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Quotas for foreign workers: Offending employers to be fined R100 000

 In Ubuntu News
  • A newly proposed government policy seeks to limit the number of foreign nationals employed at businesses, foreign-owned SMMEs and foreign platform service providers, such as e-hailing drivers.
  • The policy gives the director-general of the Department of Labour the power to seek a fine from the Labour Court of up to R100 000 on any business whose appointment of foreign national employees is not in line with the newly introduced quotas.
  • The policy document will be out for public comment for 90 days, after which it will be referred back to Cabinet and then to Parliament for consideration. 

Government plans to introduce new employment quotas on foreign workers, and companies who won’t keep to these quotas will be fined R100 000.

These are among the proposals of the National Labour Migration Policy (NLMP) and Employment Services Amendment Bill, which was launched for public comment on Wednesday.

The NLMP also proposes that foreigners be banned from starting small businesses in some sectors.

The policy gives the director-general of the Department of Labour the power to seek a fine from the Labour Court of up to R100 000 on any business whose appointment of foreign national employees is not in line with the newly introduced quotas.

Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi released the NLMP for public comment on Monday afternoon. The minister maintained that the policy was necessary to prevent exploitative employers from distorting the labour market.

The NLMP will introduce quotas on the total number of documented foreign nationals with work visas that can be employed in agriculture, hospitality, and tourism as well as construction, along with other sectors.

The policy document will be out for public comment for 90 days, after which it will be referred back to Cabinet and then to Parliament for consideration. It seeks to limit the number of foreign nationals employed at businesses, foreign-owned SMMEs and foreign platform service providers, such as e-hailing drivers.

The policy said the minister may authorise a labour inspector to monitor and enforce the provisions of the act. The policy requires that those who cannot adhere to the quotas should prove that the skills needed for the jobs where they have hired foreign nationals are not readily available in South Africa.

“The Minister and the Minister of Home Affairs may agree to terms of which labour inspectors, who are designated in terms of section 63 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act to enforce chapter 3A of this act, may enforce the provisions of section 38 of the Immigration Act and, for that purpose, exercise such powers in terms of the Immigration Act as are identified in that agreement,” the policy read.

The policy said no one may employ a foreign national to work in South Africa unless that foreign national “has the right to be so employed in terms of a visa issued under the Immigration Act”, is an asylum seeker or is allowed to work in South Africa by way of international agreement.

“Any person who employs a foreign national to work within the territory of the Republic of South Africa must employ such a foreign national on terms and conditions of employment that are not inferior to those which would be provided to a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee,” the document said.

The document said after consulting with Employment Services Board, the minister gazetted and announce maximum quotas for the employment of foreign nationals by employers in any sector.

FIN24

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