What is the news? South Africa’s Department of Labour has issued draft regulations on the employment of foreign nationals under the Employment Services Act.

What does it mean? The regulations clarify the advertising and labor certification criteria for general work visas and corporate visas and specify the obligations that employers must fulfil regarding the transfer of skills from foreign workers to South African citizens.  

Key points:

  • Advertising. Employers must complete labor market testing before applying for a work visa or corporate visa and submit proof that they advertised the position for at least 30 days and within four months of the visa application date. The regulations clarify that advertising may be placed in the national print media or online.
  • Labor certification for work visas and corporate visas. The Department of Labour will refer job candidates to the employer within 10 business days of receiving an opportunity for a registered job on the DOL’s ESSA, and the employer must submit a report within 10 business days of receiving the referral. The report must include interview notes, CVs of shortlisted candidates, and reasons for not hiring South African job candidates, as well as proof that at least 60 percent of the employer’s operational workforce consists of full-time permanent South African citizens or permanent residents and proof of plans to transfer skills to South African workers.
  • Skills transfer plans. Employers must include skills transfer plans in the job duties of foreign employees in all management-level positions, including junior managers. Employers must submit a skills transfer report to the Department of Labour every year, and the department will monitor the progress of the skills transfer and issue a report annually.
  • Background: General Work Visas and Corporate Visas are generally used for foreign employees who do not qualify for the Critical Skills Visa, and include the more onerous process of obtaining labor certification from the Department of Labour.  

Analysis & Comments: The draft regulations strengthen labor market testing and skills transfer requirements to encourage companies to hire and train local employees. Although the labor certification process is not new, the regulations formalize the requirements and regulate the burden on employers for some steps in the process.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.