New labour law amend­ments

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - BUSINESS -

A RAFT of new labour law amend­ments pub­lished yes­ter­day in­clude pro­vi­sions to pun­ish em­ploy­ers who con­tra­vene em­ploy­ment eq­uity rules with fines of be­tween two and ten per­cent of their an­nual turnover.

The draft Em­ploy­ment Eq­uity Amend­ment Bill re­moves the max­i­mum fine limit of R900 000 for com­pa­nies found to be in se­rial breach of the law on hir­ing a num­ber of black peo­ple, women and the dis­abled re­flect­ing na­tional and re­gional de­mo­graph­ics.

Un­der cur­rent law that was the high­est fine that could be im­posed on an em­ployer who con­tra­vened the Act four times in three years.

The max­i­mum fine for a first of­fender was R500 000.

The bill seeks to change this to two per­cent of an­nual turnover, while the max­i­mum fine for those guilty of “four pre­vi­ous con­tra­ven­tions in re­spect of the same pro­vi­sions within three years” be­comes 10 per­cent of an­nual turnover.

These pro­vi­sions are in line with de­mands from sus­pended labour di­rec­tor gen­eral Jimmy Manyi who has urged tougher penal­ties for re­cal­ci­trant com­pa­nies. They give the di­rec­tor gen­eral the power to ap­ply to the Labour Court to im­pose fines on com­pa­nies who fail to pre­pare and im­ple­ment eq­uity plans.

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