Proposed new labour legislation will undermine employment
Thursday, December 13th, 2012
The cumulative effect of the proposed new labour legislation will undermine employment, the trade union Solidarity said today. The proposed legislation will place a further administrative burden on employers and employees, which will increase costs without adding value. Instead of protecting employees, this legislation will be to their detriment.
This view is expressed in the trade union’s comments on the proposed amendments to the Employment Equity Act and the proposed Employment Services Bill, which will be submitted before tomorrow’s deadline. Johan Kruger, spokesperson of Solidarity, said the trade union had already expressed its concerns about the proposed labour legislation last year at the Labour Portfolio Committee’s public hearings. ‘It seems government thinks it can ignore reality by trying to enforce nonsensical outcomes by means of stricter legislation. Through the proposed Employment Services Bill the government wants to force people to use its poor employment services instead of leaving it to the free choice between employers and employees.’
Kruger said that instead of the proposed amendments to the Employment Equity Act’s making the law more adaptable, it will do the opposite. The current law determines that a number of factors must be taken into account when an employer’s compliance with the law is determined. ‘This includes: available pool of people with suitable qualifications; economic and financial factors; the sector in which the employer does business; the availability of vacant posts and staff turnover. Despite fierce criticism of the previous amendment bill’s attempts to remove these factors, the new amendment bill still negates these provisions. Where it was previously mandatory to consider all the factors to determine if an employer adheres to the law, the factors that have not been removed lose status and only serve as guidelines. This opens the door for dramatically increased enforcement of race-based employment formulas.’