SA updates HIV /AIDS code of practice in 2012

The SA Department of Labour is revising its code of practice on HIV /AIDS and employment, and informing employers of amended equity legislation during 2012.

An SA DOL Employment Equity (EE)series of meetings on a revised Code of Good Practice on HIV/AIDS and the World of Work, started with two sessions in the capital, Pretoria, Gauteng Province on August 14, 2012, at 10am.

Another EE session is set for Johannesburg on August 15 at Cedar Park at 10am to 1pm. The roadshows extend to the country’s major centres, following Department of Labour consultations with employers and labour stakeholders around the country last year.

The meetings remind employers about their obligations in Employment Equity reporting. Manual and online reporting starts in September.  Manual reporting closes on October 1 2012, and online reporting concludes on January 15, 2013.

The Labour information sessions are themed on ‘Bridging the equity gap’ and aimed at employers, heads of companies, assigned senior managers, consultative forum members, human resources practitioners, trade unions, employees, Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) rating agencies and community constituencies.

Compensation Fund invests in parastatal jobs

R4b has been invested with a state funding agency, the Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC), and of that amount, R2.9b has been approved for 168 business deals resulting in the creation of 16 255 new jobs and the retention of 18 463 jobs, said Labour minister Mildred Oliphant in Kimberley in August.

“In terms of indirect UIF investments, and in support of the President’s commitment to improving the country’s infrastructure and to create jobs…  the UIF has invested R37.8b in this regard. This money is invested in Government Bonds and parastatals.

“The DOL Compensation Fund (CF) has already set aside R2b to be invested through the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) in social infrastructure projects and other job creation projects.

Training retrenched workers in 2013

“The UIF has also committed R200m to R500m to agricultural projects to create jobs and support food security in South Africa. The UIF has also contributed R1.2bn to fund the Training Lay-off Scheme, aimed at distressed companies due to the economic conditions and at workers who may be at risk of retrenchment”, said minister Oliphant.

Through the scheme workers agree to forgo their normal wage to attend training programmes and to accept a training allowance during this period, as reported on two years ago.

Employers gain a financial recovery period by reducing payroll costs for a period and improve the skills levels of their workers at limited costs to the company.
“I appeal to companies who are facing difficult trading conditions to consider using the funding to avoid retrenchments.  The UIF has also trained and empowered individuals on various artisan skills and to date 321 individuals have been trained.

“The Fund has also partnered with the National Skills Fund (NSF), the various Sector Education Training Authorities (SETAs) and Productivity South Africa to set up an up-skilling and training project of which R210m has been set aside in this financial year.

Most of the projects are led by the Public Employment Services branch of the Department of Labour.

“Since the inception of the Training of the Unemployed project R155.9m has been committed through funding agreements. UIF has also signed funding agreements to the value of R129m with the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) and the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services SETA (MERSETA) to train 2500 artisans.

“The training started in 2011/ 2012 financial year,” said minister Oliphant at a DOL Jobs Fair in Kimberley.

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