Minister slams labour broking progress

mildred oliphant Minister slams labour broking progressLabour minister, Mildred Oliphant, has slammed the progress of changes to labour broking laws – saying new legislation needs to be rapidly introduced.

According to the Department of Labour (DOL), Oliphant has requested the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to speed up the process of amending labour legislation.

This follows several delays over the years; heated public hearings and stalled negotiations on the proposed amendments.

“The minister has requested the the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) social partners to speed up the process of amending labour legislation in view of the fact that there was an expectation that this process would be finished by the end of this year. Oliphant, as per her mandate, asked the parties to speed up the process. The Bills were released in December last year,” the DOL revealed.

The DOL has introduced amendments to several pieces of labour legislation, including the Labour Relations Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Employment Services Bill.

Earlier this year, the department re-opened discussions on the highly contested changes to labour broking legislation – saying business and labour still needed to reach consensus.

While trade federation, Cosatu, along with youth political organisations have called on government to introduce a widespread ban on labour broking, business organisations and the ICT sector have called for increasing regulation – saying a widespread ban could effectively destroy certain business sectors

Amendments to the Labour Relations Act, aim to regulate contract work through a proposed amendment which aims to stop the practice of repeated contracting for short-term periods. According to the Bill, the onus will be on employers to justify the use of short-term or fixed term contracts in place of contracting employees on a permanent basis.

The proposed changes also aim to address the problem of labour broking through clauses in the Labour Relations Amendment Bill which propose to repeal section 198 that deals with Temporary Employment Services (TES) in the Labour Relations Act. The DOL wants to introduce a new Employment Services Bill which will address both private and public employment services.

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