Important Labour Law Changes in South Africa
As an employer, you do not necessarily have time to read every news article, and unless you have someone on your team to scan the Government Gazettes for notices regarding changes in relevant legislation, you most probably do not know about every far-reaching amendment.
Fortunately, if you make use of the services offered by our labour lawyers in Johannesburg, we will ensure that your labour and employment policies are aligned with the latest legislation. Our team of labour lawyers in Johannesburg is here to help your firm stay compliant with the latest labour laws in the country.
Some of the recent and anticipated changes in labour laws of the country are briefly noted below, helping you to get up to speed with important legislative matters.
Employees to Benefit from a Tax Incentive
The Employment Tax Incentive Act will mean that an employee will be able to qualify for the tax incentive, provided the employee receives minimum wage or better. The act is said to be extended and with it still being considered as difficult to administer, it has not come to its full right yet. It is hoped that it will be extended until after February 2019.
UIF and Related Benefits Will Change
The Unemployment Insurance Act has been amended with the purpose of streamlining the administration thereof. Foreign national employees, as well as participants in learnership programmes, can now also claim unemployment insurance benefits. Amendments have been made to the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act to stipulate that participants in learnership programmes and foreign national employees must also contribute to the UIF.
Parental Leave Changes
A new bill that was proposed in 2016 and approved by the National Assembly in 2017, will bring about positive changes regarding parental leave. In future, employees, such as the non-birthing parents, will be entitled to 10 days parental leave, 10 weeks commissioning leave for surrogate commissioning parents, and 10 days adoption leave. These changes are significant, as not only the birthing parents will be entitled to leave days, but also commissioning and adoption parents. Changes must still be made to the Unemployment Insurance & Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
Parental leave is currently set at three days in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. It will thus increase to 10 days, starting on the date that the child is born. Commissioning parents in surrogacy agreements can choose who will take the 10 weeks of commissioning parent leave and who will just take the 10-day parental leave. The three days of paternity leave will be replaced with the above leave days and such will be covered by the Unemployment Insurance Fund. We recommend speaking to our labour lawyers in Johannesburg about the effects of the changes on the payroll management and employee relations.
Minimum Wage Is to Be Increased
A national minimum wage bill has been proposed and the implementation date is still to be decided. Amendments have also been proposed to ensure that labour legislation can be aligned with the National Minimum Wage Act. We also recommend that you seek legal guidance regarding the impact and consequences of the new act on your payroll and employee relations. As an employer, you will not be allowed to change the working hours because of the National Minimum Wage (expected to be R20 per hour) and restrictions will apply regarding the structuring of the salary package.
The above are just some of the recent changes and proposed amendments in the laws governing employment in South Africa. Understanding how compliance will affect your firm is important. It is also essential to understand how to ensure compliance. We can assist with both aspects to help your firm stay compliant with the various regulations regarding employment and labour relations.
Our team of lawyers in Johannesburg can help your firm make the necessary changes to ensure ongoing good employee relations because of full compliance with legislative requirements. Call our labour lawyers in Johannesburg at 011 234 2125 for assistance.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing – September 2018.