Employment Services Bill goes too far

The Employment Services Bill goes too far in regulating the labour market, as reported in this M & G report.

The Direct Democracy Forum see no wrong in government agencies running a job exchange for those wishing to make use of its services but never the less object to the mandated involvement of the private sector in the scheme.  From a DDF perspective this looks to be unconstitutional as it seem to breach freedom of association provisions of the constitution. The DDF also see nothing wrong in a South African first employment policy provided competitiveness prevails.  That is, the DDF does not approve of using a South African first policy as protectionism in the labour market.

A DDF alternative would be to provide a job exchange, free of charge, but purely on a voluntary basis, so prospective employers could list vacancies and prospective employees could list their CVs and the exchange would merrily play mix and match.  However, the DDF would not mandate private sector involvement in that job exchange.  Such an exchange could be developed and run by the private sector. for an agreed price.

Regarding a South African first employment policy,  a DDF administration would have the department of labour respond to complaints of foreigners being unfairly employed in place of suitably skilled and available local labour.  It would be left to the courts to enforce a South African first employment policy on a case by case basis.  

The DDF idea of labour broking would be that it is acceptable provided the employer pays whatever fees are involved and there be a set limit on those fees (say not more than 2.5% of a wage).  The DDF would define a broker is one who employs on behalf of another but who may not do so exclusively, that brokering is an arrangement of agency, so the broker acts as the agent of the employer (the principal) and the employer and the broker are bound to meet all the minimum requirements set out in law for the employment of persons, as if the employed were in the employ of the principal.  So a broker’s arrangement could not be used to shield an employer from compliance with labour law.  Regarding payment of wages, the employer (the principal) must pay the agreed wages directly to the employee, without deduction.  The broker will also have to guarantee the payment of wages by the employer to the employee.

Labour brokers should not be confused with providers of specialist services to the public and private sectors.  So the local catering, cleaning or guarding companies, for example, are not labour brokers. 

The DDF‘s view of employment agencies is that they are members of the private sector, free to bring together employers and job seekers, free of interference from government, but whose income, while not limited except by agreement between the employer and the agency, is paid for by the employer to the agency.  So the employee gets paid the agreed wage or salary by the employer,  without deduction.   

In short, DDF policies will bolster the free market system, provide a voluntary job exchange for use by all, including employers, employment agents and job seekers, and protect workers rights, all of this with minimum administrative requirements and giving a nod to employment of South African labour in preference to foreign labour..  

DDF policies are aimed at supporting a convenient and accessible job market in the simplest possible manner, with government involvement limited to ensuring fairness for all.

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