A Quota System for Foreign Nationals Working in South Africa

At a glance, South Africa’s Labour and Employment Laws can be confusing to truly comprehend, causing several legal disputes regarding workplace policies, contractual obligations, and what is considered to fair and unfair between employer and employee. Recent amendments only add to the progressive and liberal nature of our Labour and Employment Laws, with a new workplace Code of Conduct and a proposed quota system for foreign nationals working in South Africa to only name a few.

The Current State of Foreign Nationals Working in South Africa

Recently, the situation of foreign nationals working in South Africa was put in the spotlight – with locals expressing their concerns about foreign nationals taking jobs away from them. As a result, a list of critical skills posts was published to clarify the various skills and jobs that foreign nationals can be employed for under our current Labour and Employment Laws. This situation has developed into the proposal of a National Labour Migration Policy and Employment Services bill in which the respective minister can determine the quota of foreign nationals that are allowed to be employed in specific economic sectors of South Africa.

What Will Change Once this Bill Becomes Law?

Under the newly proposed bill, foreign nationals are only permitted to work in South Africa if they have an appropriate work visa, an asylum-seeking permit that is endorsed by the right to work, or if they are permitted to work by an international agreement. This part of the bill aims to limit foreign nationals working in South Africa to only those who hold recognised work authorisations.

Moreover, the minister that will oversee setting up quotas in specific sectors, will consider the skills availability among locals when determining these specific quotas to ensure that jobs are not taken away from South Africans in the process.

Employers that employ foreign nationals under the new bill must prepare a skills transfer plan for all foreign nationals as well. As of this moment, a skills transfer plan only applies to foreign nationals who enter South Africa under an Intra-Company Transfer Visa. With the new bill, this will apply to all foreign nationals that seek recognised work authorisations in South Africa.

Allardyce & Partners Attorneys is your first choice when you are seeking a legal expert in Labour and Employment Law in South Africa. We can offer legal solutions for employers and employees that face legal disputes, with a “no win, no fee” contingency for employees earning more than R20 000 per month. Please contact us on 011 234 2125 or email us at enquiries@allardyce.co.za today for more details on how we can assist you.

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