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Essential Services at a Cross Road. What are the Options? Anton Roskam. Designation Approach. Approaches to Essential Services. List Approach. List of essential services enumerated in legislation or by way of designation process Advantages: Certainty

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essential services at a cross road

Essential Services at a Cross Road

What are the Options?

Anton Roskam

approaches to essential services
Designation ApproachApproaches to Essential Services

List Approach

List of essential services enumerated in legislation or by way of designation process

Advantages:

Certainty

Avoids ad hoc determinations in the heat of the moment

Disadvantage

Inability to distinguish between disputes that endanger essential services and those that do not

Essential service defined with reference to potential consequences of industrial action as opposed to nature of work and identity of employer

Advantage

More flexible

Disadvantage

Less certain

SA follows a designation approach with elements of the list approach

ilo identifies 5 kinds of services
ILO identifies 5 kinds of services
  • Essential services in the strict sense of the term
  • Services leading to an acute national crisis
  • Public services of fundamental importance
  • Other public services
    • Employees exercising authority in the name of the state
  • Ordinary services
key problems
Key Problems
  • The definition of essential services
  • Interpretation of section 72(b) of the LRA
  • The conclusion of minimum services agreements (MSAs)
    • Parties lack capacity
    • No guidance from labour market institutions
    • No incentive to employer once designation made
    • Employers : ineffective sanctions for non-compliance
    • Dispute resolution regarding the conclusion of MSAs
      • Eskom Holdings (Pty) Ltd v NUM and others [2009] 1 BLLR 5 (LC)
      • NUM & another v Eskom Holdings (Pty) Ltd (2010) 31 ILJ 2570 (LAC)
  • Interest arbitrations
  • The powers and functions of the Essential Services Committee (ESC)
key administrative problems
Key administrative problems
  • The way the ESC operates
    • Under-resourced
    • Part-time commissioners
    • No secretariat
    • Research and collection of factual data
    • Accountability
  • Composition of the ESC
    • Qualifications of persons and experience of public service
  • Debate about these issues – publishing awards
key policy issues
Key Policy Issues
  • Incentive to conclude MSA
  • Min. Service too large
    • Interest arbitrations, if designation more than 50%
  • Code of Good Practice for MSAs
  • Effectiveness of interest arbitrators and facilitators of MSAs
  • Sanctions for non-compliance with essential designation or MSA
    • Who imposes? - ESC/CCMA/Labour Court/MSAs
  • Conflict between: