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National Assembly passes Labour Amendment Bill - here's what this means for your business

by , 26 August 2013
The controversial Labour Amendment Bill has been passed. The National Assembly adopted the Bill in Parliament last week Tuesday. According to reports, the Bill was passed with 248 votes to 81, after two years before Parliament. It must now serve before the Council of Provinces. Read on to find the implications of the Bill on your business.

According to Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, amendments to the Labour Relations Act will enhance the protection of workers and should help to avoid exploitative practices and to ensure decent work for all workers, LabourNet reported.

But what about you as an employer? What impact will the Bill have on your business?

Here's how the Labour Amendment Bill will affect your business

The Bill reduces the period of temporary service organised by labour brokers to three months from six months and, after an eleventh-hour change drafted in June, also does away with the requirement for strike balloting, iol reports.

A strike ballot is conducted among members of a union to determine whether to go on a strike and is decided by a clear majority.

In June, we reported that the DA and the Congress of the People strongly opposed the removal of a clause requiring strike ballots before a protected strike could take place. They argued that ballots would limit strike violence and intimidation and ensure democracy in the trade union movement.

The most contentious issue about the Bill is the regulation of labour brokers!

When the new amendments come in to being, you'll be forced to treat temporary, fixed-contract and part-time workers on an equal basis after three months. This will mean more responsibility for you as an employer if you hire temporary or fixed-term employees.

BDlive reports that business has warned that implementation of the Bill will contribute to the rigidity of the labour market and to the already high level of unemployment.

According to LabourNet, the positive developments are better regulation of the right to strike which includes the possible forfeiture of the right to strike and creation of liability where strikers misbehave. The Bill includes allowing for organisational rights to unions that do not enjoy majoritarian status.

The final version of The Bill is still to be published and then only will it be ready for signature by President Zuma, adds LabourNet.

We'll keep you updated on the new developments on the Bill. In the meantime, make sure you comply and familiarise yourself with the new amendments of the Bill.

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