If the government has its way, private companies will no longer be able to hire employees without first considering people listed on a government database of unemployed South Africans.
Failure to do so could result in heavy fines for companies.
This is according to the Employment Services Bill gazetted in December last year.
According to the proposed bill, the government intends to establish a public employment service, whose task will be to create a database of all unemployed people in the country. The employment service will then link job seekers to companies that have vacancies.
The bill, one of four tabled last year, also stipulates that employers will have to register all their vacancies with the service in 14 days.
The government will then provide the companies with the names of possible candidates to fill those posts.
According to the proposed bill, if companies fail to appoint candidates from the database who meet the requirements, they will need to provide written reasons for their actions.
The bill also proposes conditional employment of foreigners. If a company employs a foreigner, it will have to prove to the employment service that it was unable to find a suitable local candidate, including those provided by the government.
The government has also vowed to deal with recruitment agencies that charge job seekers fees. It has proposed that all agencies be registered or face punitive measures.
The bill proposes that the agencies must charge employers the fees instead.
In addition, the bill provides for temporary workers to be paid at the same rate as permanent workers.
Labour law expert Johan Botes, of the law firm Cliffe Decker Hofmeyer, slammed the proposed bill.
He said it was aimed at allowing the government to run the affairs of the private sector.
“The government must allow the business sector to run its affairs while they continue to govern the country,” he said.
Botes said that the government was vague on how it intended to deal with companies that failed to comply with the bill’s provisions. The government’s proposals on fixed-term contracts were likely to increase unemployment instead of creating more jobs.
More companies were likely to terminate their contract workers and this could also affect investment in South Africa.
“Some of the companies are likely to look elsewhere and invest their business in other countries,” said Botes. “The government must create more flexible working arrangements for the private sector.”
Cosatu welcomed the proposed bills, saying it was now waiting for the government to provide further details.
A spokesman for the union federation, Patrick Craven, said it had always preferred that recruitment for jobs should be done by the state, represented by the Labour Department, instead of being driven by labour brokers.
He said Cosatu was still studying the bill and might not agree with some of its provisions.
Last week, Cosatu said it would table a comprehensive response when it met Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant.
It vowed to push for more changes to the country’s labour laws than presently on the table.
Andrew Layman, the chief executive of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the chamber would release a statement on its opinion of the bills by the end of next week.
“We are in the process of consulting with our members and we are preparing a statement on the Employment Services Bill as well as our views on the amendments of the other three bills,” he said.
Harold Ndendle, a spokesman for the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the organisation would support any bill that contributed to growth in the country, especially of black people.
“If the bill will contribute to us moving forward as a country, we will support it.” - Baldwin Ndaba and Kyle Venktess
I have never worked for the Gov but private sector takes us for a ride. Racism is still at its best as better positions are for Non Africans, at one stage I was interviewed by the staff who I later Managed - i felt insulted but if you have nothing you'll end up eating from the gutter.
Another nail in the coffin of free enterprise. The government sees a successul well run private business area (eg. private hospitals, boat skippers tickets, mines), and cant wait to get their grubby paws on it. However we still have to see one area of government that is competently run.... so how does this work? Even more amazing is that the more they interfere the less productive things become, the less tax is collected and the more poor people suffer. More companies will mechanise, more people will become self employed and hopefully the unions will become extinct. what a bunch of idots run this country
Can you see it coming. Can you see it. They want to and are going to control everything. Absolutely everything. Get out NOW!!!! WHILE YOU STILL CAN
Get lost, wrote
Unless Govt pays for my staff they can take their database and shove it. It's my business, my responsibility and I'll employ whoever I am comfortable and confident with!!!!
It is my experience being unemployed as a an IT Professional that the Government is playing the rules by the Equity Act which we cannot override. Applying for more than 30 vacant IT jobs @ major Organizations it seems that it is a lost case for me in applying locally in SA. I was laid off in December 2010 with a legal contract renewal signed as from September 2010 until end December 2011? As a Consultant (subcontractor) it is a high risk.I was bluntly told that the Organization (Major Insurance Company) has no more budget for me to stay on. This was shocking to me. Unfortunately I do not have legal costs taking them on as it might also jeopardise my position for future employment. Unfortunately as sub contractor there is no protection that we enjoy in which I would recommend the Dept. of Labour to address in future. There will be definbitely more cases than mine.
From my experiences with dealing with senior managers in government I see problems with its implementation. Lots of talks, lots of red-tape, lots of money spent on white elephants, lots of spending of money on consultants to implement and fix, lots of reluctance by the competent managers to rock the boat and a number of senior managers in key positions who seems to very confident about their skills but seems to be clueless and misguided, who frustrate their subordinates and cause them to go slow or resign.
