SEIFSA COMMENT ON PROPOSED LABOUR LAW AMENDMENTS
Posted on 23 March 2012
The Steel and Engineering Industries’ Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA) acknowledges yesterday’s announcement that Cabinet has decided not to ban labour broking in South Africa.
However, SEIFSA remains seriously concerned that many of the amendments contained in the Basic Conditions of Employment and Labour Relations Amendment Bills, including those further regulating labour broking, are punitive and place unnecessary additional restrictions on legitimate business operations, will raise the cost of doing business in South Africa and will result in further job losses in the country.
SEIFSA shares the disappointment expressed by Business Unity SA (BUSA) that Cabinet has decided to approve the Bills without conducting a further Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on the impact of these Bills on business, employment and job creation. SEIFSA continues to believe that the Bills, once implemented, will have a negative impact on business, will reduce the number of existing jobs and will hamper the creation of new employment opportunities in the industry.
In particular, SEIFSA fully supports the BUSA assessment that the Bills will:
Make employment more difficult, more complex, and will increase uncertainty and risk pertaining to employment.
They will raise the cost and the complexity of doing business in South Africa.
The amendments related to strikes and lock outs will not achieve their intended purpose. It is unclear how these will limit or address the substantial strike violence experienced in the metal industry during the course of last year.
“Employers are expected to create jobs, retain jobs, train more and offer opportunities for a better life for the people of our country. At the same time the draft legislation forces us to employ people on a permanent basis with very little employment flexibility required to capitalise on business opportunities under the prevailing economic climate. Employment is not created through making it more and more difficult to be in business” says Henk Duys, the President of SEIFSA.
“Manufacturers need flexibility. Their markets fluctuate for seasonal reasons, for currency fluctuation reasons and for competitive reasons. Contracts are won and lost. Business has to adapt to the market place, employment needs to rise and fall in line with the order book, the market place and the general economy. Forcing businesses to employ only permanent staff will stifle growth. It will lead to a reduction in how many people are employed and an increase in our fixed costs, which in turn, makes us uncompetitive and, will ultimately lead to our demise” he says.
View the media briefing by the Minister of Labour on the Bills, explanatory memorandums and the Bills submitted to parliament below..
For more information contact:
Executive Director, SEIFSA
Tel: (011) 298-9417
Operations Director, SEIFSA
Tel: (011) 298-9414