The Building Industry Bargaining Council (BIBC) has announced a new category of 'Labourer L2', which automatically applies to a labourer after receiving 122 daily employee benefit fund credits. "Once 122 daily benefits have been credited to the employee's BIBC record or after the employee has been in continuous employment for six months, they are automatically upgraded to Labourer L2 level," explained Arnold Williams, Secretary for Building Industry Bargaining Council (Cape of Good Hope).
The category was created to introduce a level of employment that includes the benefit of a retirement fund at a higher rate of pay than the old entry level Labourer category, which is now referred to as 'Labourer L1', but lower than the General Worker category.
Previously a labourer would be upgraded to a General worker after a year in the industry, but the wage gap was quite significant and thus placed strain on the wage bills of employers.
The Labourer category did not receive any contribution to a retirement fund, whereas the General Worker did. "L2 has been introduced to narrow the wage gap between the entry level wage and the next category wage, while ensuring that labourers that fall within the new category still receive the benefit of a retirement fund," added Williams.
- The timeframe for upgrading has also been reduced to 6 months.
- A phased in approach will be used to implement the change, to encourage increased employment opportunities in the Industry, while at the same time easing the wage burden of the employers in the industry.
- Should it be found that an employee does not have the required benefits to be upgraded, due to non-compliance by the employer, the 6 months rule will be applied and the employee will be registered as a Labourer L2.
- To implement this upgrade the employee is required to provide proof that he/she has had 6 months continuous employment in the Building Industry.