The Employment Services (ES) Act, passed by parliament, is now awaiting promulgation by the state president.

The new piece of legislation will play a crucial role in the labour market to provide regular, comprehensive and up to date information to shape labour market policies and programmes.

To give effect to the legislation, a process to set up an ES board, that will advise on employment services’ matters is in the process of being established and South Africa is on schedule to have it in place before the end of the year.

The ES board will exist to advise the ministry on:

• Work opportunities
• The criteria for the registration and de-registration of private employment
• Agencies and the implementation and enforcement of the provision of this act, applicable to private employment agencies
• The development of criteria and guidelines for the implementation of this act.
• The exercise of any function in terms of this act.
• The promotion of supported work for persons with disabilities.
• Any regulations that the minister may, or must, make in terms of this act.
• The publication of an annual employment services report and
• Any other matter related to employment services.

The newly-established Employment Services Act seeks to provide for public employment services.

It provides a legal status for the sheltered employment factories administered by the department, to provide for the registration and regulation of private employment agencies. It provides for the establishment of schemes to promote the employment of young job seekers and other vulnerable persons, to provide for schemes to assist employees in enterprises in distress It will regulate the employment of foreign nationals and provide for the establishment of the Employment Services Board and to provide for matters connected therewith.

The Purpose of the ES Act is to:

• Promote employment.
• Improve access to the labour market to work seekers.
• Provide opportunities for new entrants to the labour market to gain work experience.
• Improve the employment prospects of work seeker, in particular vulnerable work seekers.
• Improve the employment and re-employment prospects of employees facing retrenchments.
• Facilitate access to education and training for work seekers, in particular vulnerable work seekers.
• Promote growth and workplace productivity.
• Facilitate the employment of foreign nationals in the South African economy.
• Promote the training of South African citizens and permanent residents.

Once the board has been established, the next process would be the unveiling of the ES regulations. These will provide a practical on how to implement the law in the labour market and enhance the implementation of the law. The regulations will related to logistics of reporting of vacancies, procedure and forms in which private employment agencies may apply/ cancellation of registration. The recording of the names and prescribed details of work seekers on a register and their removal from the register. A procedure for lodging and considering complaints concerning the operation of private employment agencies or any other matter relating to the provision of public employment services.

For further information you can contact Bernard Reisner:

W.Tel no.: 021 423 3959
Fax: 021 423 2105
Cell: 082 433 8714