14 June 2017

South Africa: Labour Pilots Free State Innovation Project in Domestic Sector, 3 to 6 Jun

press release

In response to the ever-changing world of work, the Department of Labour recently held an Innovation Workshop under the leadership of the Deputy Director General: Inspection and Enforcement Services which was aimed at devising ways and means to respond to changes in the labour market.

Coming out of that exercise was the resolve to embark on a special Innovation Pilot Project in the Domestic Sector whereby Free State province was nominated to pilot.

This culminated into the conceptualisation and the development of a week-long project plan which will see the Department conducting inspections in the Domestic Sector in Free State as follows;

Date: 3-6 July 2017

Regions: Bloemfontein, Welkom, Harrismith and Petrusburg

"The above-mentioned towns will be the focal points for this pilot project and domestic workers and employers in those identified towns are therefore earmarked for these inspections during this week-long project," said Nomfundo Douw-Jack - Acting Chief Director Provincial Operations: Free State.

Ms. Douw-Jack further said: "Domestic workers are regarded as the most vulnerable workers and that vulnerability is further exacerbated by the challenges related to inspectors' lack of access to households (domestic employers)".

Two inspection methodologies aimed at enhancing the quality and efficiency of the inspection process will be adopted for this project:

Desktop Inspection - an inspection that will be conducted by an inspector while stationed at the Labour Centre. The inspection could be finalised without physically visiting the employer provided that all the information requested from the employer is received and the employer complies. Interview with both the employer and the employee will be conducted telephonically.

Afterhours Inspection - an inspection that will be conducted after normal working hours. This inspection requires a physical visit to the employer's household. Information is requested during the inspection with the exception of Unemployment Insurance as it will be required prior the visit. Interview with the employee is conducted in person if the domestic employee resides with the employer and telephonically if he/she commutes daily.

These inspections will be conducted to check compliance with the following labour laws;

Sectoral Determination (SD) for the Domestic Sector (SD 7);

Unemployment Insurance Act (UIA); and

Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act (UICA).

At the end of this Innovation Pilot Project a comparison will be done between the effectiveness of the two inspection approaches to identify the most efficient approach to be adopted for future inspections in the Domestic Sector.

Issued by: Department of Labour

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