Last week, I highlighted how it’s unlikely that we’ll see many business legislation changes this year outside of the commencement of POPI. But what about labour legislation? According to Paul Cooley, the founder of Workplace Strategies and Evergrow’s labour advisory expert, South African business owners can anticipate two important labour law developments in 2018.
The most high profile of these is the national minimum wage that is scheduled to commence from May 1st. It’s currently pegged at R20 per hour (R18 and R15 for farm and domestic workers respectively), but the Department of Labour has announced that it will be reviewed annually.
Depending on your industry and business model, the introduction of a national minimum wage will either be a non-issue or incredibly disruptive. The obvious concern is that it could lead to job losses, although employers will be entitled to apply for an exemption.
The other important development is the Labour Laws Amendment Bill, which introduces several new parental leave provisions. These include up to ten consecutive days of paternity leave for fathers as well as two months of leave for adopting parents.
The Bill also allows for the payment of parental benefits from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (which means that employers could opt for unpaid leave). While it should be signed into law sometime this year, the Department of Labour’s capacity to process additional claims could impact the timing of its commencement.