JOHANNESBURG - Trade union federation Cosatu is incensed about the further delay in the implementation of the Unemployment Insurance Act‚ caused by two typing mistakes in the amended version signed by President Jacob Zuma in January.
These mistakes‚ said the federation’s parliamentary liaison officer Matthew Parks‚ mean the act will have to be sent back to Parliament for corrections.
The amendments to the act‚ passed by Parliament in December last year‚ increased Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) benefits from 238 to 365 days; increased maternity leave benefits by 66 percent, covered workers who lost working hours due to reduced time at their workplace, and included public servants in the scheme.
Parks said these amendments had been in the pipeline since 2011 but no steps had been taken by the Department of Labour to implement them since Zuma signed them into law.
“Now we are told there are two typing mistakes in the amended act and it must therefore go back to Parliament to be amended once again.
"Yet the government cannot say when this will happen‚” Parks said. “In the meantime thousands of workers are losing their jobs across all economic sectors; 70‚000 mine workers have lost their jobs in the past two years.”
Parks said Cosatu would request the intervention of the leader of government business‚ Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ the speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete‚ the ANC chief whip and the labour portfolio committee to intervene “to fix this disaster. We cannot wait for the Department of Labour any longer”.