Busa: Labour changes will damage business

2012-03-27 16:12

Johannesburg - The amended labour relations and basic conditions of employment bills could damage business in South Africa, Business Unity SA (Busa) said on Tuesday.

"The areas of disagreement currently contained in the bills... compromise existing jobs and pose considerable risks to further job creation, business and the economy," Busa social policy executive director Vanessa Phala told reporters.

"Business believes that in their current format, the bills are onerous and punitive and will have a negative impact on business.

"We are also concerned that these amendments will limit the employer's ability to adjust and adapt consistently to changing market conditions."

Busa negotiator Tanya Cohen said businesses were concerned about the "equal treatment" provision in the labour relations bill.

"It essentially says that all workers, be they temporary or permanent, have to be paid at the same rate of pay. This is something that is not found worldwide - it is often regarded as discriminatory."

She said Busa was also concerned that the temporary employment threshold was "too short".

In the amended bills, temporary employment cannot exceed six months.

Cohen said this timeframe was not reasonable, considering that construction workers needed more than six months to complete a project.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant submitted the amendment bills to cabinet on March 14. The submission was approved on March 20.

"We would like government to first conduct a regulatory impact assessment in order to understand the potential impact of these changes on the economy, as well as alignment to national development goals," said Cohen.

  • Ben - 2012-03-27 16:40

    Labour changes will FURTHER damage business sounds more correct. There are already other factors damaging business.

  • Nhlanhla - 2012-03-27 17:04

    Busa will always talk for the advantaged without considering the side of disagantaged whereby cheap labour is expoited,where in the world would the labour be paid for a labourer R14k and the same Employer pays his Employee R2500? Isn't it cold bluded robbery? what does Busa expect do under the given circumstances,in Namibia they had a total ban of labour Brokers ,what about dat @least our Govt is not talking the same language of total ban thats spoken by Labour Movement.Com'on guys lets take this on our chin and go!!!

      Gideon - 2012-03-27 17:07

      In namibia unemployment is nearly 60%

      Kathy - 2012-03-27 17:39

      @ Nhlanhla. You want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Snatch the half a loaf of bread from a worker so he now staves to death just because he earns less than you. I will then import as it's cheaper than local.

      Mehluli - 2012-03-27 17:58

      Nhlanhla you are 100% correct,only black people are exploited under the labour brokers.Busa is only interested on black exploitation.If you are white it said you poses scarce skills.In Britain labour brokers adhere to the rules of the country,there is a minimum wage which every employer must adhere to.If we do the same in South Africa Busa will say labour is too expensive but in Britain its fine and its not expensive.

      Gideon - 2012-03-27 18:02

      In Britain they don't manufacture anything, their entire industry almost exists solely of financial services. Landrovers? Built overseas. Mines? Not many left.

      wynand.meyering - 2012-03-28 05:02

      South Africa is starting to look more and more like the rest of Africa.

  • Den - 2012-03-27 17:22

    @ Nhlanhla, you seem to not understand that our ANC has helped destroy many industries, through cheap Chinese imports. The chinese are prepared to work for a lower wage. So like it or not, choose the lower wage or in many industries, be unemployed.

      Joyce - 2012-03-27 18:07

      I have been to China and spent a week working in one of their factories. If ever you want to see exploitation do the same. They have millions out of work so replacing labour is no problem there are 100 waiting for your job.

  • Den - 2012-03-27 17:26

    hey if your unhappy working for a labour brocker then go get another job.

  • Mac - 2012-03-27 17:37

    remember that if government officials had any real value they would have been snatched up by private business's long ago,but by their brainless people pleasing,and a lack of business acumen employers are hijacked to doom

  • bheki.dingiswayo - 2012-03-27 17:39

    The means that business should change tactics- (i) Employ more machinery and few human (ii) Change your temporary employees every five months (Rotate them) (iii) Work short shift so that the six month is longer

  • Den - 2012-03-27 17:45

    @ bheki, sad but true.

  • Grant - 2012-03-27 22:59

    South Afrcan labour has been overpriced even before the ANC came to power. That is why we have such a high unemployement rate. The government has just made things worse by allowing cheap labour to flood in from countries like Zimbabwe and the Congo who work harder for less money. I am not hopefull for the future. Every tens of thousands of poorly educated school leavers start chasing fewer and fewer jobs. It is inevitable that one day there won't be enough money to pay grants. Then what? I, like many other ex-Rhodesians were able to just hop over the border as we had friends, family and skills that were in demand. Where will the vast majority of Soth Afrians and migrants go to? Not a pleasant thought.

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