|January 31, 2011
More power for labour inspectors
Department of Labour inspectors are to be given more power to enable them to carry out their duties more effectively. Thembinkosi Mkalipi, Chief Director for Labour Market Policy in Turfontein, made the announcement during a public consultation meeting on the proposed amendments to labour law. Mkalipi told about 700 stakeholders from business, labour and government that the time had come for inspectors to be given more power to enforce the law.
"Inspectors no longer require to secure an undertaking from an employer that a contract will be honoured. Why should they require an undertaking when you have made an agreement that you will fulfil your side of the bargain?" Mkalipi said. Inspectors will now have the right to be accompanied by an interpreter or members of the South African Police Services in visiting problematic workplaces. Mkalipi said there would even be tougher penalties for any violation of the law.
In terms of child labour, Mkalipi said the employment of children under the age of 15 would be prohibited. "No person may require a child to work or perform services that are inappropriate for a person of that age or place at risk the child's well-being, education, physical or mental health or social development. "We are making these proposed changes to comply with our obligations to the International Labour Organisations," he said.