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National Tertiary Education Union

11/02/2016

The National Assembly today adopted the Employment Services Bill which brings to four pieces of legislation submitted by the Department of Labour that have been adopted by the house this year.

The other pieces of legislation which have already passed this scrutiny are the Labour Relations, Basic Conditions of Employment and Employment Equity Amendment Bills.

All these bills were introduced in December 2010 and were giving effect to the 2009 election manifesto which promised “decent work for all workers as well as to protect the employment relationship, introduce laws to regulate contract work, subcontracting and out- sourcing, address the problem of labour broking and prohibit certain abusive practices.”

Addressing Parliament earlier today, Minister Mildred Oliphant said the Employment Services Bill sought to contribute to the government’s objectives of “more jobs, decent work and sustainable livelihoods by repositioning public employment services to play a major role in employment promotion and employment preservation and will also assist employers, workers and work seekers to adapt to changing labour market conditions.”

“The strategic objectives will be achieved through institutional arrangements that the Department will further establish to provide free services to citizens such as registration of job seekers, registering of placement opportunities, matching services, referral to education and training, and careers information. The Department will regulate private employment agencies providing similar services in the private sector to protect vulnerable workers,” she said.

In addition, the Bill allows the Minister to issue regulations requiring employers to register vacancies in specified categories of work and permits the introduction of schemes to promote the employment of work seekers, to assist employees facing retrenchments to remain in employment, and to promote the rehabilitation and re-entry into employment of employees injured on duty or who have contracted an occupational disease.

Working in consultation with the Minister of Home Affairs, the Minister can also introduce regulations providing steps to be followed before employing foreign nationals into the South African Labour Market.

More importantly, the Bill also provides a legal basis for the re-establishment and expanded scope of Supported Employment Enterprises to provide employment for people with disabilities who have long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment which hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. It also aims to transform this service into a training resource for specific projects like the making of school furniture and other deliverables.

Media Release: Department of Labour: 12 November 2013