Tag Archive | labour broking

Employment Services Bill waits in the wings

Job data required…..

For the first time in SA, every employer might have to advise the minister of all positions that become vacant in their structures and give details to the state of new jobs being created. The proposed Employment Services Bill is one of four new labour bills in process through Parliament.

It consequently follows that the principle with the new proposals being considered that the minister of labour in the proposals now before Parliament that government departments may pass on to the private sector job applicants that they have on record to fill jobs.  Also, companies that fail to notify the minister or department of labour when positions are filled may face a minimum fine of R10,000.

EEA Bill  bound to succeed in some form

These are some one of the more radical aspects of the proposed Employment Services Amendment Bill (EEA) Bill, which at this stage has proposed various changes within government setting up its own public service employment agencies as an inter-departmental internal process. Quite naturally, it is expected that this process will proceed, as DOL is not likely to object, nor any other state entities.

Parliament awaits to debate the Bill.

One of the primary aims of the EEA Bill is the proposal to keep a record of job seekers and record of vacancies in both private and public sectors and thus contributing to the national aim of reducing South Africa’s unemployment figures. The Bill acknowledges the seriousness of South Africa’s unemployment figures.

Free placings

The Bill also focuses on the section of government policy, touched upon in the three other amendments to labour legislation that are in parliamentary process,following the desired avenue of the eradication of the labour broking industry and, in the process, to allow the state to become more involved in the recruitment business on a free of charge basis.

This is also indicated in the department of labour (DOL) statements in Parliament recently when DOL officials stated that government’s view is that it has to influence the path of creating more jobs in order to meet targets set by the New Growth Plan if the department is to reach the targets set and subsequently evaluated by the monitoring and performance process within the presidency structure.

Foreign workers isolated

The EEA Bill flies in the face of constitutional queries, say commentators in the labour market, and the proposals seek to elevate opportunities for citizens over those of foreign workers by requiring employers to make use of the public employment service to be managed by DOL before employing foreign nationals.

The proposed Bill states that reasons will have to be submitted as to why citizens with suitable profiles referred to them by the department could not be employed with further questions as to their nationality.

Labour broking targeted

The EEA Bill also seeks to regulate, and to provide a licensing system, for what are referred to as “private employment agencies” and commentators say that definitions are poor when it comes to what is a labour broker,  a recruitment agent, and even employers working through contacts. They complain that it will be the state registration process that will soon decide who is and who is not acceptable.

The Bill introduces criminalisation for failure to meet many of the proposals outlined in the Bill.

Finally, the EEA Bill introduces a proposed Employment Services Board with functions to oversee the public employment services and oversee various regulatory matters connection with the process of hiring labour. A proposal is also made to regulate the existing agency, Productivity South Africa, insofar as its mandate is concerned to provide skills and put them in line with DOL strategies.

Refer previous articles in this category
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/parliament-delays-process-on-labour-relations-bill/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//labour/new-noise-level-labour-bill-on-way/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//education/employment-services-bill-will-promote-jobs-and-free-employment-services/

Posted in Finance, economic, Labour, Land,Agriculture, Mining, beneficiation, Public utilities, Special Recent Posts, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Employment Services Bill to promote jobs, free employment services

Labour broking debate continues

A new Bill has been tabled in Parliament called the Employment Services Bill which aims to regulate in the area of employment services, regulating and providing for registration of private employment agencies. One of the aims of the Bill is to provide “comprehensive and integrated free public employment services” and to “establish schemes to promote the employment of young job seekers and other vulnerable persons”.

The government gazette, in describing the Bill’s purpose, says the legislation has been designed to regulate for and facilitate the employment of foreign nationals into areas “where they are needed ….and does not impact adversely on existing labour standards or the rights and expectations of South African workers”.  The Bill has been tabled by the minister of labour.

An “employment services board” is to be established to “promote employment, growth and workplace productivity” and “give effect to the right to fair labour practices contemplated in section 23 of the Constitution.”

Constitutional concerns

In terms of the Bill, schemes to assist employees in enterprises in distress and therefore to retain employment, will be undertaken and efforts made to “improve the employment and re-employment prospects of employees facing retrenchments.”

The Bill comes at a time when the furore over “labour broking”, whatever that might mean to different parties, is slowly subsiding and a more pragmatic approach appears to be the route rather than outright banning of short term work opportunities through agencies or “brokers”.

Nevertheless, the proposed legislation covers many more aspects than simply that issue. Hearings will take place once Parliament re-assembles in the New Year.

The new proposed legislation states that private employment agencies will be prohibited from “charging work seekers any fees for services rendered, unless the minister permits such fees for specific categories or specialised services” and they will be prohibited from “making deductions from employees’ remuneration”.

Private employment agencies must keep and safeguard the confidentiality of information relating to work seekers, the Bill warns, and “the labour court will be empowered to impose fines for breaches of the act”.

In the preamble, the Bill states that its purpose is to improve access to the labour market for work seekers and “facilitate access to training for work seekers, in particular, vulnerable work seekers.”

