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The Employment Services Act has come into effect! Here's what you need to know about it

by , 13 August 2015
The Employment Services Act came into effect only a few days ago (the 9th of August) and it sets out to improve conditions for the unemployed on top of providing some new provisions. Here's what you need to know.

As stated in the Government Gazette (Vol. 583, No. 37539), important aims of the Employment Services Act include:

1.  Promoting employment and improve access to the labour market for job seekers
2. Promoting employment, growth and workplace productivity
3. Providing opportunities to new entrants into the labour market in order to gain work experience.
4. Improving the employment prospects, as well as the re-employment prospects of employees facing retrenchments. 
  • Here, the Minister of Labour, after consulting the Employment Services Board (which the ESA aims to establish), may develop schemes to minimise retrenchments. 
5. Providing for the registration and regulation of private employment agencies 
  • Here, private employment agencies will have to apply for and receive a certificate of registration. A private employment agency may not provide employment services that fall outside of such a certificate. Also, the registration itself will supply additional funding towards the financing of public employment services. But, according to HR Pulse, it worth noting that the provisions relating to the registration of private employment services have not yet come into effect.
6. Helping the employment of foreign nationals in a manner that does not affect the current labour standards or the rights and expectations of South African workers.
  • But facilitating such employment must not fall outside of the Immigration Act. Foreign nationals must hold valid work permits and can only be employed if no suitable South African has the skills required.

7. Making employers report vacancies 
  • Here, the Minister of Labour may, after consulting the Employment Services Board, require employers to report vacancies to the Department of Labour of any vacancy or available position and, for example, any work seeker who was employed after being referred by a labour centre.

According to Lauren Salt, Senior Associate at the Employment Practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr: "While ESA has various mechanisms for improving employment levels in the country and training the workforce, only time will tell if these mechanisms will be successful. We expect regulations to be issued in the near future to provide practice guidelines for the implementation of the ESA,"

So, there you have it! What you need to know about the Employment Services Act.

But remember that new labour laws and changes are being introduced all the time. So click here to stay on top of South Africa's continuously changing employment law.

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