In a Business Day article: ‘Labour Department to Conduct Inspections’ (2009/08/11), Thobile Lamati, the Chief Inspector at the DoL (Dept of Labour) said: “It is the minister’s position that workers’ lives are sacrosanct and that employers should not sacrifice workers’ lives for profit”.

This statement was made as motivation for the Department’s intention to institute a blitzkrieg of inspections particularly amongst employers in the metal and engineering industry.

Despite the fact that employers have more important issues to worry about (such as survival in a recessive economy), employers are obligated by law to ensure that they comply with certain legislative requirements.

 

Unions will often make life difficult for employers by reporting an employer to the DoL whether they comply or not. If the employer does comply then there is obviously no problem. If the employer does not comply, the DoL, represented by a Labour inspector, can get quite nasty.

It is advisable to regularly (at least annually) contact the GEO office to arrange for an official to conduct an IR audit on all documentation required under the Labour legislation.

At the very least, here are a few pointers on BCEA documentation that you should have in place:

  • A summary of the BCEA in each workplace (S 30)
  • A wages register as per BCEA 2 form (S31)
  • Attendance register as per BCEA 3 form
  • Information about remuneration paid as per BCEA 4 form (s33)
  • Record of overtime worked
  • Record of public holidays and Sundays worked
  • Written particulars of employment for each employee (s29)
  • Certificate of service for a dismissed employee (s29)

Besides this, other legislation also requires of employers to have:

  • Proof of UIF, Skills Development and Workmen’s Compensation payment and registration
  • Employment Equity Act plans and reports
  • Summary of the Labour Relations Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Under the BCEA, records need to be kept for a period of three years.