I am in possession of a Secondary Teaching Diploma, a registered Assessor with TETA, Train the Trainer(Maccauvlei), training operators of earthmoving as well as lifting equipment. I also posess a Programme in Skills Development Facilitation(Unisa), Programme in HRM Level 6(Unisa) and Advanced Programme in HRM Level 7(Unisa) . I have completed a National Diploma in HRM at University of Johannesburg.
I still remain a staunch subscber to the "Each one Teach one" slogan. Therefore I am willing and available to partner with and do business with other practitioners. Follow me on www.prometracon.co.za as well as on LinkedIn for my activities. Feel free to give me a call if need be, on 082 355 6190.
Yes, I can see why your organisation wants you to do this - it's so easy to just forget about contracts and then the BCEA changes & the company is not compliant.
In terms of the timing, that could either be at the time that changes are announced, or on a regular annual review basis. As we are expecting some changes, it could also be done on a proactive basis - working out what is being proposed and how that would affect what your company does.
One to thing to remember though that changes cannot be made to an employment contract unilaterally, the amendments to contracts need to be documented and signed by both parties to be valid.
I suggest that you also add this as a discussion in the Forum - you should get some answers from there as well.
First there are some questions to ask: is the employee's maternity leave covered by any agreement such as a union collective agreement, or by a company policy or employment contract? Then you need to look at what those agreements say about this. If not, then the Basic Conditions of Employment Act covers her and it says that an employee is entitled to at least four consecutive months' maternity leave. Also that an employee is not allowed to work for 6 weeks after the birth, without a letter from a medical practitioner that i is save to do so. So it depends how far into the maternity leave the employee is, and whether she submitted a signed letter or leave form of when she would return. If she is past the 4 months mark, then she may want to agree with the employer to return, but it's difficult to give a definite answer without more details.
I really am not the best person to advise you in this case as this is not my field of specialty. I'm sure that if you publish your comment on the main forum, someone there can advise you. Sorry!