The concept of a centralised vacancy database is not a bad idea, but it is already being done by the private sector. If you look at a site like http:www.thirst4work.com employers can already advertise all of their vacancies for free and they are also given the choice to look at alternatives. The free market should rule.
I used to work for a Labour Broker or Temporary Employment Service (TES) and I can assure you it is not an easy industry.There is alot of work & costs that goes into applicants IE Interview,Ref,MIE Checks, CV Typing etc before the TES has even seen a cent and eventually when the temps are working at clients the margins are minimal compared to other industries (under 50%)I had clients in all sectors & temp staff are a neccessity, you can't have people sitting around on the payroll picking their noses in low production periods.The strict employment laws are also driving the TEMP industry as its too difficult to get rid of problem employees. What's sad is the damge the unions are doing, how many factories have stopped manufacturing and started importing because they have to pay increases & bonuses even when they are in debt?One client had been manufacturing for 60+ years & now imports from China, went from 90 staff to 8.He said he can land a product for half the cost than he could to build!!!?? Lawyer fees are non existant etc. Employment is down yes, but in every country hence the term recession.The government needs someone to blame so Labour Industry pick your cross.....
Instead of slamming the ANC government, stand together, and vote them out of power! Vote for Helen Zille and the DA if you want to see a democratic South Africa. Yeah, i know, I know, I'm going to hell now...
In stead of nationalising everythibng at once, private sector is slowly but surely being choked to death.
So lets make the country TOTALLY dysfunctional, just like everything else the ANC has got it's incompetent fingers into. Jobs for ANC card carrying members only. The rest are doomed to "Hell" vis-a-vis Zuma's latest comments. He really let the cat out of the bag this time!
Dear JAde, (Yes I'm replying straight to you) I see your point of a database and all the knowledge of skills and shortages. I can also see what an important tool that might be. But don't you think that all that information can already be gathered from employments agencies and the like? This is not the true intention of the bill. The information they will gather is already available. What we, the "oppositionist cohorts", are afraid of is the way in which this bill will empower the government to control the private sector.(Did I just use the term 'empower'? That sounds like parliament every day) Doesn't BEE already restrict companies from hiring anybody they deem fit and should first consider a previously disadvantaged candidate WITH THE RIGHT SKILLS? Did you know that during the negotiations in 1992 they intended to implement a sunshine clause to BEE? If you do not know what that is, I suggest you study a bit more. The real danger of a bill like this is that government will control who goes onto that list, and who doesn't. Then BEE will be a thing of the past. Not even you or any friend of yours with the right skills will get any job! The smart business man will not comply with this law and will wait for government to take him to court. Then they will fight this until the constitutional court and the state will pay the costs thereafter. And then you, and me, and the rest of the taxpaying citizens will pay for the costs. Therefore the smart businessman will win again. If you prefer communism, go to Russia or North Korea!
AA and BEE are merely a slap in the face for black people, since it implies that they could not get ahead without such legislation. The 'labour bill' is just another such slap. However, the latter will also force employers to place square pegs in round holes, and accept the resulting damage.
Sadly the government is attempting to lower productivity of the private sector to its own miserable standards set
Investing Elsewhere, wrote
How is it that we vote for Democracy and get Communism?
Wow. The democratic socialist movement (socialist revolution through legislation, voting etc) led by mainly the SACP and COSATU has great influence in the ANC, COSATU, SACP alliance it seems.
Wow M, maybe you should realise that some companies prefer to pay labour brokers to fill jobs, instead of putting those employees on their own payroll? I know quite a few people who are factory managers for multi-billion dollar international companies who are employed by labour brokers - your blanket statement about "only those that are bone-lazy and with no real desire to work would go through a labour broker" smacks of ignorance and hypocrisy. But that's nothing new in SA. Just like how ONLY government employees are lazy and stupid - nevermind the bad service we've all gotten from the private sector - but I guess your explanation is that it is only blacks in the private sector that give bad service, eh?
EX SA, wrote
hee hee heeee! last comic standing if ever there was! only a racist could support a bill like that....is the ccokie jar now that empty that the only way that fella with the shower on his head can create 500,000 jobs is too force the private sector to employ his cousins? sorry, but @jade really makes me laugh and reminds me of how the germans were brainwashed by the nazis....
...and we want entrepeneurs to create jobs.???? I sincerely hope this is just another election ploy.