Bill to help in creation of decent work

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pretoria –  Government’s efforts to create sustainable and decent jobs have been given a boost with the National Assembly's  adoption of the Employment Services Bill.

Speaking in Parliament, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said the bill would contribute to government’s objectives of creating more jobs,decent work and sustainable livelihoods “by repositioning public employment services to play a major role in employment promotion and employment preservation”.

The Labour Department will provide free services to citizens such as registration of job seekers and placement opportunities, job matching services, referral to education and training, and careers information.

Oliphant said the department will regulate private employment agencies that provide similar services in the private sector to protect vulnerable workers.

The bill allows the minister to issue regulations requiring employers to register vacancies in specified work categories, and permits the introduction of schemes to promote work seekers being employed.

It further allows the minister to help employees facing retrenchment to stay employed. It also promotes the rehabilitation and re-entry into the workplace 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 that outline steps to be followed before employing foreign nationals in 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. These enterprises will enable the employment of 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.

The Employment Services Bill is one of four pieces of legislation brought by the Labour Department to Parliament this year.

Those that have already been passed include the Labour Relations, Basic Conditions of Employment and Employment Equity Amendment Bills.

All these bills were introduced in December 2010 to give 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”. –


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