Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act, 2018; Labour Laws Amendment Act, 2018; and Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2018

As mentioned in our previous news flash with regard to the National Minimum Wage Bill assented by the President on 23 November 2018, three other bills were also signed into law on the same day, namely the Labour Laws Amendment Bill, amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill.

On Tuesday, 27 November 2018, the respective Amended Acts, together with the National Minimum Wage Act, have been published in the following Government Gazettes:

  • GG 42059: Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act, Act 7 of 2018
  • GG 42060: National Minimum Wage Act, Act 9 of 2018
  • GG 42061: Labour Relations Amendment Act, Act 8 of 2018
  • GG 42062: Labour Laws Amendment Act, Act 10 of 2018

The Labour Laws Amendment Act is notable as it was not introduced by Government but was instead introduced as a private member’s bill by African Christian Democratic Party in November 2015.

The most important aspect of this amendment is that it allows for all parents, including fathers, same-sex couples, adoptive and surrogate parents, to access leave as follows:

  • An employee, who is a parent of a child, is entitled to ten consecutive days of parental leave;
  • An employee, who is an adoptive parent of a child below the age of two, is entitled to:
    • Adoption leave of at least ten consecutive weeks; or
    • At least ten consecutive days of parental leave.
  • An employee, who is a commissioning parent in a surrogacy agreement, is entitled to:
    • Commissioning parental leave of ten consecutive weeks; or
    • At least ten consecutive days of parental leave.

The Labour Laws Amendment Act, 2018 also amend the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997 to insert new definitions and make provision for parental, adoption and commissioning parental leave to employees. A collective agreement may not reduce an employee’s entitlement to parental, adoption or commissioning parental leave. In addition to this, the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001, is also amended to make provision for the right to claim parental and commissioning parental benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund and to provide for the application for, and the payment of, parental and commissioning parental benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

The amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act, Act 7 of 2018, provide for the following:

  • The inclusion of the National Minimum Wage;
  • The insertion of a new section to provide for daily wage payments applicable to employees or workers who earn less than the earnings threshold – an employee who works for less than four hours on any day must be paid for four hours work on that day;
  • Where a sectoral determination prescribes wages that are higher than the NMW, the wages in that sectoral determination and the remuneration and associated benefits based on those wages must be increased proportionally to any adjustment of the NMW in terms of the National Minimum Wage Act;
  • To include enforcement of the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2018, the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 and the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, 2002.

The Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2018 has been amended to:

  • Increase the period the Minister has to extend a collective agreement to non-parties from 60 to 90 days and the agreement shall only be extended if parties are sufficiently represented within the scope of the council;
  • Provide criteria for the Minister before the Minister is compelled to extend the collective agreement;
  • Provide for the renewal and extension of funding agreements;
  • Provide for picketing by collective agreement or by determination by the Commission in terms of picketing regulations;
  • Provide for the classification of a ratified or determined minimum service, where minimum service refers to the minimum number of employees in a specific essential service who may not strike;
  • Extend the meaning of ballot to include any voting by members that is recorded in secret with regard to registered trade unions and employer’s organisations;
  • Make way for the establishment of an advisory arbitration panel to deal with long and violent strike action in the interest of labour stability.

The effective date of the Labour Laws Amended Act 2018 and the amended LRA will be published in the Government Gazette.

The amended BCEA takes effect on a date immediately after the National Minimum Wage Act, 2018, has taken effect, which is expected to be 1 January 2019. However, this remains to be determined by the president by proclamation in the Gazette.

To view the respective Acts, please follow the links below:

National Minimum Wage Act, 2018

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/42060_gon1303_Act9of2018.pdf

Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act, 2018

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/42059_gon1302_Act7of2018.pdf

Labour Laws Amendment Act, 2018

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/42062_gon1305_Act10of2018.pdf

Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2018

https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/42061_gon1304_Act8of2018.pdf

 

Contact our legislation team at info@crs.co.za if you require any additional information.

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