Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) lauds the overwhelming support in the adoption of the groundbreaking Labour Law Bills by the National Council of Provinces today (Tuesday 21 August 2018), which represents a historic moment for South Africa and bears testament to what is possible when social partners work together.
The Bills are the products of extensive and exhaustive negotiations and social dialogue among the Nedlac social partners: organised business, organised labour, community and the government.
As the apex organisation in the country, BUSA led the process on behalf of organised business at Nedlac and is pleased that the respective social partners were able to find each other.
Moody’s Investors Service, S&P Global Ratings and Fitch have previously cited the labour agreements as a positive factor in determining South Africa’s sovereign credit rating and said that the agreements would contribute to stabilising the country’s labour relations landscape. From a business perspective, the Bills will go a long way in ensuring policy certainty and bolstering confidence, as well as improving relations between organised labour and business.
BUSA President Sipho Pityana said the provisions around strike ballots, advisory arbitration and the default picketing rules were of significance. “They will be accompanied by a Code of Good Practice on Collective Bargaining, Industrial Action and Picketing. These changes signal a move to greater accountability, while protecting basic constitutional rights, including the right to strike, to associate and to pursue economic activity. This will bring much needed labour stability, which was one of the areas that the ratings agencies had identified as a challenge.”
BUSA CEO Tanya Cohen said: “We welcome the introduction of an evidence-based National Minimum Wage that takes into consideration issues affecting employers and employees. We acknowledge that many businesses, especially small business, may struggle to adjust to the new status quo. We have been party to the development of the exemption system for those businesses that cannot afford the National Minimum Wage and are confident that it will operate effectively.”
BUSA urged all businesses to put in place plans to be ready to comply with the National Minimum Wage or seek exemption.