NCOP committee gives labour bills the green light
The committee agreed to the National Minimum Wage Bill, the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill, the Labour Relations Amendment Bill and the Labour Laws Amendment Bill.
CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s Select Committee on Economic and Business Development has approved a raft of labour legislation, including that which will usher in a R20-an-hour national minimum wage.
At its meeting on Tuesday, the committee agreed to the National Minimum Wage Bill, the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill, the Labour Relations Amendment Bill and the Labour Laws Amendment Bill.
While the objections of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were noted, when it came to some aspects of the different bills, they were all approved by the committee without any changes being made.
The National Minimum Wage Bill, the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment bills were referred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for concurrence after being approved by the National Assembly in May.
All that remains now is for them to come before a plenary sitting of the NCOP for adoption.
Select Committee chairperson Mandla Rayi says the NCOP programming committee has yet to schedule a date for the sitting.
“Once the bills are adopted by the NCOP, they will then be sent to the president [Cyril Ramaphosa] (for assent). He will then sign the bills into law.”
The National Minimum Wage Bill aims to help the country’s lowest-paid workers. It provides for a national minimum wage commission that will each year review the R20 an hour it’s currently set at.
While the DA supported the aims of the bill, it wasn’t happy with it in its current form, warning that it could impact on small and medium businesses unable to afford to pay a minimum wage.
The EFF also backed the broad aims of the bill but objected to the minimum wage being set at R20 an hour, saying this was too little and would not help to ease poverty.
The Labour Laws Amendment Bill, which is a private member’s bill, was also approved by the committee without any amendments.
This Bill was introduced by ACDP Member of Parliament Cheryllyn Dudley.
Once enacted, it will give workers 10 days paid parental and adoption leave when their children are born and 10 weeks paid adoption leave when legally adopting a child aged two years and younger.
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)