Transport union asks for changes to basic employment conditions

Minister of employment and labour, Thulas Nxesi.

The new minister for employment and labour, Thulas Nxesi, has been urged by the United National Transport Union (Untu) to review the threshold of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).

This comes after Untu claimed in a statement that the BCEA threshold has been stagnant for the past five years.

In the statement the union says it had requested Nxesi’s predecessor, Mildred Oliphant, on several occasions to review the threshold.

Untu says their attempts to get Oliphant to review the Act had been in vain, despite a personal undertaking she gave in late January to consider this matter urgently.

The threshold is said to have not increased since July, 2014.

Steve Harris, general secretary of the union, says Untu has been pushing for the BCEA threshold to be increased so that all employees earning below it have the full protection of every section of the Act.
Currently the BCEA limits ordinary hours to 45 hours per week, secures overtime for any work that exceeds the limit, limits a shortened working week, makes provision for work-week averaging, guarantees daily and other rest periods, and rules on issues such as increased pay for night-time labour and work on Sundays, including public holidays.

Harris says employees who earn in excess of the threshold are not entitled to the minimum protections contained in the Act.
Untu is of the view that the increase is long overdue. The previous threshold was R193 805.00 before Oliphant increased it in July, 2014.

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