Alternative Perspectives on amending Labour Laws and Promoting Growth
World Economic Forum - Davos 2011 Post-Crisis Reality Requires New Social Contract(28 January 2011)
- The new post-crisis reality forces governments to create conditions for growth and not intervene in business
- It also requires companies to operate with integrity, create jobs and promote sustainability
“The new contract has to move beyond the rulers and the ruled,” said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand. “We’re all partners now.” The state should not intervene in the private sector, he declared, but should focus instead on creating the conditions that would allow companies to create employment and make profits for their shareholders.
“The new social contract must recognize that governments do not create wealth as well as the private sector,” said Abhisit. “What governments do is to facilitate and to support. Therefore, the first obligation is that governments must create opportunities. That means human resource development, providing education and healthcare to make sure people . . . have the skills to have opportunities and jobs.”
“In the US, the social contract is adapting to a new set of circumstances that represent historic dramatic changes economically, technologically and in the rebalance between the West and the East,” said Ronald A. Williams, Chairman of Aetna, USA. The corporation has the obligation to operate with integrity, to create jobs and to operate in a sustainable way in the context of resources and risk.
The new social contract should also recognize that “jobs are more flexible, service-oriented, short-term, informal and increasingly held by women,” said Michelle Bachelet, Undersecretary-General, United Nations Women (UN Women), New York. The state must protect the vulnerable members of society and that means providing access to education, healthcare and other social safety nets.
“Governments not only have to create conditions for prosperity in the economy and deal with the most disadvantaged in society, but must also ensure investment is made in health and other services,” said Michael Porter, Professor at the Harvard Business School. “At the same time, citizens must also be co-investors and participate in the process. They must have skin in the game and not simply be passive and entitled.”
Notes to Editors
Alternate voices and perspectives
- EconPapers- Regulating Flexibility and Small Business- Revisiting ... By André van Niekerk; Abstract: This paper is a response, from a business perspective, to Halton Cheadle's concept paper.
- This paper examines issues such as the exemptions clause, hiring and firing procedures, bargaining councils and so on, and the extent to which they may inhibit the growth of the SME sector.Regulated Flexibility and Small Business: Revisiting the LRA & the BCEA DPRU Working Paper 06/109 Halton Cheadle, Professor of Public Law, UCT
- Understanding the Regulatory Environment for Small Business in South Africa
A critical element of the Government’s growth strategy is to create the conditions which allow businesses, especially smaller businesses, to flourish and expand, by reducing regulation and maintaining a flexible and dynamic labour market.
“Today’s announcements on reforms to employment law are among the first conclusions of our Government-wide growth review, and highlight our determination to ensure that employment law is no longer seen as a barrier to growth, while making sure that employees and employers are treated fairly.
“Giving businesses the confidence to take on somebody new will be a real boost to the economy, and help generate the sustainable growth we need.” UK Prime Minister
- Government sets out employment law reforms Number10.gov.uk
- Employer’s Charter aims to dispel many of the myths about what an employer can and can't do in managing their staff reasonably, fairly and lawfully, providing clarity for employers on what steps they can take when handling workplace issues with staff. It covers a wide range of employment law scenarios.
- Resolving workplace disputes - public consultation Consultations BIS Key changes being proposed include an increase in the qualifying period before workers can bring a claim for unfair dismissal from one to two years. This reflects concerns raised by businesses that existing legislation weighed against them when making employment decisions. The Government will also consult on introducing fees for bringing a tribunal claim following concerns that the current system leads to a large number of unmerited or vexatious applications.
- UK Government's final decision on plans to phase out the default retirement age Employment Law Watch
- Working without the default retirement age
- Unemployment rate +/- 7.6%
- Fair Work Australia - Federal Legislation workers rights and minimum wage AWA employee rights employee awards employment laws Industrial Relations Law
- Unemployment rate decreased 0.2 pts to 5.0% (Dec 2010)
- Unemployment +/- 9.8%
- Unemployment +/- 8.6%
- Brazil Unemployment rate — 8.1%
- Russia Unemployment rate — 9.2%
- Unemployment in India is 9.4% (i.e. 40 million)
- Unemployment in China is 4.2% (suspect)
- Unemployment in South Africa — + 25.2%
- Unemployment in South Africa — + 25.2%
- Unemployment Zimbabwe - unemployment and poverty rates run near 80%
- Unemployment Botswana - Although unemployment was 7.5% in 2007 according to official reports, unofficial estimates place it closer to 40%. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is second highest in the world and threatens Botswana's impressive economic gains. Botswana has maintained one of the world's highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966, though growth fell below 5% in 2007-08, and turned sharply negative in 2009, with industry falling nearly 30%. Through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $13,100 in 2010.
Key South African Indicators
- Unemployment in South Africa — + 25.2% (total number of unemployed was 4,3-million for the first quarter of 2010. The number of people not economically active rose by 1 071 000 annually, with 624 000 being discouraged work seekers)
- HIV+ Prevalence = 5.7m = 11% National
- Life Expectancy at birth 47.7 years
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