Business Unity South Africa’s (BUSA) has reaffirmed its support for the labour law amendments that were passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday. The Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill, the Labour Relations Amendment Bill and the National Minimum Wage Bill are critical for fostering labour relations stability in South Africa and bridging the wage inequality gap in the country, said BUSA.
BUSA indicated that there are a number of welcome provisions in the Labour Relations Amendment Bill. The amendments will promote labour relations stability, ensuring the exercise of the Constitutional right to strike together with respect for the right to life and protection from personal harm, freedom of association and protection of property. The amendments include: the introduction of default picketing rules that will apply to all industrial action; the explicit requirement to a secret strike ballot; and the introduction of advisory arbitration for violent or protracted strikes.
“As previously stated, BUSA strongly believes that the labour relations amendments have the potential to change the tone of labour relations in South Africa and contribute towards a mutually respectful, job rich, productive and competitive economy,” said BUSA CEO Tanya Cohen.
BUSA stated that with regard to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) that it will be important to carefully monitor the implementation to mitigate any negative impact on employment. BUSA indicated that the exemption system will be critical to enabling compliance and affordability. This is particularly important for smaller and start up businesses that might not afford the R20/hour rate, said BUSA. It is important that the National Minimum Wage Commission when considering adjustments to the NMW, will be required to specifically take into account: GDP, productivity, the impact on small business and employment, said BUSA.