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How the labour laws were amended in South Africa 

4. Employment Services Bill, 2010

  • Legal status for Employment Services – The Bill seeks to provide a legal status for Employment Services after the transfer to of the Skills Development functions to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The Bill also provides a legal status for the Sheltered Employment Factories administered by the Department and Productivity SA.
  • Role and function of public employment services – The Bill defines the role and core functions of public employment services including governance arrangements via an Employment Services Board.
    • Decent work schemes to promote youth employment
    • Promotion of employment of people with disabilities
    • Employment promotion schemes to respond to economic recession, company closures and pending retrenchments or lay-offs
    • Regulation of employment of foreign workers.
  • Private Employment Agencies – provision is made for the registration and licensing of Private Employment Agencies for placement and their regulation by the department.

All of the above four bills were subjected to a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) during July and August 2010. The RIA has highlighted a number of options and cost implications relating to the bills. Some issues have been taken into account in the bills that will be published, but others are likely to be explored in more detail during the NEDLAC process.

Already there are different positions among the social partners on the issue of labour broking. The proposed deletion of section 198 of the Labour Relations Act is a contested area. I will watch with keen interest the robust engagement during the NEDLAC consultation phase.

The amendments to our labour legislation seek to address critical issues in the South African labour market that have important implications for stakeholders. I therefore call on social partners to constructively engage in the process in the interests of all parties.

The department is seeking constructive engagement on the bills and recognises the important role that the media plays in this regard. We look forward to your cooperation in ensuring that information on the bills is disseminated in an objective and accurate manner and that there will be an informed debate during 2011.

Statement issued by Department of Labour, December 15 2010

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