Labour Law

In a media statement Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant voiced her strong feelings against prolonged industrial action and other matters concerning the current labour landscape, including labour broking and NEDLAC?s progress. "These are conditions that lie at the heart of the decent work agenda and we have to begin addressing these more effectively.?

What should you do if an employee engages in criminal conduct? Bruno Bruniquel says managers confuse criminal justice system requirements with LRA requirements, and advises employers to initiate internal disciplinary proceedings immediately in cases of misconduct.

Service delivery protests and political clashes are a sign of democracy as it demonstrates the ability of the public to put their own views forward argues Adam Kahane, author of "Power and Love?.

A retail store owner felt the full force of the law when he refused entry to a labour inspector seeking to perform an investigation on his premises. The accused was sentenced to pay a fine of R10 000 or face six months imprisonment for contravening the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, sending out a clear message to labour law fraudsters.

Labour inspector impersonators will not be tolerated by the legal system and employers are urged to carefully examine the authenticity of people claiming to be inspectors. In a recent scam, fraudster Riaane Meyer, was found guilty and her twelve month sentence was suspended for five years.

Will the draft labour bills result in job losses? Proposed changes to labour legislation has been heavily contested by business, industry and even COSATU. Many fear the loss of the Temporary Employment Service (TES) industry as a potential outcome and demand clarity on the implementation of the proposed laws.

The Labour Department is renewing its quest to ensure that all work spaces comply with the standard health and safety regulations. According to Labour Minister, Nelisiwe Oliphant, "farms will be raided and errant employers will have nowhere to hide."

A Labour Court judgment has reaffirmed the right of people with HIV to non-discrimination in employment. An award-winning horse riding instructor living with HIV has won 12 months' compensation for an automatically unfair dismissal.

It was about time the principle of equal pay for work of equal value becomes the order of the day in the country, the Department of Labour said in Kimberley. This was during the last public hearing into the proposed labour law amendments following a punishing three week campaign across all provinces.

Department of Labour inspectors are to be given more power to enable them to carry out their duties more effectively. Thembinkosi Mkalipi, Chief Director for Labour Market Policy in Turfontein, made the announcement during a public consultation meeting on the proposed amendments to labour law.

The most common reason for a labour broker employee's contract ending is that the contract period ends. This is one of the many findings of research into labour broking carried out in 2010. Adcorp's Loane Sharpe believes this refutes the claim made by the Department of Labour and several trade unions that labour brokers are a 'subterfuge' for avoiding labour relations and, especially, dismissal protections. Sharp's article describes the research findings in greater detail.

Critical to Labour Minister Oliphant's five year plan is amending the country's labour laws, and the creation of jobs. But labour federation Cosatu demand 'decent work', not jobs at any cost. The International Labour Organisation define decent work as being in conditions of "freedom, equity, security, and human dignity."

The Labour Minister has announced that major reforms to the country's labour laws will be published in draft form on Friday 17th December. The Minister characterised the changes to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, Labour Relations Act, and other labour laws as 'far reaching'. Tha national government has been attempting to clamp down on labour brokers and other atypical employment practices.
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The terms of employment should be detailed in an employment contract. This must at least meet the floor of rights set out in the Basic Conditions of Employment Equity Act. Templates are available for both temporary and permanent employment contracts. When the employment is for a defined period of time it is refered to as a fixed-term contract.

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) sets the minimum standards that employers must meet when employing staff.

The Department of Labour in the South African government is responsible for developing policy and labour laws to regulate the South African labour market. A team of labour inspectors is responsible for enforcement of labour laws.

According to labour lawyers, Leigh Allardyce and Celeste Allan, a pay settlement alone will not be sufficient to reduce tensions and the underlying anger fuelling the public sector strike. They suggest that at the core of the strike is a dissatisfaction with the application of Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment thus far, rather than simply a wage issue. As such is, it is a problem that is likely to spill over into the private sector and business should act accordingly.

Department of Labour inspectors are to embark on weeklong countrywide raids targeting the wholesale and retail trade industry the department. The labour inspectors will focus on conditions of service that include wages, hours of work, leave, prohibition of child labour and forced labour, termination of employment, amongst others.

Would you like the opportunity to work for South Africa's Department of Labour? Find out how to apply for vacancies here if you are in the market for a new position.


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