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Labour commissioner calls on annual returns

2023-11-29  Staff Reporter

Labour commissioner calls on annual returns

The labour ministry has called on all registered trade unions and employers’ organisations to submit their annual returns to the Labour Commissioner within six months after the end of their financial year.

The Office of the Labour Commissioner this week issued a stern warning to applicable entities, emphasising the imperative for defaulting organisations to promptly comply with the statutory provisions outlined in the Labour Act. Specifically, the directive required the submission of outstanding annual returns as per section 60 of the Labour Act, with a strict deadline of 30 November 2023.

Defaulting trade unions and employers’ organisations were duly notified of the potential consequences, such as the cancellation of their registrations or the Labour Court suspending their registrations, pending compliance should they fail to meet the 30 November 2023 deadline. 

“The window for compliance remains open until 30 November 2023, and there would be no extension thereafter,” stated acting labour commissioner Kyllikki Sihlahla.  Sihlahla added that as of 1 September 2023, only five out of the 47 registered trade unions, as well as two out of the 17 registered employers’ organisations were in compliance with their registration obligations. 

This starkly indicated the majority’s non-compliance with the applicable statutory obligations.

“An update as of 24 November 2023 reveals that the situation persists, with only seven of the 47 registered trade unions – three of the 17 registered employers’ organisations having fulfilled their registration obligations. This continued non-compliance is a matter of serious concern,” Sihlahla stated. 

Annual returns, as mandated in the Labour Act, must be accompanied by a statement of income and expenditure for the relevant year, a balance sheet reflecting the financial position at year-end and an annual audit report, prepared by a registered public accountant and auditor, who is registered in terms of the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Act or an auditor, who is approved by the Labour Commissioner.

“Failure to comply within the stipulated timeframe will result in appropriate action being taken by the Labour Commissioner. It is strongly advised that immediate attention be given to fulfilling these obligations to avoid legal consequences. 

In light of these circumstances, a comprehensive plan of action, outlining the steps to be taken in accordance with section 61 of the Labour Act, will be devised in December 2023. The public will be regularly informed of the progress made,” Sihlahla

2023-11-29  Staff Reporter

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