The labour laws in our country are constantly evolving to keep up with our ever-changing societal norms and demands. Below, we take a look at the most important aspects and alterations that every South African worker needs to be aware of going forward.

New Rights for Parents

The Labour Bill has recently been updated with new types of leave for parents. New fathers are now entitled to a minimum of 10 days of paternal leave after the birth of a new child. New mothers who have had a baby with the help of a surrogate will now receive a minimum of 10 weeks of commissioning leave upon the child’s birth, and new parents who have adopted a baby or child will also receive a minimum of 10 weeks’ leave.

New Minimum Wage

As discussed in our previous blog, South Africa now officially has a minimum wage. While, at R20 per hour, it certainly isn’t a fair living wage, it is most definitely a step in the right direction towards protecting vulnerable labourers from being taken advantage of.

It is also important to note that companies will now only qualify for the Employment Tax Incentive if they are paying their employees no less than the minimum wage.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The Unemployment Insurance Act has been updated and now promises a hearty increase in benefit values. From now on, it is also a fact that foreign national employees and learners who are employed on a learnership agreement now qualify to claim benefits.

The Right to Strike

Changes to the Labour Relations Act are still only in the proposal stage, but if approved, will have a drastic effect on labourers’ right to strike. The proposed changes recommend the implementation of a lot more ‘red tape’ which will consequentially make it a lot more difficult for workers to strike legally. The good news is that it is unlikely that these suggested changes will be approved.

Do you have questions about these changes to SA labour laws and how they will affect you as a worker? SAEWA is always happy to provide our members with answers, guidance and advice when it comes to understanding their rights. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us on 086 077 2392.