• The Labour Co. Team

Department of Employment and Labour achieves a 100,10 % inspection rate and now targets problematic

The Department of Employment and Labour has reported a 100,10 percent in the rate of workplace inspections for the financial year 2018/2019 and is now shifting its radar on problematic sectors.

Department of Employment and Labour Chief Director of Statutory and Services, Advocate Fikiswa Mncanca said the overall target of workplace inspections for the year under review was 218 732 and the actual inspections conducted were 218 919. Mncanca said of the employers inspected 177 209 were found to be compliant and 41 710 were non-compliant.

According to Mncanca 41 593 employers were served with notices, and 4 619 employers were referred to statutory services for prosecution.

Mncanca was speaking today (September 25) during the Department of Employment and Labour’s Inspections and Enforcement Services (IES) branch’s Employment Standards conference.

The three-day event brings together all Department inspectors. The national inspectors’ conference is held under the theme: “Innovation starts with us”. It will end on Friday. The conference held at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban brings together 1 300 Departmental officials, majority of whom are inspectors under one roof to discuss latest innovations in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution sweeping the workplaces.

The conference’ presentations will focus on the IES’s planned innovations; techniques on improving compliance in the vulnerable sectors such as farming, domestic and private security sectors; employment equity enforcement; impact of amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the National Minimum Wage Act; Unemployment Insurance amendments; the importance of Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COID) inspectors to improve Compensation Fund revenue.

Mncanca said the Inspection and Enforcement Services branch was faced with a number of challenges citing the limited number of cases referred for prosecutions, poor quality of enforcement notices; incorrect citation of the employer details among others.

She said the Inspections and Enforcement Services branch would in the future be focused on problematic sector such as: private security; community, hospitality, agriculture/farms; domestic, construction; wholesale and retail.

Some of the areas of non-compliance Mncanca cited were around Unemployment Insurance declarations; consultative forums not properly constituted; failure to keep records; employment equity (EE) plans prepared not complying, EE reports not informed by equity plan and proper consultation.

Mncanca lamented the continued non-compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA). She said some of the transgressions were in areas such as underpayment of wages; non-issuing of payslips; illegal deductions; non-issuing of particular of employment; non-signing of attendance to prove working hours including overtime.

She said the IES was planning to embark on interventions to address problematic sectors and areas of concern. This, she said would be done through conducting advocacy with employers and their Employment Equity forums; inspectors to refer non-compliant employers for prosecutions in order to improve level of enforcement; invoking direct referral for prosecution for those employers who were found to be operating without an Employment Equity plan; awareness through local radio talk shows and advocacy.

Mncanca appealed to inspectors to fully adhere and comply with IES standard operating procedures.

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