into the ramifications of these amendments in my next articles.