Employment Services Act to be implemented

Windhoek – Malpractices in the labour sector will soon to be a thing of the past after Namibia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare finalised the process which will bring about the implementation of the Employment Service Act of 2011, The Southern Times has established. 

The Act which was passed by parliament in early 2011 and signed into law by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba will be fully be implemented as from this year according to Labour Commissioner, Bro-Mathew Shinguadja.

Shinguadja said the aim is to provide for the establishment of the National Employment Service, to impose reporting and other obligations on certain employers and institutions; to provide for the licensure and regulation of private employment agencies; and to deal with matters incidental thereto.

The new law seek to facilitate employment creation in both the public and private sectors.

Once fully implemented, employers in Namibia will no longer have the right to recruit employees directly, that will be done on recommendation of the National Employment Bureau that will be established as per the Employment Service Act.

The functions of the bureau are to register job-seekers, register vacancies in the public and private sector, assist job-seekers to find suitable employment and to recommend suitably-qualified job seekers to prospective employers and to keep a register of private employment agencies among others.

Its purpose is also to regulate and control the use of psychometric tests for selection and recruitment purposes in accordance with the Social Work and Psychology Act, 2004 (Act No. 6 of 2004).

“We are definitely implementing it and the bill is still with the bureau to analyse it but there isn’t much to say really at this stage but all I can say is that everything is on track which culminated too in the former Minister of Labour and Social Welfare (Doreen Sioka) also signing of the regulations regarding employment of the Employment Services Act of 2011 in April already this year,” said Shinguadja.

The Employment Services Act also provides the provision of establishing an Employment Services Bureau which consists of the Director who is the head of the bureau, and all the employment officers of the Ministry of Labour.

Many dignitaries admired the Employment Services Act including former President Pohamba who during the launch of National Employment Policy (NEP) said that the enactment of the Employment Services Act of 2011, will see the establishment of an institution which is key to the fight against unemployment, the employment agency, which will be tasked with maintaining a national integrated employment information system and to monitor the skills gaps and employment vacancies in the country.

“The aim is to achieve the goal of creating productive and decent employment for all the people was one of Namibia’s biggest challenges. While notable progress has been made over the years, we are still confronted by high unemployment, poverty, inequality and underdevelopment,” he said in 2013.

He also said the Employment Services Act of 2011 together with the National Employment Policy (NEP) will focus on modernising the agricultural sector and food production, systematic and targeted value-addition, renewable energy generation and green jobs, housing and sanitation, tourism, Small Medium Enterprises development and the transformation of the informal economy.

The Namibia Employers Federation (NEF) on its part has raised concerns about the new law that it will slow down the recruitment process, and live lot of unanswered questions like who will carry out the reference checks on the prospective employees.

July 2015
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