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Labour Relations Act amendments alert

The amendments to the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (LRA), as embodied within the Labour Relations Amendment Act 6 of 2014 (amendment act) became effective on 1 January, 2015, save for a few key amendments which are only due to become effective on 1 April 2015.
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These provisions are, in summary, as follows:
  • Section 198A - Employees Employed By A Temporary Employment Service (TES): Employees who earn below the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997 (BCEA) threshold (presently an amount of R205,433.30) and who are not performing temporary services will be deemed to be the employees of the client and not the TES, will be deemed to be permanent employees and may not be treated less favourably than employees of the client. Effective from 1 April 2015, this section will apply to employees procured for or provided to a client by a TES before the commencement of the amendment act (1 January 2015).

  • Section 198B - Fixed-Term Employees: Employees earning below the BCEA threshold who are employed on fixed-term contracts for longer than three months must not be treated less favourably than permanent employees performing the same or similar work, unless there is a justifiable reason for doing so. Effective from 1 April 2015, this section will apply to fixed-term contracts of employment entered into before the commencement of the amendment act.

  • Section 198C - Part-Time Employees: Part-time employees earning below the BCEA threshold may not be treated on the whole less favourably than comparable full-time employees doing the same or similar work, unless there is a justifiable reason for such different treatment. Part-time employees must be provided with access to training and skills development that must not be, on the whole, less favourable than the access applicable to comparable full-time employees. Effective from 1 April 2015, this section will apply to part-time employees employed before the commencement of the amendment act.

    Increase in minimum wage for farm workers


    On 28 January 2015, the Minister of Labour published an amendment to the minimum wage for Sectoral Determination 13, which regulates the farm workers sector. The amendment became effective on 1 March, 2015, and will remain in effect until 29, February, 2016.

    The amendments are set out below.

    Minimum Wage for farmworkers


    2014 - 2015 1 March 2015 - 29 February 2016
    Monthly RateR 2 420.41R 2 606.78
    Weekly RateR 558.60R 601.61
    Daily RateR 111.72R 120.32
    Hourly RateR 12.41R 13.37


    Increase in minimum wage for wholesale and retail workers

    On 3 February, the Minister of Labour published an amendment to the minimum wages in Sectoral Determination 9, which regulates the wholesale and retail workers sector. The amendment became effective on 1 February 2015, and will remain in effect until 31 January 2016. The amendments are set out below.

    Minimum wage for wholesale and retail workers in Area A


    Metropolitan and Local Municipality of: Bergrivier , Breederivier, Buffalo City, Cape Agulhas, Cederberg, City of Cape Town, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, City of Tshwane, Drakenstein, Ekurhuleni, Emalahleni, Emfuleni, Ethekwini Metropolitan Unicity, Gamagara, George, Hibiscus Coast, Karoo Hoogland, Kgatelopele, Khara Hais, Knysna, Kungwini, Kouga, Langeberg, Lesedi, Makana, Mangaung, Matzikama, Metsimaholo, Middelburg, Midvaal, Mngeni, Mogale, Mosselbaai, Msunduzi, Mtubatuba, Nama Khoi, Nelson Mandela, Nokeng tsa Taemane, Oudtshoorn, Overstrand, Plettenbergbaai, Potchefstroom, Randfontein, Richtersveld, Saldanha Bay, Sol Plaatjie, Stellenbosch, Swartland, Swellendam, Theewaterskloof, Umdoni, uMhlathuze and Witzenberg.

    Rands per hourRands per weekRands per month27 Hours Rands per hour
    Assistant manager30.431369.515934.0731.54
    Cashier17.75798.583460.2718.38
    Clerk21.04946.74102.0421.79
    Displayer21.85946.74108.0421.79
    Gross Vehicle mass: < 3500kg16.02721.023124.2216.6
    Gross Vehicle mass: 3501 < 9000kg19.38872.143778.9820.08
    Gross Vehicle mass: 9001 < 16 000kg21.16952.194125.8821.92
    Gross Vehicle mass: 16 001kg >23.251046.274599.4824.08
    Forklift operator15.69706.223060.0316.26
    General assistant/Trolley Collectors14038647.072803.7414.89
    Manager33.371507.66506.4434.56
    Merchandiser16.67750.053249.9817.27
    Security Guard14.62657.782850.1515.15
    Sales Assistant21.04946.74102.0421.79
    Sales Person21.04946.74102.0421.79
    Shop Assistant16.67750.053249.9817.27
    Supervisor25.881164.355045.1526.81
    Trainee Manager27.961257.925450.5728.95


