Nxesi said this when he participated in a debate on the State of the Nation Address on Monday.
“To make it easy for small business to conduct business in South Africa, our labour laws have built-in a concept of regulated flexibility.
“We were mindful of the fact that businesses go through seasons and stages and we were deliberate in making sure our labour laws speak to their twists and turns.
“That is why there is a Ministerial determination which deliberately exclude employers who employ 10 and less employees from certain conditions of employment,” he said.
Nxesi said labour laws allow all employers who face difficult times to apply for exemptions from certain provisions of the law. For an example, those that genuinely cannot pay the prescribed national minimum wages can apply for exemption.
“It is important to highlight that the department is on a path of further amending the legislation to address impediments that inhibit the ability of small business to create employment and to thrive.
“The department is considering amending the law to exclude small employers from having to submit several plans and reports for compliance, and rather for them to operate under a dedicated Code of Good Practice.”
Nxesi said this Code will guide small employers to appropriately conduct their businesses as required by law, thus reducing the administrative burden without undermining the intent and protections of the labour laws in place.
“There is a fallacy that must be dispelled that most of the Bargaining Councils are made up of big employers.
“The majority of the Bargaining Councils – which represents 85% of those Bargaining Councils – are made up of small businesses.
“Furthermore, out of 46 bargaining councils, 40 are private sector bargaining councils and they employ around 950 000 employees in the economy. The remaining six are in the public sector.”
Nxesi reaffirms stance on quotas for employing foreign nationals
The Minister said the recently-approved National Labour Migration Policy, which is out for public consultation, seeks to address the growing concern by citizens that some employers are distorting the labour market by employing foreign nationals and subjecting them to sub-standard conditions and in the process displacing locals.
“We will introduce quotas on the maximum number of foreign nationals that can be employed in the different economic sectors.
“This will be done in line with the scarce and critical skills required by business as announced by the President in order to balance the needs of the Labour Market.”
He also said that the Small Business Development Department is looking at which sectors could be limited to South Africans to trade in so as to complement our initiatives.
“In focusing on these priorities we continue to re-affirm the rights of migrants, the global treaties that we are party to and the SADC and African Union Protocols that we have signed.”