Pretoria – Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Labour is to hold public hearings on the Labour Relations Amendment (LRA) Bill and Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill (BCEA).

This follows the submission by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant of the amended Bills to Cabinet in March.

The two-day public hearings are set to start on Tuesday at V454, 4th Floor, Old Assembly Building in Parliament.

According to the Department of Labour, the hearings will offer stakeholders, who have in recent months raised concerns about the amendments, a chance to give their inputs.

Some of the organisations that will be accorded an opportunity to make presentations include Eskom; the Board of Health Care Funders of South Africa; the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mr Price Group; Forestry South Africa; Fedhasa and Business Unity South Africa; the Retail Association; Confederation of Associations in the Private Employment Sector; African Professional Staffing Organisation; the Banking Association South Africa; American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa; South African Society for Labour Law and Fedusa.

The department recently held public briefings in all provinces on the Bills to report back and inform the public about the implications of the new legislation once passed.

During the briefings, the department’s Chief Director: Collective Bargaining Thembinkosi Mkalipi emphasised that the department had fulfilled part of its mandate – that of submitting the amendments to LRA and BCEA to Cabinet – and next step going forward was for the Bills to be tabled before Parliament for debate.

Some of the key areas of amendments to the LRA and the BCEA focus on addressing what is referred to as labour broking; improve the functioning of the institutions in the labour market such as the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), the Labour Courts, regulating contract work, strikes and lock-outs, essential services, organisational rights and collective bargaining, child labour and strengthening the inspectorate. –