Mar 2022 1st edition

Relief on the way for small employers

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi says efforts are underway to make it easy for small businesses to do business in South Africa.

Minister Nxesi was speaking during a debate on the 2022 State of the Nation Address recently.

“We were mindful of the fact that businesses go through seasons and stages and we were deliberate in making sure our labour laws speak to their twists and turns.

“That is why there is a Ministerial determination which deliberately excludes employers who employ 10 and less employees from certain conditions of employment,” he said.

Minister Nxesi said labour laws allow all employers who face difficult times to apply for exemptions from certain provisions of the law. For example, those that genuinely cannot pay the prescribed national minimum wages can apply for exemption.

“It is important to highlight that the department is on a path of further amending the legislation to address impediments that inhibit the ability of small business to create employment and to thrive.

“The department is considering amending the law to exclude small employers from having to submit several plans and reports for compliance, and rather for them to operate under a dedicated Code of Good Practice.”

Minister Nxesi said this code will guide small employers to appropriately conduct their businesses as required by law and reduce the administrative burden without undermining the labour laws in place.

Employing foreign nationals

The Minister said the recently-approved National Labour Migration Policy is out for public consultation.

The policy seeks to address the growing concern by citizens that some employers are employing foreign nationals and, subjecting them to sub-standard conditions and in the process, are displacing locals.

“We will introduce quotas on the maximum number of foreign nationals that can be employed in the different economic sectors.”

He also said that the Small Business Development Department is looking at which sectors could be limited to South Africans to trade in.

“In focusing on these priorities we continue to re-affirm the rights of migrants, the global treaties that we are party to and the Southern African Development Community and African Union Protocols that we have signed.”

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