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Employment Services Act Regulations in the Pipeline

February 20, 2015

Department of Labour

The department of labour will publish regulations pertaining to the Employment Services Act (No 4 of 2014) as soon as they have been ratified.

An exact date when the public will be able to comment on the regulations hasn’t been announced yet, but it has been made public that the Act is likely to come into effect on 1 April 2015 – except for section 13.

This was announced in Bloemfontein on Wednesday by Martin Ratshivhanda, director of public employment services in the department, during one of the labour law amendments roadshows currently being held nationwide in conjunction with the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration.

According to Ratshivhanda, the overall objective of the employment services regulations was to:

• provide for public employment services that will play an active role in employment promotion in order to tackle the high levels of unemployment;
• provide for the setting up of schemes to promote the employment of young work seekers and other vulnerable persons;
• provide for schemes to assist employees in distressed companies to retain employment;
• facilitate the employment of foreign nationals in a manner that is consistent with objects of this Act and the Immigration Act; and
• provide for the creation of the employment services board.

In a separate matter, the Labour Relations Amendment Bill has been drawn up and tabled by Ian Ollis, a Democratic Alliance member of parliament.

The private members bill follows recent concerns around labour relations in South Africa which have largely centred on the high levels of strike action, and specifically the escalation in levels of violence associated with strikes.

The purpose of the Bill is to:

• amend the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No. 66 of 1995) so as to provide for the accountability of trade unions in the event of violence, destruction to property and intimidation by union members during a protected strike; and
• to empower the Labour Court to declare the ending of a protected strike or to refer the protected strike for arbitration in the event of riot damage.