The Department of Employment and Labour (DOL) has issued the draft Labour Migration Policy for comment. The Policy works hand in hand with the proposed Employment Services Amendment Bill, providing a policy framework and the legal basis to regulate the extent to which employers can employ foreign nationals in their establishments, while protecting the rights of migrants.
This follows a previous draft that was open for comment in early 2019 on which we extensively commented with the help of business. It is encouraging to see that some of our comments have indeed been incorporated and which forms a foundation for our inputs again now.
The Draft Bill (click here for a copy) includes proposals affecting the regulation of employment of foreign nationals in South Africa and will introduce a number of new regulations including quotas on the total number of documented foreign nationals with work visas that can be employed in major economic sectors; the efforts require to first seek out a South African Citizen, Permanent Resident or a Refugee to take up a role before recruiting a Foreign National; the requirement for skills transfer where a Foreign National is employed; and the enforcement of the Bill.
The Bill centres around the protection of local labour by facilitation and regulation of the employment of foreign nationals in the South African economy, where their contribution is needed in a manner that does not impact adversely on the availability of critical skills in the South African labour market and promotes work opportunities for and the training of South African [Citizens and Permanent Residents] employees and workers.
The Bill increases employers’ responsibilities upon recruitment of Foreign Nationals in the following areas:
- The measures that employers must take to satisfy the Department of Labour that there are no other persons in the Republic with suitable skills to fill a vacancy, before recruiting a foreign national.
- Employers to make use of public employment services or private employment agencies to assist employers to recruit suitable employees or workers who are South African citizens, permanent residents or refugees.
- Employers must continue to prepare, plan and implement a skills transfer plan in respect of a position in which a foreign national is employed.
- Employers are required to keep records in respect of foreign nationals in their employment especially with regards to the validity of the foreign national’s visa and condition endorsed on the visa to avoid contravention of relevant laws.
This provides an opportunity for industry-leading Human Resource and mobility practitioners alike to help shape the Labour and Immigration Regulations and Policies by completing our short survey.
We have prepared survey questions to assist you to navigate through the proposed changes and provide your comments on each.
You are also welcome to provide your input by getting in contact with Marisa Jacobs who has previously participated in NEDLAC on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will ensure a collated and sanitized formal submission is prepared and submitted to the Department and in the format which has impacted previous law changes.