Posted in Education, Finance, economic, Labour, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Dates for new labour law amendments outlined

A date of November 2012 has been given as the conclusion date for the NEDLAC debate on the trio of labour law amendment bills currently before them and which includes the now much-discussed labour law touching upon labour broking. Also included in the discussions are also the Public Employment Services Bill and the Employment Equity Amendment Bill.

The date was given by minister Mildred Oliphant when introducing her department’s strategic plan for 2012 to the relevant portfolio committee last week.

The three bills, all further amendments to their own anchor legislation being dealt with first are the Employment Equity Amendment Bill; the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill.

The department of labour (DOL) is in the process of presenting all three Bills to cabinet and then tabling in Parliament.

Taking into account parliamentary public hearings on all three, which will probably be a lengthy process, the middle of July 2013 would be a probable date by which such legislation as finally amended and gets put to the vote.

Amongst the principles of the new legislation as promoted by Minister Oliphant and DOL generally were her department’s objectives of promoting sound and responsive legislation, flexibility of the labour market;  promoting as always “decent employment” but not at the same time compromising a favourable climate for investment, she said.

Insofar as the contentious Labour Relations Amendment Bill is concerned, minister Oliphant said that current proposals were that employers would have ensure that an employer treats a part-time employee generally not less favourably than a comparable full-time employee doing the same work, unless there is a justifiable reason for different treatment.

A similar expression with the word “justifiable” was used by minister Oliphant when describing an employee on a fixed term contract for longer than six months who must be treated “on the whole” not less favourably than an employee employed on an indefinite basis.

She also referred to the issue where an employee has been in service for a period exceeding 24 months who, according to the draft as it stood at present, will be paid severance “subject to the terms of any applicable collective  agreement,” one week’s remuneration for each completed year of his or her contract.

The issue of the registration of labour brokers remains an issue of political rhetoric, statements from government ministers and the President varying according to the audience.

It is understood that discussions at NEDLAC on the remaining two Bills have not begun.

BUSA expressed its dismay regard the process now nearly complete before matters go for parliamentary process, saying this will hardly correct the inherent defects in the changes which “will destroy economic growth”.

Posted in BEE, Cabinet,Presidential, Finance, economic, Labour, Land,Agriculture, Mining, beneficiation, Trade & Industry, Transport0 Comments

Parliamentary hearings on labour broking call for regulation

In its submission to the portfolio committee on labour, the Confederation of Associations in the Private Employment Sector (Capes) presented the case for labour brokers saying that they were the single biggest channel for introducing never-employed African youth into the labour market.

John Brand, a legal representative with Capes, said that an absolute ban of labour brokers was not only illegal but an impractical suggestion.   He told parliamentarians that it was difficult enough to import the necessary skills for certain development projects and at the same time deal with the “ebb and flow” of normal workplace situations without the application of such impractical kinds of law as envisaged.

Capes was joined at the hearings on the subject of amendments to the labour law by the Association of Nursing Agencies, who said that specialised labour brokers were essential in the current situation of under-staffed hospital institutions and the call for specialised health services in many cases could only be met by labour brokers.

The health situation was bad enough in South Africa, the association said, without such restrictions being place on its ability to deliver.

Capes said that at times in the labour field there was a legitimate need for temporary workers because of the natural ebb and flow of business situations, geographic factors, leave periods and temporary breakdown and downtime situations. He confirmed that regulation must apply in the cases of abuse, however.

What is required, says Brand, is regulation which, for example, stipulates that temporary employees should not be provided with terms and conditions of employment less favourable than the minimum ones given to permanent employees in the same job.

This, he said, would discourage employers from using temporary employees except when genuinely necessary to meet operational requirements.

Another possible regulation that could be employed is to put a cap on the length of time that a person is allowed to be employed temporarily in a particular position and a particular period of time therefore before being deemed in terms of the regulation as a permanent one, Brand concluded.

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), said in its submissions that the contentious issues such as duration; social security; dismissal; benefits and freedom to organise and the right to associate, all of which had been debated for months, could all be tackled through proper legislative provisions.

Fedusa said it had called on the Minister of Labour to change his stance on supporting a banning of labour brokering and endorse the principle of tackling the issue through properly written regulation.

They added that the majority of brokers operate in accordance with the law and do not seek to exploit the workers. Regulations, if they are properly enforced, Capes said, would “weed out the fly-by-nighters” and this, in turn, would give the entire industry a credible reputation and satisfy the critics.

Meanwhile, private sector parties and unions have agreed with NEDLAC parties some form of legislative compromise, details at this stage being unknown and at drafting stage within the department of labour, as far as the various anchor Acts and proposed Bills to come before Parliament for amendment are concerned. It is to be assumed there will be a further round of hearings.

Posted in BEE, Finance, economic, Justice, constitutional, Labour, Mining, beneficiation, Trade & Industry, Uncategorized0 Comments


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