Department of Employment and Labour
Priorities for the employment and labour department in 2020/21 include the configuration of the organisation; meaningful job creation and placement of work seekers; prioritising the designated groups; greater operational efficiencies; fighting corruption and social dialogue.
The employment and labour minister, Thulas Nxesi, highlighted this during an opening address at the department’s Executive Committee meeting in Boksburg this week.
The minister described 2020 as a decisive year for the department with a particular focus on inclusive growth.
The minister indicated that the reconfiguration from the department of labour into the department of employment and labour would unfold in two phases.
The first phase currently underway focuses on the utilisation of the resources of the department and its entities to increase the impact on job creation and strengthen the National Economic Development and Labour Council to promote social dialogue and help build investor confidence.
Phase two includes the “coordination of all government efforts to create and preserve jobs and reduce unemployment”.
The minister called on the department to finalise the National Employment Policy.
In another statement, the department announced that new Ergonomics Regulations aimed at enhancing Occupational Health and Safety awareness and improving compliance and safety in workplaces will be launched in March 2020.
The regulations, drawn up in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, were gazetted in December 2019 designed to protect the health and safety of any person who may be exposed to ergonomic risks in the workplace.
“Ergonomics” is defined as the “scientific discipline concerned with the fundamental understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimise human well-being and overall system performance”.
According to the department, South Africa is one of the first countries in the world to have promulgated a regulation specific to ergonomics in the workplace.
Workshops on the regulations are also on the cards for Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.