Durban Chamber submits concerns on labour law amendments

2011-02-16 00:00

SIGNIFICANT opposition is mounting against various proposed labour legislation amendments, particularly from the business community.

THE Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has made a hefty submission to both the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) and the Labour Department , expressing grave concerns over the proposals.

President-elect of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Thato Tsautse, said the proposals represent a serious threat to businesses.

DCCI CEO Andrew Layman said government has resorted to technocracy and dogma in a misguided attempt to achieve its employment aims.

He cited a number of examples, including the proposed requirement that all businesses submit annual employment equity (EE) reports to the Labour Department.Currently, businesses with less than 150 employees are only required to submit EE reports bi-annually.

Layman told The Witness there are serious doubts over whether the Labour Department will be able to handle such workloads as they are currently unable to effectively roll out and police existing labour legislation.

The proposed penalty for non-compliance with EE regulations is a fine on company turnover of between two and 10% of its annual turnover.

The DCCI’s Human Resources forum chair Mxolisi Zwane told The Witness they are concerned about fines based on the annual turnover of a company.

Zwane said government should encourage businesses to comply with legislation rather than using punitive measures. In most cases, he said, non-compliance is due to ignorance.

Layman added that business needed a flexible labour environment in which government incentivises employment.

“Many jobs were lost during the recession and there has not been any incentive not to retrench people.”

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