Department of Employment and Labour
The employment and labour minister, Thulas Nxesi, has described the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill as a significant step in bringing domestic workers under the fold of the Compensation Fund.
In a statement on improving the lives of workers, the employment and labour department confirmed that the coverage is going to be retrospective to 1994.
The bill was tabled in parliament in September 2020.
Cabinet approved the bill in March 2020 for tabling in parliament.
Cabinet described the bill as extending coverage for occupational injuries and diseases to previously excluded vulnerable workers as well as the improvement of compensation benefits to employees in general.
The cabinet statement added that the bill now includes, amongst others, domestic workers under the category of employees for purposes of benefits in terms of the act.
It also proposes the rehabilitation and reintegration framework of injured and/or diseased employees into the workplace.
The department also highlighted the Employment Equity Amendment Bill tabled in parliament in July 2020.
The bill aims to amend the Employment Equity Act, 1998, so as to:
• amend a definition;
• insert certain definitions, to substitute a definition and to delete a definition;
• provide for the Minister to identify sectoral numerical targets in order to ensure the equitable representation of suitably qualified people from designated groups; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.
The proposed legislation will empower the labour minister to determine sectoral numerical targets in order to ensure the equitable representation of suitably qualified people from designated groups (blacks, women and persons with disabilities) at all occupational levels in the workforce.
It also seeks to enhance the administration of the act including the implementation of section 53 that provides for the issuing of a certificate by the minister confirming an employer’s compliance with Chapter II, or Chapters II and III, of the act, as the case may be, in relation to the conclusion of State Contracts.
The bill also aims to remove the requirement for psychological testing and similar assessments of employees to be certified by the Health Professions Council of South Africa and to remove a provision empowering non-designated employers to notify the Director-General of the labour department that they intend to voluntarily comply with Chapter III of the act as if they were a designated employer.
Meanwhile, in Government Gazette 44505, the department announced the extension of the Furniture Bargaining Council’s Main Collective Amending Agreement to non-parties.
The extension applies from the 1st pay week of May 2021 if gazetted before the 1st pay week or thereafter on the second Monday after publication of the notice and will remain in force until 30 April 2023.
Other notices published include:
• Gazette 44506 – South Azanians Bashumi Liberators Union registered as a trade union with effect 6 April 2021;
• Notice 391 – Bargaining Council for the Meat Trade Gauteng – extension of amendment of Main Collective Agreement to non-parties – until 30 June 2023;
• Notice 390 – North West Employers’ Organization changes name to Professional Employers’ Organization of South Africa with effect from 13 April 2021;
• Notice 389 – National Bargaining Council for the Electrical Industry of South Africa: extension to non-parties of the Main Collective Agreement until 31 January 2022.