The final negotiation for the year took place on the 13th of December. There are enormous time pressures to finalise the changes and this is not assisted by the fact that the process is becoming strained and adversarial.
There has been slow progress on 4 of the 6 themes (Atypical employment relationships; Dispute resolution; Compliance and enforcement; and Collective bargaining) to date with parties attempting to arrive at the fairest draft legislation under the circumstances.
At this last meeting parties agreed on the way forward.
The Department of Labour stated that the documents need to be cleaned up. There are a few areas of disagreement, however, where there is, it will be recorded as such on the table. The Minister of Labour has indicated that it is time to move on and her intention is to take the proposals to Cabinet at the first Cabinet meeting after the meeting discussed herein. The Cabinet will be very busy for the first quarter of the year however the Department of Labour will attempt to submit to Cabinet by February or alternatively March. The Department of Labour said the social partners should continue talking during this time. This has been met with a certain amount of disagreement, however NEDLAC will meet once a week starting from around 15 January to finalise this process and tackle the final two themes: Equity as well as Access to Employment. The process is reaching its conclusion, however we undertake to keep you updated and to continue to protect your interest in this negotiation period.