More labour policy review underway to modernise SA’s labour market.

The following release was made on the official labout homepage about a policy review, on 24 February 2012. The aimsi at modernization of the SA Labour Market.

The Department of Labour is to oversee a number of legislative amendments that will come into the fore said Department of Labour Director-General Nkosinathi Nhleko.

He said these are part of an initiative to improve service delivery while keeping on a radar job creation initiatives.

Addressing the strategic workshop of the Portfolio Committee on Labour in Cape Town today (Friday) – Nhleko said the process to amend, and in some cases to develop and repeal was already underway. Nhleko said the project was a medium to long-term process which would also enjoy public participation.

Members of the Portfolio Committee on Labour under the chair of Eleck Nchabeleng said the committee was looking forward to the review of these policies. Members of the committee said South Africa was a member of global community and was obliged to ratify international laws to modernise its labour market.

Modernizing Labour

The committee said it would be scandalous to delay the review process. The committee said work was proceeding smoothly and the public should look forward to hearings in the near future. The long-standing matter of claims by former mineworkers would be resolved before the end of the year, said the Committee.

Some of the planned policy changes identified by the Department of Labour relate to: the amendment of the Unemployment Insurance Act 63 of 2001 – changes relate to improvements of benefits and administrative changes regarding submission of information by employers to the Fund;

·         Amendment of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act – create a policy environment for rehabilitation, re-integration, and return-to-work policy for injured and diseased workers;

·          Promulgate the Employment Services Act – develop and implement regulations plus guidelines;

·          Amendment of the Labour Relations Act;

·          Amendment of the Employment Equity Act;

·          Amendment of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and;

·          Repealing of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 85 of 1993 – addressing shortcomings to ensure that penalties are stiff, employers develop and implement a health and safety management system, and inspectors are enabled to issues prescribed fines on the spot.

In addition to policy review, other initiatives on the way and being considered include the extension of pension and workmen compensation to vulnerable workers such as domestics. Comprehensive announcements would be made in the near future.

Nhleko said while South Africa’s labour administration system promotes labour market flexibility for competitiveness of enterprises, it was still characterised by high levels of unemployment and under-employment, inequality and discrimination, violation of employment standards and fundamental rights at work and high levels of workplace incidents.

The Director-General said inadequate infrastructure limits the country’s capability to create employment and to provide for effective economic support for millions of job seekers. He identified two notable features of SA’s unemployment crisis as being characterised by unskilled labour force, 60% of whom are without Matric and the growing ‘army’ of unemployed youth which make up 75% of the unemployed.

“We also welcome the announcement of the President Jacob Zuma in his state of the nation address on the question of infrastructure investment and job creation and commit to take the challenge as we believe this would contribute to the country’s capability to open opportunities and create jobs,” Nhleko said.

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More labour policy review underway to modernise SA’s labour market — Department of Labour.

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