The Basic Conditions Amendment Act of 2013 and its Administrative Regulations published on 29 August 2014 came into effect on 1 September 2014.
The objectives of the amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act are to:
- address government’s commitment to avoid exploitation of workers
- ensure decent work for all workers
- protect the employment relationship
- introduce laws to regulate contract work
- sub-contracting and out-sourcing
- address the problem of labour broking
- prohibit certain abusive practices
This also includes effecting certain consequential amendments as a result of the insertion of new definitions and to effect certain textual corrections, to strengthen the implementation and enforcement mechanisms of the Act, for example to increased fines for non-compliance and to ensure South Africa’s compliance with International Labour Standards (Conventions 100 & 111.)
According to the department, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act was amended so as to substitute certain definitions to:
- prohibit employers from requiring employees to make payments to secure employment and from requiring employees to purchase goods, services or products
- prohibit anyone from requiring or permitting a child under the age of 15 years to work
- make it an offence for anyone to require or permit a child to perform any work or provide any services that place at risk the child’s well-being.
The Act also provides for the Minister to publish a sectoral determination for employees and employers who are not covered by any other sectoral determination.
It also provides for the Director-General to apply to the Labour Court for an employer to comply with a written undertaking by the employer, to provide for a compliance order, to delete certain obsolete provisions, to provide the Labour Court with exclusive jurisdiction in respect of certain matters.
The Act also provides for certain offences and penalties, to increase the penalties for certain offences, and to provide for matters connected therewith.