Department of Labour

The Department of Labour has warned employers of a man pretending to be one of the department’s inspectors.

Officials are considering extending the unemployment insurance claims
benefits period for workers from the current period of six months to a year,
says Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant.

The Department of Labour has received an unqualified audit opinion for the
third year in a row, the office of the Auditor-General told Parliament?s Portfolio
Committee on Labour.

Violent strikes are seen as a threat to genuine collective bargaining and are
said to undermine worker demands. Minister Mildred Oliphant has called on
workers to conduct peaceful protests.

The Department of Labour has expressed a desire to integrate social benefit
schemes under its administration and improve on their operational efficiency
and, the public servants are looking to China for some pointers.

Companies that comply with the implementation of the Employment Equity Act
will be recognised and rewarded for their efforts by the the Department of Labour
(DoL) according to Deputy Director, Masilo Lefika.

The employment equity roadshows which are set to take place all over the country
will be sector-based with the aim of creating awareness and promoting compliance
with the
Employment Equity Act.

The proposed amendments in the Basic Conditions of Employment Bill will strengthen
the prohibition of child labour in the informal trading sector. This is a huge step
forward in the aim to abolish the illegal practice.

The campaign being spearheaded by labour Minister Mildred Oliphant as well as leaders
from organised labour to protect vulnerable workers in the hospitality sector has
begun in the Limpopo area.

The growing number of worker representatives trying to register as labour unions
points to increased dissatisfaction amongst workers. It also reflects a distrust
between employees and employers despite efforts to address worker complaints.

The Industrial Development Corporation will continue to be used as a vehicle to
further job
creation and aid employment in the country. To this end the labour department has
invested an additional bond of R2 billion into the IDC.

The Department of Labour has expressed its wish that workers adhere to the laws that have brought about change to working conditions. The department encouraged education as it would ensure an improvement in working standards and conditions.

As part of reviewing the minimum wages and employment conditions in the taxi and hospitality sectors the Department of Labour is establishing further public hearings and on-site visits. The process is expected to take place in KwaZulu-Natal.

The majority of farmers have taken up the offer to apply for an exemption from the R105 a day wage for farmworkers as set out in the new sectoral determination that came into effect on 1 March. Currently the department is capturing the applications received and also requesting outstanding information from farmers.

Taxi operators have called on the Department of Labour to extend the transport subsidy scheme to the taxi industry. The taxi sector said the distortions prevailing in the market could no longer be sustained.

The Department of Labour has initiated discussions at a public hearing process on the minimum wage for taxi drivers. The following article will discuss an analysis of the decision process and who will be involved

The Project Shanduka which is an organisational review strategy has been put into place by the Department of Labour. It aims to unlock and improve service delivery. Also to respond to concerns that were raised by the department's staff.

The farmworkers minimum wage review which was heard by The Department of Labour has come to an end with preparing a report for the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC) for consideration.

The Department of Labour is ready to impose a percentage turnover for companies who do not implement employment equity. Fines would start at 2% of a business's turnover for a first-time offence. They then increase to 10% if your company is found to have committed four contraventions of the same provision in three years.

Two separate public hearings will be hosted by the Department of Labour with the intention of finding a solution to the violent strikes in the farming sector which was triggered by a demand for higher wages.

The Department of Labour has been urged to stabilise the farming sector after concerns were raised that the farmers strike may resume. The strike could possibly resume in a few weeks after being suspended to give the department an opportunity to review the wages and conditions of service in the sector.

Negotiators representing both employers and farm workers will meet to discuss employee concerns. A review of the minimum wages and conditions of employment for workers in vulnerable sectors like farming and domestic work will form part of the actions to address farm worker grievances.

A new turnaround strategy was unveiled for the Sheltered Employment Factories (SEF). The facility is to undergo a major facelift designed to revive its business and stabilize the business operations.

A physiotherapist from Rustenburg charged with fraud, has been handed multiple suspended sentences in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court for defrauding the Department of Labour?s Compensation Fund. Modau was found guilty of three counts of fraud and 14 counts of money laundering.

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