Cape Town: The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has welcomed the green light given by a National Council of Provinces (NCOP) committee on Tuesday to four important labour bills.
They include the National Minimum Wage Bill, the Labour Laws Amendment Bill, the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill.
They must now come before a plenary sitting of the NCOP for adoption and can then be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa to be signed into law.
Cosatu’s Matthew Parks says the bills will bring about changes which workers have been campaigning for years.
“This is probably the largest amount of change to the labour laws since 1995 – very progressive laws, which protect workers, put money in their pockets and they may enjoy more time with their families…”
While the National Minimum Wage Bill is now closer to coming into effect, the Labour Laws Amendment Bill that was also adopted on Tuesday provides for 10 days paid parental leave when children are born and 10 weeks when a child under the age of two is legally adopted.
The bill was introduced by African Christian Democratic Party Member of Parliament Cheryllyn Dudley.
“They’ve got that time to welcome that child into the family, to bond with each other.”
Parks says the national minimum wage will put more money into the pockets of millions of workers, but the Democratic Alliance warned it could hurt small businesses - while the Economic Freedom Fighters says R20 an hour is too little.