ACTION REQUIRED: Urgent Response & Participation (Input) from Members offering cross-border recruitment services = South Africans placed OFFSHORE/OVERSEAS
Dear APSO Members
As you may be aware the Department of Employment & Labour is currently finalising the draft National Labour Migration Policy and associated changes to the Employment Services Act following inputs received from initial public consultation processes, for presentation at NEDLAC. Whilst some of the concerns raised by Organised Business, including CAPES (on behalf of our industry), have been taken into consideration, there remains a specific area that impacts our industry. That of the regulations regarding Private Employment Agencies and placement of South Africans in work overseas.
The current draft proposes that before a contract of employment can be concluded, a DEL inspector must be present (with PrEA and candidate) to ensure the protection of the candidate. CAPES has already raised our concerns about the practicalities of this proposal, not least of which relates to the limited resources available to DEL and associated timeline implications for such an onerous and impractical additional step to the recruitment process.
It should be noted that through lobbying, via our representatives on the ESB, our concerns are acknowledged however, recognising the need for oversight of overseas placements made by PrES, CAPES has been requested to draft and present the proposed revision to be considered by DEL prior to NEDLAC deliberations.
Controls need to be well considered because DEL is seeking more than a digital submission of the proposed employment contract for the overseas placement, given that there needs to be a measure to ensure protection of the work seeker. In consideration of the CAPES proposal, we hereby request the support of members who currently participate in cross-border recruitment, specifically the facilitation of work for South Africans abroad. We would like to gather experienced insights on how this additional governance and oversight measure – which is unlikely to be negotiated away – could be addressed high-level within the policy and then more practically incorporated into related regulations, recognising the need to address both corporate and SMME agencies.
Draft NLMP 18.104.22.168 (page 77)
Regulation of Private Employment Agencies and Public Employment Agencies: Government will regulate Private Employment Agencies and Public Employment Agencies through supervision and monitoring of the recruitment activities of private employment promoters or agencies, to minimise malpractices and abuses against those seeking jobs in South Africa or abroad and in addition to the cancelation of licenses, criminal proceedings will be introduced against serious offenders. Special attention will be paid to the recruitment and deployment of categories of workers, e.g., domestic workers who are especially vulnerable to malpractice and abuse. The recruiter will have to expose the intending migrant worker to his/her contract of employment in the presence of an authorised labour official before the migrant embark on his/her journey. The NLMP supports the regulatory framework adopted to give effect to the above – in particular ES Act (2014) and the different sets of regulations adopted in terms of ES Act.
CAPES seeks to lobby and advocate for fair and effective regulation. As usual, timelines are short, and CAPES is required to have a formal position prepared by end next week. To this end, we’d like to request members’ urgent assistance in this matter.
How you can support this process:
- Attend the Zoom session early next week wherein the issue will be presented, and questions asked (by CAPES representative Bev Jack) to gain clarity on current processes and possible options to address DEL’s concerns in a pragmatic, yet administratively acceptable, manner.
- Discussions are limited to governance and oversight related to compliant and fair recruitment processes and therefore no concerns regarding anti-competitiveness.
- Individual attending the session should be operationally involved in the recruitment and placement of South Africans OVERSEAS/OFFSHORE and therefore able to share practical insights and experiences.
Date: Monday 3 July 2023
Time: 16h00 – 17h00
RSVP: Register for the webinar using this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0ldu2rrzguEtJxbDVVqDj5E4CsIulQ_YzY