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ILO: SA labour laws not too rigid

Aug 06 2012 09:18 Sapa

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Johannesburg - The International Labour Organisation (ILO) believes labour market regulations are not too rigid in South Africa and cannot be blamed for high unemployment, it was reported on Monday.

According to Business Day, in an interview last week ILO South African director Vic van Vuuren attributed unemployment to fragile economic conditions, skills mismatches and problems with education.

He was speaking after the African Development Bank claimed that labour regulations were "excessively rigid" and contributed to youth unemployment.

South Africa's unemployment rate was almost 25%, which equated to almost four-and-a-half million people out of work.

Van Vuuren said: "When we look at our labour laws and we analyse them and compare them to other best-practice countries, I don't think we have a rigid labour market that is preventing youth employment or employment in general".

However, the newspaper reported that Adcorp labour analyst Loane Sharp disagreed, and said the World Economic Forum rated South Africa's labour regulation as one of the world's worst.

Amendment Bills to the Labour Relations and the Basic Conditions of Employment Acts are being considered by Parliament's portfolio committee on labour.

"They're adding more regulation and what we need is less regulation.... (The amendments) are even more restrictive than the Labour Relations Act of the mid-1990s," Sharp said.

According to Business Day, Business Unity SA claimed the amendments, which could grant temporary workers equal rights to permanent staff, could lead to 215 150 job losses.

 
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