Labour on private employment agencies service fees

Private employment agencies (PEAs) are prohibited from charging work seekers any fees for service rendered

Private employment agencies are prohibited from charging work seekers any fees for services rendered, this is according to clause 15 of the Employment Service Act 2014 which is still to be promulgated, the Department of Labour and CCMA  joint Labour Law Amendment roadshow was told in Kimberley, today, 17 February 2015.

Martin Ratshivhanda, Director, Public Employment Services (PES) said: “the provision also prevents practices by which employers or PEAs may seek to circumvent this prohibition or make deductions from employees’ remuneration”.

The new Employment Services Act seeks to respond to the country's mandate of job creation, the registration of job opportunities, regulation of the employment of foreign nationals, and the establishment of schemes geared towards job creation.

Whilst addressing over 200 delegates from organised labour, employer organisations, labour practitioners, general public and academics, Ian Macun, Department of Labour Director of Collective Bargaining stressed the aim of all these labour laws amendments as the way the department can protect vulnerable workers and work seekers.

“The Amendments are in response to the abuse of vulnerable workers and work seekers in the labour market. Workers not getting social benefits was becoming a problem” he continued. 

The key labour laws in question that were recently reviewed, and were now in force include:  

  • The Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act (BCEA).
  • The Labour Relations Amendment Act. 
  • The Employment Equity Amendment Act, and 
  • The Employment Services Act (no 4 of 2014) assented and gazetted on 7th April 2014. Promulgation to follow.

The presentations during the national roadshows focused on aspects such as broad changes on the protection of employees earning up to the BCEA threshold of R205 433,30; regulation of temporary employment; unionisation in vulnerable sectors; improving the functioning of labour market institutions such as the CCMA, bargaining and statutory councils; addressing current problems in industrial disputes and dispute resolution; enforcement and enhancing compliance; disputes concerning discrimination and issues of equal pay for work of equal value.

According to Macun the changes in the Employment Equity legislation means it will be illegal for employers to discriminate against workers. He said legislation requires of employers to pay equally for work of equal value.  

The next leg of the road show will be heading to the Free State (18 February) President Hotel in Bloemfontein; (20 February) Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg; (23 February) at ICC in Durban; and Limpopo ( 25 February) at Sun Meropa Casino.

The roadshows will end in Gauteng on 06 March 2015 at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria, Meiring Naude Road in Pretoria. All roadshows will be held from 9am-13:00.

Mokgadi Pela, Acting Ministerial Liaison Officer
082 808 2168

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