Employers are warned to ensure they comply with labour laws to avoid being slapped with a non-compliance order.
The Department of Employment and Labour has announced that the Gauteng Inspectorate and Enforcement Services will this week be conducting an inspection of the wholesale and retail and hospitality sectors.
The inspection is aimed at measuring the level of compliance with employment-related legislation, including the BCEA, the National Minimum Wages Act, the Unemployment Insurance Act, the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act and Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (Employment Laws)
Dhevarsha Ramjettan, Partner at Webber Wentzel says the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) regulates the monitoring and enforcement of employment-related legislation. “To give effect to the enforcement and monitoring mechanisms, the BCEA grants labour inspectors powers of entry into workplaces as well as powers to question employees and inspect documents.
“We caution that the inspection may go beyond the scope of the employment laws. In recent inspections, the scope has included the status of foreign nationals in South Africa and whether they may lawfully live and work in the country,” says Dhevarsha.
She says employers must ensure that they have the appropriate documentation for their foreign national employees.
According to Dhervana, the inspection may also include the processing and disclosure of personal information, as defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), to the labour inspectors. In this regard, employers would have to comply with certain obligations in terms of POPIA in relation to their employees.
“Employers are reminded that if a labour inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that they have not complied with the employment laws, the labour inspector may issue a compliance order,” Dhervana says.“An employer must comply with a compliance order within the time period set out in the order. If it does not, the compliance order may be made an arbitration award.
She warns employers to be cautious of people impersonating labour inspectors.
“To avoid becoming a victim of labour inspector impersonators, employers can identify genuine labour inspectors by their labour inspector identification cards, which carry the logo of the Department of Employment and Labour, and their trademark uniforms,” she adds.