    Minimum wage for wholesale and retail workers in Area B


    Metropolitan and Local Municipality of: Abaqulusi,;Beaufort West, Bela Bela, Blue Crane Route, Boland District Management Area, Breede River/Winelands, Camdeboo, Central Karoo, Dannhauser, DC43 District, Delmas, Dihlabeng, Dikgatlong, Dipaleseng, District Highlands, Emnambithi; Endumeni, Enthenjeni; Frances Baard;Garden route/ Klein Karoo; Garib; Xhariep, Ga-Segonyana, Great Kei,Greater Kokstad, Greater Tzaneen, Hantam, Highlands, Highveld East, Ikwezi, Impendle, Inkwanca, Inxuba Yethemba, Kamiesberg, Kannaland, Kareeberg, Karoo, Khai-Ma, Kheis, King Sabate dalindyebo, Kopanong, Kou-Kamma, Kwa Sani, Ladysmith, Laingsburg, Lepele Nkupi, Lephalale, Lukhanji, Mafikeng, Mafube, Magareng, Makhado, Malaamulele, Malethswai, Malutia Mandeni, Mantsopa, Maquassi Hills, Masilonyana, Matatiela, Matjhabeng, Merafeng City, Messina, Mier, Mkhambathini, Modimolle, Mofutsanyane; Mogalakwena, Mohokare, Molopo,Mooi Mpofana, Mookgopong, Moqhaka, Moretele, Moses Kotane, Nala, Naledi, Namakwa dstrict, Ndlambe, Newcastle, Ngwathe, Nketoana, Phalaborwa, Maluti a Phofung, Phokwane, Phumelela, Polokwane, Prince Albert; Renosterberg, Richmond, Rustenburg, Schweizer-Reneke, Setsotlo, Siyancuma, Siyanda District, Siyathemba, Sunday's River Valley, Thabazimbi, Thabo The KwaDukuza, Thembekihle, Thohoyandou; Tokologo, Tsantsabane, Tsolwana, Tswelopele, Ubuntu, Umlazi, Umsobomvu, Umtshezi, uPhongolo, Utrecht, West Rand District, Western District, Westonaria, Zeerust.

    Rands per hourRands per weekRands per month27 Hours Rands per hour
    Assistant manager30.431369.515934.0731.54
    Cashier17.75798.583460.2718.38
    Clerk21.04946.74102.0421.79
    Displayer21.85946.74108.0421.79
    Gross Vehicle mass: < 3500kg16.02721.023124.2216.6
    Gross Vehicle mass: 3501 < 9000kg19.38872.143778.9820.08
    Gross Vehicle mass: 9001 < 16 000kg21.16952.194125.8821.92
    Gross Vehicle mass: 16 001kg >23.251046.274599.4824.08
    Forklift operator15.69706.223060.0316.26
    General assistant/Trolley Collectors14038647.072803.7414.89
    Manager33.371507.66506.4434.56
    Merchandiser16.67750.053249.9817.27
    Security Guard14.62657.782850.1515.15
    Sales Assistant21.04946.74102.0421.79
    Sales Person21.04946.74102.0421.79
    Shop Assistant16.67750.053249.9817.27
    Supervisor25.881164.355045.1526.81
    Trainee Manager27.961257.925450.5728.95

    Call for comment on wages for forestry workers


    On 24 February 2015, the Minister of Labour published a call for comment on the wages and conditions of employment for Sectoral Determination 12 being the Forestry Sector. Interested persons have 60 days from the date of publication to make written representations to the Director: Employment Standards Directorate: Department of Labour.

    Werksmans Attorneys is able to assist any party who wishes to make representations to the Employment Conditions Commission regarding the proposed increase to the threshold. Representations need to be received by no later than 24 April 2015, by the Director, Employment Standards, Department of Labour.

    Call for comment on BCEA threshold


    On 27 February 2015, the Minister of Labour published a call for comment on the BCEA earnings threshold. Interested persons may make written representations to the Employment Conditions Commission within 30 days after the date of publication of the notice. The threshold is currently R205,433.30 (two hundred and five thousand, four hundred and thirty three rand, thirty cents).

    Employees earning above the threshold will not (unless by agreement between the parties) be entitled to the full protections and benefits under the BCEA in respect of ordinary hours of work, overtime, compressed working week, averaging of hours of work, meal intervals, daily and weekly rest periods, pay for work on Sundays, night work and work on public holidays. An employee earning below the threshold will, for example, be entitled to payment for overtime worked; and for work performed on Sundays and on a public holiday on which the employee would ordinarily not be required to work.

    For purposes of the threshold, 'earnings' means the regular annual remuneration before deductions, i.e. income tax, pension, medical and similar payments but excluding similar payments (contributions) made by the employer in respect of the employee, provided that subsistence and transport allowances received, achievement awards and payments for overtime worked shall not be regarded as remuneration.
  • About the author

    Jacques van Wyk and Andre van Heerden are from Werksmans Attorneys.

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